"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand." ~Randy Pausch

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Gout is the build up of uric acid in your joints. People with kidney disease are susceptible because our kidneys can't flush out the uric acid. It's a type of arthritis that can be treated by anti-inflammatory drugs.

I might have gout. We aren't sure yet. The doctor took some blood to check my uric acid level. He gave me a prescription to get an x-ray and has me on a steroid. I'm getting the x-ray after treatment today. I hope the steroid makes me hungry! I'd love to gain some weight.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Broken Rules

Yesterday was my birthday, so we had to break a few rules. Jason and I ate really well all day so we could eat bad at dinner. We went to PF Chan's and I had TWO iced teas. I also had the world's largest chocolate cake! I'm not supposed to eat chocolate and he can't have sugar. Oh, well.

Looking Better

My catheter sight looks pretty nasty, but it's getting better I guess. They told me on Tuesday that they've never seen anyone bruise like I did. Yeah, well that's how things have been going for me lately.

Oh, Lady

The lady across the room, the screamer, is in quite a mood today. There are two people holding down her left arm while a third person gets her needles in the right. She lives in a nursing home and they won't help put the numbing cream on her. Sad.

My Foot

Pile it on! What else could go wrong? How about my foot? It hurts like crazy and I'm not sure why. It's in one particular spot on the top of my foot and it feels like it did when I had the stress fracture a couple of years ago. Guess I'll go get an x-ray.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I had some blood drawn yesterday for another possible match. We should hear something in three weeks.

Another New Medication

Everyone seems baffled at my blood pressure. This morning it was 190/110. And I'm already on three BP meds! So, today I start another. This one is a diuretic. I'm not sure how it works, but I'm anxious to see if it will make me pee.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I finally had my catheter removed yesterday. I had to take a day off of work, but I got to bring Alli to school and pick her up. I was told I could drive myself to the Access Center. They would not put me under, just numb the entrance site. I was so nervous. The catheter goes all of the way into my heart!

So, the doctor numbed it and the shots hurt. I didn't feel the actual removal of the catheter, but it had been in for so long that the tissue around it had attached itself directly to the catheter. So the doctor had to do alot of cutting and snipping. He said the site usually doesn't heal really nice. It's usually an ugly scar. But he said he'd do a bit of plastic surgery to "keep [me] looking pretty." They don't normally worry about it with their elderly patients.

But all the pulling and snipping left me in pain. I had a hard time sleeping because I couldn't get comfortable. Hopefully the pain won't last long. Tylenol is crap.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Another Possible Match

Another person from school is getting tested. We both have appointments on Monday for the initial test. This is the one that takes 3 weeks or so to get the results.

I'd like to think that if I had a FAMILY member in this situation that I'd step up and get tested. But I guess you never know until you are faced with the decision yourself...

Starting to feel sorry for myself again. Things were looking so good.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bad News

Well, he's diabetic. It's for sure. Jason has to take medicine two times a day to help increase his insulin levels. No shots. We'll keep an eye on his blood pressure and cholesterol, too. Apparently people with diabetes usually die of heart disease. But as of right now his blood pressure is great. He had an EKG last week and that was good. The last time he had his cholesterol checked it was great, too. So we'll just count our blessings that we caught it early, before he had any symptoms.

Remember how I said that Anna saved my life? Guess that makes two of us. Angel.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Jason sees the doctor today. He had to fast after 9:00 last night. We had a BIG dinner. He's nervous, so am I. I think he still wants to donate. He said he's going to "fix" the diabetes and then donate. Don't think it works that way.

I thought I was here on the wrong day today. There were extra cars in the lot when I pulled up. And there was a lady being brought in on a bed which doesn't normally happen. Then another woman walked in and I didn't recognize her. I finally saw Ms. T, so I came in.

It turns out that Ms. Haddie has been in the hospital for two weeks and just returned today. She was in a bed because she needs some physical therapy to get her strength back. The other woman was her daughter. She came in to get Ms. Haddie set up and to feed her some yogurt. Ms. Haddie is 89 years old.

Heart Day

Yesterday I had an echo of my heart. How appropriate since it was "heart day." Results to come soon.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Jason made an appointment to see our family doctor on Tuesday morning. They told him to fast for 12 hours, but he doesn't have to do a 3-hour test this time. I suppose he may have to do another one of those if this test comes back positive. I'm relieved that he's going to get this figured out.

Moving Forward

Now that we're starting the donor search over, I'm going to talk to my doctor about home dialysis. If we do the one that I want to do, it would require another surgery to get a catheter placed in my abdomen. But then I could just hook up to a machine and dialyze while I sleep. I would do it every night, but at least I could lead a pretty normal daytime life.


If Jason really is diabetic then he'll need to change his diet. I've decided that if you take all of the things that I can eat and line them up next to all the things he can eat...you'll find very few matches. We may never eat a common meal again. Great.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Two Sick Parents

Jason has diabetes. The results weren't even close to normal. We don't know if it's type 1 ore type 2. He needs to see our regular doctor to figure that out.

The nurses here aren't convinced that the labs ran the test correctly. One suggests that he has the test run again. He has had no symptoms and no family history and he's not obese.

I need him to get this figured out so that the girls will have one healthy parent. I'm worried about him.

This was a deal-breaker.


Grrr! No news yet. Jason isn't used to getting tests done, so he didn't ask how long we'd have to wait. He said he'd call later today. We'll see what they say.


With bigger needles comes faster blood flow. And when I left on Tuesday I felt terrible. My blood was getting cleaned faster than normal. It really wore me out. They lowered the flow today because I said something about how bad I felt. The nurses can't believe I can go at a flow of 450 for 4 hours. I'm just so tiny!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Week And Then..

We're using the largest needles today and the highest blood flow. It's going well so far! And the head nurse said, "Let's give it a week then we'll get your catheter out." Super! I can't wait! Anna has started grabbing it if I'm wearing a tank top. The last thing I need is for her to pull it out. Could you imagine?

Jason's Tests

I feel terrible. He had to go through alot. On Sunday he collected his urine. On Monday he had to fast before going to the hospital. His tests started at 8 am, so he wasn't too worried about getting hungry. That is until they told him he had to do the 3 hour glucose test. Those of us who have been pregnant may know what I'm talking about. You have to drink this orange yucky sweet stuff and get your blood taken every half hour for 3 hours. I wouldn't normally feel sorry for him since I had to do the test when I was pregnant with Alli, but he is doing all of this for me. That's love.

Jason also had an EKG (which was normal) and a chest x-ray. I suppose this is it. The sugar test is going to be the one to wait for and then we'll know. More waiting.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Food I Miss

I know it's not a dialysis day, but I started to compile a list of foods that I miss. I thought I'd share it. We can call it my "MUST Have After Surgery" list. Here goes:
1. Chocolate Malt from UDF
2. Coke
3. Peanuts
4. Sharp Cheddar Cheese on Crackers
5. Milk
6. Yogurt
7. Snickers
8. Beer
9. Pizza
These are all of the things that are terrible for me and that I'm avoiding. I miss them.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Very Nice

Ms. T is about 600 years old. But today she offered to help in any way we need when we have surgery. So nice. She won't stop talking to me today. She's half way across the room and doesn't talk that loud, so I'm just nodding and smiling. I hope she goes to sleep soon.

Latest Appointment

My appointment on Thursday was with my kidney doctor. He got a call from my cardiologist and that's why he wanted to see me right away. My blood pressure is out of control and it's putting a strain on my heart. So he decided to double one of my current medications and we have a plan if it doesn't improve in the next 10 days. We'll double it one more time and then we'll add another medication if that doesn't work in another 10 days. That would be my 4th blood pressure medication. Before May my blood pressure had always been normal to low. It's crazy what broken kidneys can do to your body.

Guest Speaker

One of the science teachers at school mentioned in passing that he'd like me to come talk to his classes when he teaches about kidneys. I have to find out what he wants me to talk about. Does he want me to tell my story or have a Power Point and "teach" about kidney function? Should be fun, though.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Possible Issue

Well, it couldn't be easy for us. Jason's physical was generally fine, but there was a possible issue. They found glucose in his urine. So that could mean one of two things: It could be no big deal, or it could mean he has diabetes. They say that a urine test for diabetes isn't a very good test, so on Monday he has to fast before going in for his other tests and they will draw some blood. Until then we just sit and worry about him. He has no other symptoms of diabetes.

And, yes, if he's diabetic it's a deal breaker. We start the search over again.

To The Doctor

My kidney doctor's office called this week to set up an appointment. No big deal, right? But his assistant said I need to come in TODAY. She said he's worried about my blood pressure...and probably about my weight, too. I'm worried now. So today I get off of dialysis, go to work for two classes and have a friend cover my 7th bell so I can get to his office by 2:45. Crazy day.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bigger Needles

Yep, we're using bigger needles today. I was afraid they would hurt, but I guess I did an okay job with my cream. Plus, the lady across the unit didn't show up today. So, no screaming. That's always nice. And since the needles are larger they can set my blood flow higher. That means my blood will get cleaner faster and maybe my time can get cut down. That would be amazing!

It's a good thing that at least one person didn't show up today. When I pulled in there was only one car here, so I knew they were short staffed. They took us in late because several techs said they couldn't make it in. I didn't think the roads were that bad, but school is on a 2-hour delay.


Jason gets a physical today. It's with a nurse practitioner at the Kidney and Hypertension Center. She happens to be my nephrologist's wife. Jason has never had a female doctor before, so he's a little nervous. But he'll be fine.