Archive for August, 2009

BK update for August labs, Swine Flu

August 22, 2009 3 comments

Good news; the BK level in my blood went from 7,260 copies last month to 2,257 copies of the virus this month.

A co-worker had BK as well (coincidentally, she has Polycystic Kidney Disease as well), and she was off the CellCept for 7 months, the virus was finally controlled (it never leaves the system), and she’s back on her CellCept.

Everything else is going well.  The episode of phlebitis that I had hasn’t reared it’s ugly head since last month.  I think it happened due to a problem with my orthotics.

The pic above is similar to what I wear.  However, I had a strap put on right above the ankle as well.  I had been doing some intense walking during my lunch hour every day, and the strap was too tight.  It caused the vein in my inner ankle to become inflammed.  I’ve since took the strap off, I’m riding my recumbent bike instead, and no more phlebitis (phleb=vein and itis=inflammation).

Another problem I had in my left foot is some significant pain from an old injury.  About 12 years ago, I fractured the outermost foot bone.  A callous formed on the bone, and juts out of the side of my foot.  It constantly presses against the side of the orthotic.  I’ve dealt with it now for a while, and finally came up with a solution.  I bought a Dr. Scholl’s gel heel pad, cut it to fit, and have it placed so that it cushions the bone.  My pain is much less now (it will never be pain free), and those 12 hour shifts in the hospital should be a lot more tolerable.  I’m stuck as far as pain relievers, as I can only take Tylenol and narcotics.  I don’t like to take narcotics unless I’m desperate, so I was trying to get by with Tylenol Arthritis.  It helped, but the cushion will be much better.

In the kidney patient community, Swine Flu (H1N1) is certainly on our minds. As of now, it is a worldwide pandemic.  Bill Peckham’s blog (Dialysis from the sharp end of the needle) has an interesting post regarding how an overwhelming surge of cases will be handled (basically, who is treated, who is not treated).   Bill’s blog is also a great resource for other issues related to dialysis, and he has a regular listing of blogs in the kidney community.

The Department of Health and Human Services has a website that also may help answer questions at

I must admit that I had a misconception that I cleared up through  I thought that all of the vaccines for Swine Flu were live viruses, therefore making me ineligible for the vaccine. However, it appears that the injectable form will not be live (the same as the vaccine for seasonal flu), and there will also be a live virus vaccine as a nasal spray.

As with any decision, it’s risk vs. benefit.  I’m concerned that although there are clinical trials being carried out on the vaccine, they are not as comprehensive as normally would be done – obviously due to the time factor.  I haven’t decided yet whether I’ll get it, but after finding out that it isn’t a live virus vaccine, I may end up getting it.