Thursday, April 14, 2011

March Update

Went to go see the Nephrologist and my kidney functions are down slightly. He doesn't know why as nothing has changed other than the fact that I have a job now. Since working shouldn't affect my kidney, we're scratching our heads.

I have now been officially dubbed with Chronic Kidney Disease, not just Acute Kidney Disease. The doctor pretty much told me the kidneys are permanently damaged and a full recovery is probably not going to happen. Something I was pretty aware of already. So...if my kidneys don't get any worse (we're crossing our fingers), then I have Stage 3 Chronic Kidney Disease, which is considered Moderate.

I go back to see the Nephrologist again in June. If the kidney functions are down again, he wants to do a kidney biopsy to see what is going on and see how much scarring and damage was done to the kidneys. It won't do anything to fix them, but it might give us some insight into what happened. We'll see.

So that's the newest as to what's going on with the kidneys.

The new job is great and I'm soooooo happy to be working again. I'm back to doing Financial Aid at a college and love it. It's what I enjoy and I'm good at it. I didn't realize how much I missed it until I started doing it again. I'm happy and laughing again. Something that hasn't been seen for a while.

Overall...everything seems to be fine. Yeah, I'm still tired from the kidneys, but a person can't let that stop them.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


I met with my kidney doctor and things are getting better. The kidneys are functioning at about 41% right now. They're not getting better as quickly as he'd like, but they're getting better. He says a normal time frame for the kidneys to heal is around 6 months and we're only in about 6 weeks, so he said not to expect drastic results. It will be like the story of the Turtle and the Hare. My recovery will be the Turtle. Slow and steady wins the race. Hopefully.

The doctor is hopeful and gives me hope of a full recovery, but at the same time, he's trying to prepare me for the fact that I might have permanent damage. If there is permanent damage done to the kidneys, lifestyle changes will need to be made. Nothing too drastic, just maintaining the diet and doing bloodwork more often to make sure the kidney function doesn't go down. Nothing much else they can do until the damage hits a point where the kidneys can't filter the toxins effectively and I'm not at that point right now and I'm still getting better.

The next checkup will be in March to see where things are and determine again what plan of attack we'll take from there, depending on if the kidneys continue to improve or if they remain at the functioning level they're currently at. So stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Okay, I know I promised to keep you posted and I've been slacking on the job. BUT...things are going in a positive direction. Just not as fast as I want. I'm not a patient individual.

On December 22nd, I went and had more blood work done to see where everything stands and waited for the doctor to call. He stated it was so I would know before Christmas, but I didn't hear from him before Christmas. BTW, kudos to the phlebotomist who took the blood...I'm a hard stick in the first place and my time in the hospital blew most of my veins and they hadn't had time to recover by the time I went in. She got me on the first stick, which hardly ever happens...even in the best of circumstances. Anyway, back to your regularly programmed update. I called the Monday after Christmas, but the kidney doctor's office was closed, so I called again on Tuesday. The nurse explained that they were closed because of the holiday and replied that he usually gets back to the patient's within a day or two of having the test done(not sure what happened this time, because he promised to have my results to me before Christmas, but it didn't happen and I can't change that).

The kidney doctor called back within a few hours and said the results were better and that my kidneys were working at about 40% now. He said to give them a month this time before retesting, made sure the swelling went away (it comes and goes...I'm usually fine about 4 days a week and find myself swollen about 3, but nothing like the swelling I experienced right after coming off the dialysis) and wanted to see me in his clinic this time to make sure the medications I'm on are okay and formulate a longer-term plan of attack.

Yes, I'm still weak. Yes, he says that's perfectly normal. I've never eaten so healthy in my life, though I do miss some of my favorite foods. Most of the foods that were on the "do not eat" list were already foods that I mostly disliked anyway. Christmas Morning Breakfast was probably the hardest trial for me and I just should have fixed myself a breakfast different from everybody else.

You see, on Christmas, instead of having a Christmas Dinner, we have Christmas Breakfast. It's a family tradition and anybody who can make it comes over. It's a heart-attack's dream. There are cinnamon rolls, toast, bacon, sausage, ham, regular hashbrowns, hashbrowns with chives, eggs, usually at least 2 kinds of juices, and whatever additional treats my dad has dreamed up that year. It's a spread. The problem? A Kidney, otherwise known as Renal, Diet really doesn't want you to eat potatoes because of their extremely high potassium content. Hashbrown's are my favorite part of the breakfast. So I has a really small scoop. Bacon, sausage and ham all are to be eaten with caution due to the sodium content in them and can cause me to retain water and makes it hard for my kidneys to get rid of the sodium and can cause any number of complications. I had a small portion of ham (it seemed to be the least offensive of all of them, but probably was the worst offender of all), and a slice of low sodium bacon. I gorged myself on eggs. Probably had 3 helpings. Yeah, I should have just gone and fixed my normal breakfast, which is usually eggs and fruit, but I didn't want to make a big fuss about it. Stupid, I know. My bad.

Anyway. I've mostly been feeling pretty okay. Other than the weakness and fatigue, which I've been assured is completely normal and can last for quite some time. So although it's frustrating, I'm told I'm in a completely normal position.

Occasionally, my back will hurt, right where my kidneys are. It's becoming a little more constant now that it was before. It think that it's a sign of the kidneys kicking into gear. It's uncomfortable, but not unbearable.

I was planning on a trip to California (California Adventure and Disneyland for 12/30 and New Years Eve) to take my mind off my worries, forget about life for a while and see my cousin, who I'd been missing like crazy lately, but it was decided that Disneyland would be too much and plans were canceled. Big bummer. So I devour books instead. Feel free to throw out suggestions, they're always welcome! I've got a growing list, but don't mind adding to the list.

So, those are the updates. I will try to be a little more prompt in alerting you when I have some more news.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Health Drama

Hopefully this will serve as a kind of update for everybody who needs or wants information on what has been happening with me lately. Yes, another health drama has happened. Yes, I am as well as can be expected right now. I will tell the story as best I can.

For the past 3-6 months, I have been experiencing pretty constant nausea and occasional vomiting. Went to see my GP about it, who couldn't really tell me much and referred me to a Gastroenterologist (I think that's the name, at least). I put it on the back burner because I don't have insurance and am unemployed.

Enter Sunday. I'm sick all day. I figure I have the flu. It's pretty miserable. Then as the day goes on it gets worse and I begin to get a little concerned, so I drag some respectable clothing on and trudge downstairs and tell my parents I think I need to go to an urgent care or hospital. My dad takes me to urgent care, where they tell me they can give me medication for nausea and make sure I can keep some fluids down, but cannot star an IV because they close at 9:00 and they don't start IV's after 8:00 because they take too long to finish and we arrived at 8:30. They took my vitals and were concerned with my blood pressure being so low. My blood pressure is pretty low anyway, but with the dehydration of being sick, it was lower than usual, so they embarked on a adventure to take it in 3 different situations to see if they could get a better blood pressure. They kept on getting errors on the last situation and while they were trying to get that last blood pressure, they gave me the nausea medication and drew bloodwork. When the results of the bloodwork came back, my kidney functions were way out of whack and showed that I was basically in Acute Renal Failure, otherwise known as Kidney Failure. Off they sent me to the Hospital.

The hospital admitted me to the ER, pumped me full of IV fluids and started running multiple tests and reran the bloodwork to make sure there wasn't an error. The results came back worse than at the urgent care facility. I was admitted to the hospital because my kidneys are kaput.

Three days later, no real answers exist and we may never know what caused my kidneys to go into renal failure. The doctors are scratching their heads. Right now, their theories are that my blood pressure was so low that the kidneys didn't get enough blood, causing them to shut down. Another is that medication could have contributed to the shutdown, but that theory is lower down on their list of possibilities. The main theory is that it was a completely random occurrence aggravated by dehydration. At least, that's my understanding.

There is no magic pill they can use to fix this. The only thing they can do is try dialysis to get the toxins out of my body and hope that my kidneys will start working again. The doctor's say my kidneys are functioning at approximately 2-3% of normal. So, I have a temporary dialysis catheter in my neck and will be undergoing dialysis 3 days a week until hopefully the kidneys are functioning again. The doctors are very optimistic that after I'm fully re-hydrated and my blood pressure gets to a more "normal" range, my kidneys will return to normal and so will I.

Thank you to everybody for their concern and thoughts and prayers. They have been wonderful and they've been a wonderful buoy during a struggle. Though this is a hurdle, it's not insurmountable and something we can definitely deal with.

I want everybody to know that I feel fine. I don't feel sick, other than the ever-present nausea, which isn't anything new. The dialysis isn't pulling fluid off me, which I understand is the draining part.

So, that's the 411 on what happened. I'll keep you updated as news comes along.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Nicholas suck.

Yeah, this post has absolutely nothing to do with anything. It's simply a rant. Over Labor Day weekend, the parental units went out of town and I had the house to myself (well, I was dog-sitting, so as to-myself as it gets with two dogs). I decided to Redbox the weekend away. It's cheap, fun and I like my own company enough for two (lucky for my single self!).

Now, my loathing of Nicholas Sparks is probably only known to my cousin Ashlee (we had a big fight about it because she really likes him as an author and I loathe him) and probably my hairstylist because I had refused to see any of his movies past either Message in a Bottle or A Walk to Remember. Whichever came out later. I actually have nothing against him as an author. He is an amazing writer. It's his subject matter that I loathe. I'm a happy book reader. I don't like it when people don't end up together and happy ever after. Hey, if I'm not getting my happy ever after, the people in books may as well be, okay! Also probably the reason I adore romance...there isn't any romance in my real life...may as well read about it. But I digress.

I hate that there is angst, strife, hurt, and basically, real life in all his stories. When I read his books or watch his movies, my heart hurts. You know, your feel so badly for the people, your heart turns over in sympathy...I call that my heart hurts for them because literally, my heart hurts and I hate that feeling. So I had ordered a personal boycott on Nicholas Spark's movies that had recently come out, of which two I really wanted to see. I got blackmailed into seeing The Notebook and it only further reinforced my resolve.

But this Labor Day Weekend, my resolve wavered and fell. I rented Dear John and The Last Song from Redbox and watched them. Good? Yes. Great? Maybe. Did I hate it because it did everything that I loathed about Nicholas Sparks and his movies? You better believe it. So the boycott is back on. Nicholas Sparks is back to sucking simply because he makes me feel bad for people in a book or movie.

Dirty little secret: I did have to go buy The Last Song because even though it hurt, it didn't hurt as bad and I really did like it. Maybe he doesn't suck as bad as I'm trying to make him suck. Boycott remains in effect.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Getting up at 6 a.m. is for the birds

I have a new temp job. I'm hoping it resolves into a permanent job because I like the work surprisingly enough. The only big bummer? I start work at 6 a.m.! And this isn't one of those roll into work in just anything jobs either! No, I have to be semi-professional and it would be preferable if I had makeup on and hair styled. I'm still working it out. Next week, the partners are going to be in the office (they live all over the west and mostly work from home offices), so we have to adhere to the dress code more strictly.

I think I'm going to shower at night and try to rewet and style my hair in the morning when I'm doing my makeup and brushing my teeth, etc..

On the up side, it is nice to get off work at 2:30 in the afternoon, but because I'm still getting used to getting up at 4 to get ready for work (takes me a while to get awake and get moving, people...sooooo not a morning person), I usually come home and crash for about a 3 hour nap. Yeah, it feels great, but I should probably get into a better sleep pattern, especially since I have plans to work out in those hours once we retrieve the treadmill from my sister's house.

I even have grand schemes to read after I'm off from work...nope. I've read a paragraph or two and I'm zonked. It's pretty comical, really. Hopefully I adjust before this assignment is over. Or hopefully they hire me on permanently.

Anyway, that's what's going on lately in my neck of the woods.

I did have a trip to Fresno that was loads of fun, but I've decided to keep that to myself. But it was fun and thanks to all the peoples involved in making it so much fun. I really needed it. And it turned into a very special weekend. Awww!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

I Fought with the Rocks and the Rocks Won!

Ever have those places you go just to chill and think? I do. Mine is a place called Saltair. It's a once grand relic from my grandmother's days during World War II just off the Great Salt Lake. Lately, it's in a decline and mostly hosts concerts (usually punk bands or harder rock from what I understand) and raves. During the days, families go out there and hike the distance to finally reach the water. For those of you who may not know the Great Salt Lake is called America's Dead Sea. It's so salty, you just bob in the water (provided you actually get to water deep enough to bob in...the Great Salt Lake is notoriously shallow).

This is a very pretty picture of the Great Salt Lake. I believe it is a picture from Saltair. This is a look similar to what I saw yesterday.

This is a view of the Great Saltair in finer days. I did not take these pictures because I didn't realize I was going to Saltair when I started driving, I just wanted to get out in the sun and enjoy the mild (80-ish degree) weather we were enjoying for the holiday weekend.

The lake levels are wayyyyyy down because of the drought we've been in and despite epic rain and snowfall, the levels are still down. I was smart and decided to travel with flip-flops, so walking in sand in flip-flops are not advisable in Great Salt Lake sand. They tend to have little gross puddles of sand flies and icky stinky goo. Since I didn't want to trek through that to actually reach the water, I just decided to climb some boulders that used to be in the lake, but now border the Saltair land.

It was beautiful. The wind was blowing, so it was actually a little brisk. No bugs of any sort. The sun was shining, the sky was blue. It was a perfect relaxation, enjoying the bounties of nature, thinking spot. I sat on my rock for a long time and enjoyed. It was heaven!

Then I decided to get off and drive home (Saltair is about a 30-ish minute drive from my home). I scooted to the edge and though I found a better way to get off than I did to get on. Wrong-o. I fell off the rocks. About 6 feet. I fought with the rocks and the rocks won. Big time. People saw, of course, which was embarrassing, but I was laughing too hard at myself. I told them I was okay and eventually (due to the laughing) got myself up and out.

I'm slightly damaged. I have scrapes on my right forearm and scrapes, swelling and (according to my mother) bruising on the left side of my face. Don't ask me how I accomplished that. I'm talented...that's all I know. I'm stiff and sore and think I might have strained some ribs on my back. Is that possible? My parents are just laughing when they watch me walk around the house. I have an evil plan to get dressed (sort of) and try to go walk and see if that loosens up my muscles a bit. It seemed to work yesterday when my muscles started to tighten up.

So, my commune with nature went well, my return to the modern world...not so well. Oh, well. Life will go on, I guess! And no, I will not include pictures of the abused face.