Monday, April 12, 2010

April 2010

Don't know if I can continue this blog, but think I will try and salvage it. My poor mind just doesn't want to function on anything. This week has been rather rough. Thought I started out with either a virus or a touch of food poison, then as the week wore on, I had no desire to eat whatsoever. Therefore, you know that classifies me as SICK! I've eaten very little, mostly cereal and yogurt. I finally figured it out - took only a week. The Bactrim they gave me for a possible uti has done a number on my stomach/gastrointestinal tract. (Oh yeah, I remember them saying something about double strength. oi) Anything I eat causes distress. No energy. cramping. I'm so tired of fighting something ALL THE TIME! I felt better than this before the transplant. If I could be assured that it never gets better than this, I'd gladly go back to where I was . . . on dialysis. That is almost blasphemy to all those kidney patients waiting with anticipation to get "the call." So many think transplant is the magic answer. Not necessarily so. My own daughter got a transplant two weeks ago. Everybody's situation is different. I'm glad my daughter got hers and hope she does well with it. As for me . . . . . . ? I don't know.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Jan. 2, 2010

I'm not sure there's a good reason to even continue to blog. Seems like an activity in futility. A whole new year is started and I haven't figured out where the last one went. However, it is good sometimes to be able to read back over the posts and see where I've come from, good or bad, and see a little of where I am going, good or bad.

So, I am starting the year with tiredness, a slight sore throat, a desire for something different but have no great hopes of achieving much. That comes with the tiredness though.

Hopefully I'll get back in the swing of things after I've posted a few times.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

August Already!

Gosh! I've really let the journaling go by the wayside this summer. I've been totally deplete of energy, and had lots of joint pain. The dr. said my feet were swelling because of some med I'm taking.

Also, suggested I do a sleep study, that not getting the right kind of sleep could cause the fatigue. So, as I thought about it, yes, I've been going to bed later than usual. But I have to get up at 9:00 to take my meds, so I might not be getting enough restorative sleep. I KNOW, staying in bed til 9:00 may sound like a really long time, but it really isn't if you have stayed up really late. I have the sleep disorder related to fibromyalgia and if I don't get enough of the right kind of sleep, it really takes a toll on the body, and increases my pain. Being the analytical person that I am, I finally decided that this was causing my fatigue.

So, I plan to get myself to bed earlier and see if it produces the desired results. There is no need for expensive tests if I can figure out the cause of my problem. And don't get hysterical, I don't "diagnose and treat" all my ailments. Just when common sense suggests something that might help and can do no harm. I don't see going to bed earlier doing any harm, do you?

Along with physical fatigue, I've had brain fatigue. If you've ever had it, you'll know what I mean. It's a tiredness that is not fun. You can't explain it, you can't treat it with specific medication, you don't just bounce back with a nap, it affects your life in every aspect. And it brings me lower than low. Enough said.

Friday, May 29, 2009


I emailed my dr. yesterday to see if he had my results. He said he got them today and that they were clear. Told me to try orthodic stockings for my swelling feet. Yipeee!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I'm still waiting to hear from my ultrasound. My feet still get really swollen by night time, but the swelling in my arm seems to be lessoning. ~Later

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Day before yesterday was my appt. at Vanderbilt. My creatinine was 1.06! We talked about several things and then I told him I had some swelling. My ankles and my right arm. He wanted to do an untrasound (venus doppler) but they didn't have an opening then. They called and asked if I could take one locally and I gave her my general physician's name and number and they called and got me set up for the test tomorrow, (Friday). My feet are swelling even more. The dr. thought I might have stenosis (narrowing of a vein). Whatever it is, I hope it is easily fixed. Seems like it's going to be something all the time. But then, it was something in life all the time before I had kidney failure. :) So we just do what we've gotta do, and keep on going. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart

I've been having a difficult time lately. No energy, no motivation, just don't feel good, allergy/sinus headache, ears stopped up and severe pain in feet, knees, hip and lower back (most joints). Well, you might say, what's the problem? I've been trying to figure it out. I've considered everything from rejection to arthritis to who knows.

Had several days recently that I had to be up somewhat early and it's hard for me to get going in the morning. Sometimes I've found it helpful to only take one amitriptyline at night and I can wake up easier. The amitriptyline is used to enable me to attain stage 4 sleep which is the restful and restorative sleep. If you don't attain stage 4 sleep, you may sleep the night through but you won't feel like you slept at all. It's that "feel like I've been run over by a truck" feeling. This is one of my major difficulties with fibromyalgia. Stay up all night for three nights in a row and you will understand the feeling.

We've been dwelling on the kidney transplant and the balancing of everything from that point of view that I haven't thought a lot about any other problems. Finally, the light came on last night when my hubby was bringing me my meds and he asked if I wanted one or two ametriptyline. I said, "TWO! I'm not even going to get up tomorrow!" That's when the light came on.

Emily and I went shopping yesterday and were excited about finally having a whole day to ourselves. I only took one pill so I could get up and I had done that several days in a row. I was tired when I got up but expected things to pick up as the day went on, but it didn't. It just got worse and worse and worse. Just let me die! So, I took the two pills, went to bed earlier than usual, and I think maybe I did die for awhile. No, I didn't sleep late. Woke up early for me and couldn't go back to sleep so I got up. I am feeling better, however, and know with a few more such nights I will be as good as new. I consider a lesson learned. It's time I took things in hand. (No snide remarks from the peanut gallery, please.) Sigh! It's going to be a good day. ~Later

Friday, May 8, 2009

Kidney Walk 2009

1. Emily and Jessica

2. - Ann -

3. Katie and Grandma, Banner Competition 3rd place.

4. Ann, Carey, Dr. Barr

5. Becky, Jessica, Ann, William, Jennifer, Elizabeth

6. Ann and Becky

7. Dick & Becky, William, Jonathan, Jessica, Ann, William, Jennifer, Delaney,Scott, Elizabeth, Libby; Katie, Janie and Chloe

8. Dicky, Becky, Jonathan, Jessica, William, Ann, William, Jennifer, Scott, Emily, Delaney, Libby, Katie, Janie, Chloe

9. Grandma and Chloe

10. Janie, Katie, Grandma, Chloe

11. Ms. Ann and Emily

12. Jessica and Janie

13. Banner

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I'm Ba-aaaaack!

It's been awhile, hasn't it? We finally had the Kidney Walk Sunday afternoon (May 3). The whole weekend was quite a deal. First we had a family reunion on Saturday and then the Kidney Walk on Sunday.

The Walk was kind of a whirl. We worked very hard and it showed. I was surprised to learn that our team was the top team fundraisers, I was the individual top fundraiser, and my dialysis center, DaVita,Inc, was the top dialysis center fundraiser. They also had a banner contest this year and I got third place in that. Considering I spent half the night before the walk getting it done I was quite surprised to even place.

Goody bags and tee shirts, prizes, food, old friends, and playground for the kids, I think everyone had a good time. When we first got there all the kidney patients, whether dialysis or transplant, received a kidney-shaped medallion with the Kidney Walk emblem and the words "kidney Champions" below it.

It has been very stormy with lots of rain for a week and looked quite stormy May 3. Although everything was wet, the weather held off for the whole walk and it was quite nice.

I don't know if I will be allowed to be a team captain or not next year, at least for the center, since I'm no longer a patient there. I'll have to check into that.
Here it is Tues. and I'm still somewhat wiped out. It's good to have one project finished and ready for a new one. ~Later

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dr.'s Appointment

Yesterday was a long day. My appt. was at 10:45 and it was 11:30 before I was called back. The nurse took my vitals and put me in a room. The doctor didn't come in until almost 1:00. We have never had to wait more than a few minutes before. He did apologize and said if I'd make my appointments earlier in the day, the wait would be shorter. He doesn't rush people through and as long as they have questions he stays with them. I like that. I don't mind the waiting if I know that I'm gonna get the same courtesy. I try to have my questions written down so we can go right through them. Otherwise, I'll forget what I wanted to ask. It's very frustrating to go through the whole appt. routine, then leave and realize you forgot half the questions you were going to ask.

The dr. was pleased with my overall progress. Renewed a prescription. Added zyrtec for my allergy/sinus problem. Up until this time I've been seeing a doctor every week. He said this time I've been reprieved and come back in a month! Of course, I can contact them if I have any problems. I am very, very pleased with the whole results.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Vanderbilt today

Well, these last two posts are a little whacko. Sometime when I have the time I'll try to figure it out and keep one that works and delete everything else.

I have an appt. today at Vanderbilt. Wow, when I think of some of the past appts. and see where I am today, I praise God for the passing of time. There is nothing left that needs taking out. PTL! At my last appt. with the urologist, the dr. asked if I had anything to say, or comments to make. I told him I did have one, that I thought anything they put in you while you were asleep ought to be taken out while you were asleep. I still stand by that statement. LOL

Most of my pain from CIPS is gone. My right foot and leg gives me some problems. Incision is looking good. Let's see, I need to build my strength badly. I feel like a marshmallow on a hot day. I'm a little shaky all the time. Emily has me in training for the Kidney Walk. You'd think I was running a marathon! Bless her little heart! (IWUE) ~Later

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Another Doctor's Appointment

Yesterday was my last appointment with one of the doctors I've been seeing. And I am finally rid of the 29 staples they used to close the incision. Wonderful relief!!

I had visions of me journaling all the details of my journey through transplant, but somehow I've found it too tedious, yes, even for me. So, I'm managing to hit the high spots and hope that is helpful. All my days seems to run together. I have been able to see some improvement each week and that's very encouraging.

Yesterday after my appt. my dear sweet hubby took us to the Olive Garden. M--m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-! One of my favorites! Didn't have time to do any shopping though. We just barely made it home in time to go to church.

The kidney walk is in about two weeks. I guess I'm prepared, but not as much as I would like to be. The surgery put me behind, but everybody has done well so I'm not complaining. Hope you will support the National Kidney Foundation wherever you live. It's a good cause.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

I never have anything simple.

CIPS is the diagnosis of my severe foot and leg pains I've been having since last weekend. I googled it and this is the best at explaining it in fairly plain English.
Calcineurin-inhibitor induced pain syndrome (CIPS): a severe disabling complication after organ transplantation.

The reduction of cyclosporine- or tacrolimus trough levels and the administration of calcium channel blockers led to relief of pain. The Calcineurin-inhibitor Induced Pain Syndrome (CIPS) is a rare but severe side effect of cyclosporine or tacrolimus and is accurately diagnosed by its typical presentation, magnetic resonance imaging and bone scans. Incorrect diagnosis of the syndrome will lead to a significant reduction of life quality in patients suffering from CIPS.

Bone pain after transplantation is a frequent complication that can be caused by several diseases. Treatment strategies depend on the correct diagnosis of the pain.

Now, in my own words. I have a deficiency of vitamin D and calcium in my system so it is drawing them from my bones which causes severe pain. The dr. put me on a supplement of calcium and vitamin D and the pain has begun diminishing. Right now the majority of pain is only in my right foot and right leg. I hope it keeps diminishing and will soon be healed. When it does I may just go absolutely and positively bonkers. Ya-hooooo!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Not Fun Stuff

I've had an interesting, albeit painful, week. Starting during the weekend, I began experiencing pain all over my body; joints, muscles, feet, hands, elbows, knees, thighs, you name it. At first it was kind of like a good case of fibromyalgia flair up, perhaps caused by the weather. But, as time went on, I was noticing that nothing helped. I tried tylenol first with no results, and then I tried my pain meds from the surgery. It helped some but did not get rid of it, nor has it gotten any better the days hence.

I checked my notebook and it said to call the Vanderbilt team if I had pain or flu-like symtoms. I've never had the actual flu, but from all the descriptions I've heard, this would qualify. The nurse I spoke with said she had never gotten symptoms like this and didn't know what I should do. She called the dr. and he said to take 1 or 2 pain pills every 4-6 hours. He preferred one pill every six hours. So, that is where I am. I've also tried being very still and relaxed in the recliner and even tried using the heating pad.

I went to sleep in the chair and thought I could get some sleep, but later I awoke thinking it was early morning. It was early all right and still dark out. I got up and looked at the clock. It said 1:05 and I thought the clock must have stopped. I looked at a couple more clocks and they also said 1:05. I had not slept long at all. I'm anxious to get to my appt. tomorrow and see if we can figure out what's going on. I'm hoping and praying that I can get the drainage tube removed tomorrow. arrrrgh! Besides my aches and pains, my hands and feet have been cramping! I'm so ready to be healed. ~Later

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Day 11 - Five Dialysis Treatments not taken!

How are you all doing today? It's a pretty fair day for me.
Yesterday was really tough. I had swelling over the surgery
site, redness and irritation of the incision site plus the
drain access was very irritated and hurt all day. I finally
kept eliminating causes and finally decided the tube needed
to be anchored. It could move freely so every time I moved,
it was too, and basically digging in the same place.

Anyway, I built a bandage around it that would keep it from
moving. Also used some neosporin on it. Yes, I even called
Vanderbilt to the neph on call and he wasn't too excited
since I had no temperature. I very rarely get temps. Anyway,
I thought if he wasn't excited, I wasn't either. Did what I
could to be comfortable and I'm better this morning.

I'll be so GLAD when I get this drainage tube out. I will
feel so FREE!!!! I'm so anxious to just heal. What will I do
with my days when they are all free!!! I've planned on Tues.
and Thurs. so long I will have to get used to it. I'll have
to learn how to be a normal human being. LOL Well, maybe not.

~My bailout was nailed to a tree.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wonders never cease!

Oh. My. Gosh. Folks! Wonders indeed never cease. As you have been reading here I have been seriously considering going on peritoneal dialysis. I was well on my way to preparing for it. My joints, etc. have been giving me so much pain from lying in the dialysis recliner. I had my mind made up. I was ready. And then it happened. On Friday 13th, 7:00 AM we got a phone call that told us we had a kidney. What? A kidney? Yes, come and get it! So William and I got up and started throwing stuff together and headed for Vanderbilt Medical Center. We got there in good time, but then it was hurry up and wait. It was 6:00 PM when they wheeled me into surgery and 9:00 PM when they wheeled me out. Now I'm the proud owner of three kidneys! It's been kind of rough at times but I know that each day that passes is one day closer to healing. I don't have the energy to sit here for very long so the details will have to come later. By the way, surgery was Friday night, and I came home on Monday afternoon! I'm still pretty much in a daze.

Til next time,

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What do my kidneys do?

Your kidneys are bean-shaped organs, each about the size of your fist. They are located near the middle of your back, just below the rib cage. The kidneys are sophisticated reprocessing machines. Every day, your kidneys process about 200 quarts of blood to sift out about 2 quarts of waste products and extra water. The waste and extra water become urine, which flows to your bladder through tubes called ureters. Your bladder stores urine until you go to the bathroom.

The wastes in your blood come from the normal breakdown of active tissues and from the food you eat. Your body uses the food for energy and self-repair. After your body has taken what it needs from the food, waste is sent to the blood. If your kidneys did not remove these wastes, the wastes would build up in the blood and damage your body.

The actual filtering occurs in tiny units inside your kidneys called nephrons. Every kidney has about a million nephrons. In the nephron, a glomerulus—which is a tiny blood vessel, or capillary—intertwines with a tiny urine-collecting tube called a tubule. A complicated chemical exchange takes place, as waste materials and water leave your blood and enter your urinary system.

At first, the tubules receive a combination of waste materials and chemicals that your body can still use. Your kidneys measure out chemicals like sodium, phosphorus, and potassium and release them back to the blood to return to the body. In this way, your kidneys regulate the body’s level of these substances. The right balance is necessary for life, but excess levels can be harmful.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

No Title

I was finally called. They are going to send me some information, video, etc. and then I will call them back and make an appointment to have a conference with them. I will be compiling questions I need answered and we'll go from there.

I'm in such a mood. ~Later

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dialysis went fine today. They only kept me, and everyone else, on the machine for two hours because of the weather. Snow and/or ice has been predicted. Some of them almost had to spend the night the last time, so they wanted to get everyone through a quick session and sent home. I was so awfully disappointed that I was deprived of a whole hour sitting there.:)

A PD nurse was supposed to call me Monday or Tuesday but nothing so far. I'm waiting on three calls at present: (1) the PD nurse, (2) my glasses from Wal-Mart, and (3) my negatives put on CD, also Wal-Mart. The wheels that be . . . grind slowly.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Royal Rant

Well, okay. . . . here it is running right through January of the new year 2009. What has changed? I'm not sure. I've been out of sorts which I always seem to be of one kind or another. Sometimes it's hard to clearly define.

Daughter, Becky, who just recently started dialysis at age 42 is doing great! I'm very proud of her. She chose to have peritoneal dialysis as it afforded her the time to continue home-schooling her boys.

I don't know why I didn't give peritoneal a thought. I think it just seemed foreign to me, and hemodialysis is what my sister was on. But, after being on it for almost 2 years, it is beginning to get very old.

I made it fairly good while my access was in my left arm. I could still use my right arm to do things and I did quite a bit of hand sewing. But less than a year out, my fistula quit working and I had to have one put in my right arm.

So, what are the things you can do without using your right hand/arm? Watch TV. Read. Sleep. Pray. Very sloppy crosswords. Look out the window at the parking lot. Watch the nurses and patients. Are you getting excited yet?

I've dealt with a lot of depression in my life. It's part of my personality. Sometimes it gets me down, especially in the winter months with shortened days and no sunshine. You can see how this in conjunction with dialysis could prove not to be an encouraging thing for me.

All this to say this: I'm toying with the idea of changing to peritoneal dialysis. Just thinking about not having to go to the clinic and "hook up" for 3 hours, three days a week puts a longing in my heart. I wanna stay home! I wanna play! I want my time to be "my time."

Then being the analytical person that I am, I start thinking about the reality of it. Am I disiplined enough to do the exchanges as regularly scheduled? I'm a procrastinator. Time gets away from me big time. But, I would live in the hope of being able to use a cycler while I sleep. That way my days would be free! FREE!

I'm learning now that they say that PD (peritoneal dialysis) gives the best results. More level blood work results with fewer fluid and dietary restrictions. Several professionals I've talk with says that would be their chose of treatment.

I'm analyzing it to death. What if I go through all that and it doesn't work, or I don't like it? What if I go thorough all that and can't use a cycler? What if, what if, what if? Groan . . . . ! None of this is my choice. I think that is the problem. I HAVE TO DO SOMETHING whether I want to or not. And none of the choices are "MY" choices. I'm just trying to play the cards dealt to me. Sigh! I know, I know. I'm just butting my head up against the wall. I think I just needed to vent.

Any suggestions from my adoring public? LOL Until next time . . . . .

How Hemodialysis Works

In hemodialysis, your blood is allowed to flow, a few ounces at a time, through a special filter that removes wastes and extra fluids. The clean blood is then returned to your body. Removing the harmful wastes and extra salt and fluids helps control your blood pressure and keep the proper balance of chemicals like potassium and sodium in your body.

One of the biggest adjustments you must make when you start hemodialysis treatments is following a strict schedule. Most patients go to a clinic” - a dialysis center ”three times a week for 3 to 5 or more hours each visit. For example, you may be on a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule or a Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday schedule. You may be asked to choose a morning, afternoon, or evening shift, depending on availability and capacity at the dialysis unit. Your dialysis center will explain your options for scheduling regular treatments.

Researchers are exploring whether shorter daily sessions, or longer sessions performed overnight while the patient sleeps, are more effective in removing wastes. Newer dialysis machines make these alternatives more practical with home dialysis. But the Federal Government has not yet established a policy to pay for more than three hemodialysis sessions a week.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

It's all over but the shouting . . . . . . .2008, that is!

Yes, Christmas is over, and as usual, we made it through it just fine. That's one lesson I have learned well, that this, too, shall pass. Often it passes into something worse, so you should never complain with the way things are. LOL

I've not been blogging a lot lately. One, the busy-ness of the holidays; and two, I've been trying to do the facebook thing. It's okay, but much too cluttered for me to keep up with. I got a comment on my blog today that was a real encouragment to me. "The Mom" said she had read my whole blog! She is either very brave or a real glutton. But, it does my heart good to think it has really been of benefit to someone else. I hope I'll be able to blog with a little fresher outlook during the next year.

Things have been a little unsettled at dialysis. A new dialysis center will be opening here in the Spring, but not Davita. Several of the staff has quit and will be working at the new place. So we have 4 or 5 new people running things now, and you don't know for sure who is who, and you can only hope that they know what's what.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


It's been awhile since I've written. A lot going on, and I just didn't feel like writing. Dialysis hasn't created any problems lately except the usual boredom, and depression. With daughter, Becky, preparing for dialysis at age 42, it's been an adjustment for me. Me on dialysis was okay. A relief in a way, I'd been expecting it for 25 years. Then there's the daylight savings time making it dark sometimes at 4:30. It closes in on me. It's been rainy and foggy and cold. I can't motivate myself. There's so much that needs doing. I'd just like to crawl into a hole for a week or so. That would be soooo helpful.

Well, now that I have probably cheered you up royally, I will leave.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Well, today was momenteous. First of all, the lady that usually sits next to me wasn't there today. Then I learned that the lady passed away over the weekend. That's 5 or 6 that has died since I've been taking dialysis. Depressing.

Also today, I was taken off 11 minutes early. Both feet were really cramping. I usually can make it to the end of my time, especially when they ease up on the machine (drawing fluid off). Not today. I was trying my best to get them to ease off but they just kept going, so I told the nurse I was about to have a fit! I never say anything except to ask how much time I have left. So, she said she would just take me off. That's fine with me if I can't get it to ease off. I feel like I cheated or something, but, Hey!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

An Interesting Bit of Information

I have been having sinus problems for ...........well, actually, all my life. It's just a part of me. Sometimes it gets out of hand and I have to do the antibiotics stuff. This last time, I keep having problems and can't really get rid of it. Also, fluid behind my ears, and the glands in my throat swollen. First dr.'s visit I got a shot of antibiotics and a Z-pak. Already was using a nose spray. The sinus/stuffy head got better, but it did nothing for the throat glands and ears. Next came a round of augmentin. Didn't work. I've just finished with a round of (sp?) medrol dose pack (methylprednisolone). Still no affect. I mentioned it at dialysis to the neph. nurse practitioner and she said an ENT would probably be next, with sinus surgery. I told her, "I don't think so!" And she made the comment that someone with chronic sinus problems probably wouldn't do well with immuno-supressants. So maybe it was a good thing I didn't get the transplant. Rats! rats! Rats! RATS!!!! I am now on Allegra and that seems to be keeping it moving, which is a far sight better than trying to dry it up!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Something New

Well, I've done something recently that I've never done before. I got a flu shot and a pneumonia shot. Not at the same time. I had never been immunized before. Didn't really wanna be now but felt I should since they frown on giving you a transplant and killing your immune system if you haven't been immunized. My arm is very tender and sore. Oh well. ~Later

Friday, October 10, 2008

Yesterday William and I went to Florence to stay with the boys while Becky went for her doctor's appointment. She has PKD the same as me. But she wasn't expecting to hear what they told her. She has 16% function. That means she is at the threshold of having to go on dialysis and must be making plans. Somehow, it was a lot easier to know I had to do this than to know that my child has to do it. There is really no way to be prepared, even when we know. It is always out in the future somewhere. She has the young boys (age 6 and 7 1/2) that she home schools and that is of great concern to her. I'm grateful that I had my girls at a young age, and they were grown before I had to deal with all of this. Things will be fine. It just takes some time to deal with it all. Becky has a strong faith in the Lord and I know she will be okay. And she has a great church family in addition to her 'family' family for support. Yep, it's going to be alright.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Results . . . . . .

I heard from Vanderbilt yesterday. They said, and I quote, "your donor has been declined." Not that the donor declined, but that she had been declined. You can glean whatever you may from that and you know as much as I do. They tell you nothing because of the donor's privacy. So there it is. And I'm okay with it, I really am. I was beginning to have doubts about it because they just weren't getting back to me. The LORD is still in charge, and if He says I don't need this one, then I don't want it. I'm still trusting Him for what is best for me. At least, now I can get back to my everyday life. Yeah! ~Later

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Transplant Update

It's been two weeks since I was called and told I had a live kidney donor.
I called Vanderbilt this morning . It's my case coordinator's day off. So
we chased around and they started trying to find out what they could.
The girl was actually very nice. My labs were compatible with the donor (and they called it a "her" so I won'tbe growing a beard or anything). The donor, however, has not completed all her testing. We have also chased my mammogram around the world but they finally decided I'm okay. Said if I didn't hear from them, call back in a week or so. Big sigh!

I'm trying to be very, very patient. (Excuse me a moment while I scream.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


My dr. gave me a shot of antibiotics and Rx for a ZPak. Said I had sinus infection, fluid behind my ear drums, swollen lymph glands. She was excited about the transplant. Said let her know when it was set and she'd be praying for me. I love my doctor! She is so cool.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Prayers Needed!

I need your prayers. I'm trying to get a sore throat and sinus thing. I have a dr.'s appointment in the morning!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Well, it was an exciting day at dialysis. I received the kit yesterday and took it into the center today. I had not told anyone there that I had gotten a call. I asked the receptionist if she could take care of this (the box) for me and she asked what it was. I said I'm suppose to send blood samples to Vanderbilt, and she says we send samples to them every month. I said, no, this is for my transplant, and she says, but we send them samples every month for that. I said Nooo, Angie, I got a kidney. This is so I can get my kidney. It finally dawned on her what I was saying and she screamed! Then she was screaming to the whole center that I had gotten a kidney. Then she told everybody who came into the center. She was so excited! I'm a pretty laid back person, but I told her I was shaking after her display of excitement! It was so funny. Then she called everybody that wasn't working today. Everybody was very nice and wished me luck, etc. I kind of hated to go in and say, "Hey, I gotta kidney!" when there are so many who have been there longer than me, and some that aren't candidates for a transplant. But they were all very gracious.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Not Yet . . . .

I realized after a comment that I didn't give a time frame. They are going to mail the kit to me to have my blood taken and then Fed-Exed to Vanderbilt for the test. If all goes well, we're looking at about a two week time period. They are also checking a previous mammogram to compare a more recent one to it. They didn't say why, so I'm not going there unless they tell me to. We've played a lot of phone tag yesterday and today but I think we finally got some stuff settled.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Guess What?!!!!!!!!

I got a call this morning that was totally unexpected. I don't care how much you know it might happen, can happen, will someday happen, it's still surreal when it happens. No, I didn't win a sweepstake or the lottery. But, I got a call from the Vanderbilt transplant office. They said I may have a kidney!!! Let me explain.

This person was tested to see if they could be a donor for someone waiting on the transplant list. They were not a match. So the person told them they would still give their kidney and to put them in the computer. That's when they found that I was a match. And a live donor at that! I had thought I was destined for a cadaver donor if at all. I left it in God's hands. I did not know how or for what to pray for, so I left it in His hands, whether a live or cadaver donor, or stay on dialysis. I've just tried to take it all a day at a time. And then this morning, I got the surprise phone call! There is one more test before it's a sure thing. That's where they will mix some of my blood with the donor's blood.

If you have anti-human antibodies in your blood, they may react with the tissue type of a kidney donor, which means that you would not be able to receive a kidney from that donor. The antibodies in your blood would attack and damage the kidney immediately after transplantation. This is called "hyperacute rejection" which usually results in loss of the transplanted kidney. For more information check out this website:

This is possibly the start of a whole new journey. It, too, will have to be taken a day at a time. I'm excited, nervous, scared, anxious, ALL OF THE ABOVE! I don't know how I'll feel if it all falls through, but I know it will be okay either way. It will still be in God's hands.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Hubby's in the Hospital

William had not felt well for several days. It's not unusual for him to have bouts of discomfort from osteo-arthritis and other maladies. But, he commented Friday night that he didn't know why his leg kept hurting. Well, that rang a bell and I asked if he thought he could have a blood clot. It had crossed his mind and we decided to get him to the emergency room. It wasn't long until he was sure that's what it was and tests confirmed it. Two blood clots in his right leg and one in his lung. William has had blood clots before, always after surgery. This time is independent of surgery. And there's nothing to do but wait. Frustrating.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Test results

Last Thursday I had a day of tests. A mammogram, a bone density and a sonagram on the carotid artery. Got the results from the sonagram this morning. Possible stenosis (narrowing) on the right side. Appointment with the surgeon on Wed. The same one that did my last fistula surgery. He only sees patients on Wed. as he is in surgery the rest of the time.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

August 19 - by 8 minutes

Dialysis is still trudging along. I have been having a stuffy head, but it hasn't been bad. But this morning I awoke to a "stopped up" head. Enough to make me a little woozie. And my hearing seems to have an echo. Actually it's more like hearing someone else's phone conversation, part speech, part buzz.

Thursday I have a day of tests; mammogram, bone density scan and aortic scan. Oh goody.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

It's 1:00 AM . . . .

And I'm fighting the fact that I need to be in bed. Sleeping seems such a waste of time. If I could get as much done from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM that I'd like to do from 10:00 PM til whatever, I'd be in really good shape. But life just doesn't arrange itself to suit my disposition. I'm a night owl. Not a morning person doesn't even begin to cover it. Anyway . . .

Dialysis is still going well. No problems except boring, tiring, etc. A nurse asked me today if I was feeling better. They have been giving me doses of iron and vitamin D. I haven't noticed that I've been feeling any better, but maybe not as bad as I do sometimes. Does that make sense? My weeks seem like they are about 3 days long.

I guess it is a good thing that I don't seem to have anything to write about. But, that's the way it is.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Hello, World!

It has been awhile since I've journaled anything about dialysis, and that's because everything has been going boringly well. No problems. No surprizes! And that's a good thing.

I've gone totally simplistic. They sparingly tape the needles once they are in and I hold or allow the tubes to lay free. (I am very cautious to keep them from being caught or tangled). It seems that any restriction at all creates discomfort of some kind. When it is time to come off, I hold the site myself, as I've posted before. The top site is usually good with the 'super stopper sphere' they use. (Similar to a cotton ball only it's made of rayon and something.) The lower site is good after I've held it 3-4 minutes. I change to a bandaid and I'm good to go. I do wait until the basic 15 minute waiting time is passed. Some day I may go ahead and leave. I've still not had one bleeding incident since I've been doing this.

One day one of the attendants was getting the stuff to take me off, and she had the clamps. I reminded her that I didn't use them and then commented on me messing with their routine. She said actually she had learned from it, and said they had recently had another patient that bled afterwards no matter how much they taped or what they tried. Then she remembered me, and used less pressure, less tape, etc. and she did fine. So, she learned that the same amount of pressure is not good for everyone.

An elderly friend of ours is on dialysis now, and I visit with him sometimes. He's in his 80's and is finding it difficult to be tied down so long. He has multiple health problems, a 3 in 1 heart monitor/pace maker thingy and diabetes, emphysema, and bronchitis and says he never has any pain. Very fortunate. His age and health prevents him from being eligible for a transplant. He says he is ready to go home.
For those who might not know, he's referring to heaven. It's not a morbid statement. It's the hope and peace of a christian. And I think he's looking forward to it. We tend to think on these things when we face our mortality.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I thought this worthy of a read.


This is an outstanding testimony from Tony Snow concerning
his fight with cancer. Commentator and broadcaster Tony Snow
announced that he had colon cancer in 2005. Following surgery
and chemo-therapy, Snow joined the Bush Administration in
April 2006 as press secretary.
Unfortunately, on March 23, 2007, Snow, 51, a husband and
father of three, announced the cancer had reoccurred, with
tumors found in his abdomen-, leading to surgery in April,
followed by more chemotherapy. Snow went back to work in
the White House Briefing Room on May 30, but has resigned
since, "for economic reasons," and to pursue "other interests."

"Blessings arrive in unexpected packages, - in my case, cancer.
Those of us with potentially fatal diseases - and there are
millions in America today - find ourselves in the odd position
of coping with our mortality while trying to fathom God's will.
Although it would be the height of presumption to declare with
confidence "What It All Means", Scripture provides powerful
hints and consolations.

The first is that we shouldn't spend too much time trying to
answer the "why" questions : Why me? Why must people suffer?
Why can't someone else get sick? We can't answer such things,
and the questions themselves often are designed more to
express our anguish than to solicit an answer.

I don't know why I have cancer, and I don't much care. It
is what it is- a plain and indisputable fact. Yet even
while staring into a mirror darkly, great and stunning
truths begin to take shape. Our maladies define a
central feature of our existence: We are fallen. We are
imperfect. Our bodies give out.

But despite this -, or because of it-, God offers the
possibility of salvation and grace. We don't know how
the narrative of our lives will end, but we get to choose
how to use the interval between now and the moment we meet
our Creator face-to-face.

Second, we need to get past the anxiety. The mere thought
of dying can send adrenaline flooding through your system.
A dizzy, unfocused panic seizes you. Your heart thumps;
your head swims. You think of nothingness and swoon. You
fear partings; you worry about the impact on family and
friends. You fidget and get nowhere.

To regain footing, remember that we were born not into
death, but into life,- and that the journey continues
after we have finished our days on this earth. We accept
this on faith, but that faith is nourished by a conviction
that stirs even within many non believing hearts- an
intuition that the gift of life, once given, cannot be
taken away. Those who have been stricken enjoy the special
privilege of being able to fight with their might, main, and
faith to live-fully, richly, exuberantly -no matter how their
days may be numbered.

Third, we can open our eyes and hearts. God relishes surprise.
We want lives of simple, predictable ease-, smooth, even trails
as far as the eye can see, -but God likes to go off-road. He
provokes us with twists and turns. He places us in predicaments
that seem to defy our endurance and comprehension- and yet don't.
By His love and grace, we persevere. The challenges that make our
hearts leap and stomachs churn invariably strengthen our faith
and grant measures of wisdom and joy we would not experience

'You Have Been Called' Picture yourself in a hospital bed. The
fog of anesthesia has begun to wear away. A doctor stands at
your feet; a loved one holds your hand at the side. "It's
cancer," the healer announces. The natural reaction is to
turn to God and ask him to serve as a cosmic Santa. "Dear
God, make it all go away. Make everything simpler." But
another voice whispers: "You have been called." Your
quandary has drawn you closer to God, closer to those you
love, closer to the issues that matter-, and has dragged into
insignificance the banal concerns that occupy our "normal time."

There's another kind of response, although usually short-
lived-; an inexplicable shudder of excitement, as if a
clarifying moment of calamity has swept away everything
trivial and tinny, and placed before us the
challenge of important questions.

The moment you enter the Valley of the Shadow of Death,
things change. You discover that Christianity is not
something doughy, passive, pious, and soft. Faith may
be the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of
things not seen. But it also draws you into a world
shorn of fearful caution. The life of belief teems with
thrills, boldness, danger, shocks, reversals, triumphs,
and epiphanies. Think of Paul, traipsing through the
known world and contemplating trips to what must have
seemed the antipodes ( Spain ), shaking the dust from
his sandals, worrying not about the morrow, but only
about the moment.

There's nothing wilder than a life of humble virtue,
for it is through selflessness and service that God
wrings from our bodies and spirits the most we ever
could give, the most we ever could offer, and the
most we ever could do.

Finally, we can let love change everything. When
Jesus was faced with the prospect of crucifixion,
he grieved not for himself, but for us. He cried
for Jerusalem before entering the holy city. From
the Cross, he took on the cumulative burden of
human sin and weakness, and begged for forgiveness
on our behalf. We get repeated chances to learn
that life is not about us, that we acquire purpose
and satisfaction by sharing in God's love for others.
Sickness gets us partway there. It reminds us of our
limitations and dependence. But it also gives us a
chance to serve the healthy. A minister friend of
mine observes that people suffering grave affliction
often acquire the faith of two people, while loved
ones accept the burden of two people's worries and fears.

'Learning How to Live'. Most of us have watched friends
as they drifted toward God's arms not with resignation,
but with peace and hope. In so doing, they have taught
us not how to die, but how to live. They have emulated
Christ by transmitting the power and authority of love.

I sat by my best friend's bedside a few years ago and
saw the sting of cancer take him away. He kept at his
table a worn Bible and a 1928 edition of the Book of
Common Prayer. A shattering grief disabled his family,
many of his old friends, and at least one priest. Here
was a humble and very good guy, someone who apologized
when he winced with pain because he thought it made his
guest uncomfortable. He retained his equanimity and
good humor literally until his last conscious moment.
"I'm going to try to beat [this cancer]," he told me
several months before he died. "But if I don't, I'll
see you on the other side."

His gift was to remind everyone around him that even
though God doesn't promise us tomorrow, he does
promise us eternity, filled with life and love we
cannot comprehend, and that one can in the throes
of sickness point the rest of us toward timeless
truths that will help us weather future storms.

Through such trials, God bids us to choose: Do
we believe, or do we not? Will we be bold
enough to love, daring enough to serve, humble
enough to submit, and strong enough to acknowledge
our limitations? Can we surrender our concern in
things that don't matter so that we might devote
our remaining days to things that do?

When our faith flags, he throws reminders in our
way. Think of the prayer warriors in our midst.
They change things, and those of us who have been
on the receiving end of their petitions and inter-
cessions know it.

It is hard to describe, but there are times when
suddenly the hairs on the back of your neck stand
up, and you feel a surge of the Spirit. Somehow
you just know: Others have chosen, when talking
to the Author of all creation, to lift us up,
to speak of us!

This is love of a very special order. But so is
the ability to sit back and appreciate the wonder
of every created thing. The mere thought of death
somehow makes every blessing vivid, every happiness
more luminous and intense. We may not know how our
contest with sickness will end, but we have felt
the ineluctable touch of God.

What is man that Thou art mindful of him? We
don't know much, but we know this: No matter
where we are, no matter what we do, no matter how
bleak or frightening our prospects, each and
everyone of us who believe, each and every day,
lies in the same safe and impregnable place,
in the hollow of God's hand."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Donor kidneys removed with single bellybutton cut

CLEVELAND - Brad Kaster donated a kidney to his father this week, and he barely has a scar to show for it.

The kidney was removed through a single incision in his bellybutton, a surgical procedure Cleveland Clinic doctors say will reduce recovery time and leave almost no scarring.

"The actual incision point on me is so tiny I'm not getting any pain from it," Kaster, 29, said Wednesday. "I can't even see it."

Kaster was the 10th donor to have the procedure done at the Cleveland Clinic by Dr. Inderbir S. Gill and colleagues. The 11th was done Thursday. Gill said the technique could make kidney donations more palatable by sharply reducing recovery time.

More than 80,000 Americans are awaiting kidney transplants. Last year, there were about 13,300 kidney donors in the U.S., and about 45 percent were living donors, according to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.

The first 10 recipients and donors whose transplants used the single-incision navel procedure have done well, according to the researchers. They report on the first four patients in the August issue of the Journal of Urology.

Preliminary data from the first nine donors who had the bellybutton procedure showed they recovered in about just under a month, while donors who underwent the standard laparoscopic procedure with four to six "key hole" incisions took just longer than three months to recover.

The clinic says the return to work time for single-point donors is about 17 days, versus 51 for traditional multi-incision laparoscopic procedure.

"For me, that's huge so I can get back to work," said Kaster, a self-employed optometrist.

Patients of the new procedure were on pain pills less than four days on average, compared with 26 days for laparoscopic patients.

"This represents an advance, for the field of surgery in general," said Gill, who predicted the bellybutton entry would be used increasingly for major abdominal surgery in a "nearly scar-free" way.

"Will this decrease the disincentive to (kidney) donation? I think the answer is yes," Gill said.

Drs. Paul Curcillo and Stephanie King of Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia developed a single-incision technique and Curcillo was the first to use the method to remove a woman's gallbladder through her bellybutton in May 2007. They've since used it for a number of different kinds of surgery.

Curcillo said the bellybutton procedure "will definitely make things better" for the donor. "A donor is one of the most altruistic people you'll ever meet. He's giving his kidney up. So anything you can do to make it better for that patient, they deserve it," he said.

Laparoscopic surgery revolutionized the operating room more than 15 years ago, replacing long incisions with small cuts and vastly reducing pain and recovery time. Researchers are now exploring ways to eliminate scars by putting instruments through the body's natural openings like the mouth, nose and vagina to perform surgery.

The method used by the Cleveland Clinic takes advantage of the belly button to avoid a visible scar. Gill said the procedure was approved by the clinic's internal review board as an extension of its laparoscopic surgical work. He has begun training other surgeons on the procedure. It is not used to transplant the kidney into the receiving patient.

Dr. Louis R. Kavoussi, head of the Arthur Smith Institute for Urology of the North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System in New York and the co-author of an editorial in the journal, said the method needs to be studied to determine if patients fare better. "The reality is that nobody knows if this is an advance other than cosmetic," said Kavoussi.

On Thursday, Scott Bolender, 39, of Washington Court House, received a kidney taken from his niece, Chanda Calentine, by way of her bellybutton.

"I'm just looking forward to getting out of bed," Bolender said in a bedside interview Wednesday.

Bolender, the married father of six children, has been unable to work because of Wagner's disease, an autoimmune disease that attacks the kidneys. He has been undergoing lifesaving dialysis since 2005.

Calentine, 30, of New York City, said she was thrilled to provide a kidney for her good-natured uncle and that she expects to do fine with a single remaining kidney.

She also said she was confident in the promise of a "nearly scar-free" post-surgical bellybutton but was prepared for the alternative. "A week ago I got a one-piece (bathing suit)," she said with a laugh.

The procedure involves making a three-quarter inch incision in the interior of the bellybutton and inserting a tube-like port with several round entry points for inserting a camera and other tools into the belly.

The belly is inflated with carbon dioxide to provide maneuvering room. The kidney is then freed from connecting tissue, wrapped in a plastic bag and removed through the navel when the blood supply is cut, shrinking the organ's fist-like size. The incision is expanded to about 1 1/2 inches to extract the kidney after the port is removed.

The procedure would not be appropriate for those who have had multiple major abdominal surgeries or who are obese, Gill said. Both conditions would limit the ability to look around the abdomen and move about instruments.

Kaster donated his kidney to his father, Phil Kaster, 61, of Canal Fulton, who was on dialysis for 10 months.

"When it's family like that, you wouldn't think twice," he said. "I'm glad I'm able to give somebody their life back."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


It was a long day but not so very bad. The dr. said people with my statis usually get called in the second or third year. Only 8 vials of blood were taken, one EKG and X-ray. Just the riding and sitting wears me out. And of course, it was get up and go this morning. I just wish I could have a vacation from dialysis so I could catch up on some things. But that isn't possible, so I whine.

Monday the nurse practitioner told me to take the sensipar every other day. The dr. and nutritionist today decided that I shouldn't take it. They discussed halving it. I read on a website that it said do not halve it. They said it also says not to skip a day. So, everybody has an opinion. And the patient just does whatever they're told. Can we say yo-yo? Some day I may just get enough of all this.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Appointments, appointments...

Dialysis is still going fine. I just get so tired of going. I have an appt. tomorrow at Vanderbilt for my 1 year checkup on the transplant list. They will do bloodwork (10 vials the last time I went), EKG and x-ray. Boring. Boring. Emily is coming along as driver. Bless her heart.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Another Dental Update!

It's been a week since I posted and it's time for another dental appt. They had to send my lower denture back to the lab in Kansas I think. My teeth have been places I haven't. LOL! I was afraid I wouldn't be able to eat, but there is plenty I've been able to eat. Most all veggies can be smushed and eaten pretty well. I've come to realize how much we eat for entertainment. What I have missed the most is crunch! I can't wait to get me a big glass of ICE!!! Ya-hooooo!

Everything has gone real well at dialysis. I'm still holding my record of not having any bleeding episodes after dialysis since I've quit using clamps. Everything is pretty much the samo samo.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Dental Update!

Hi all!
Emily took me today for my dental check up. Everything was pretty good except I told him one side was loose and didn't click in firmly. It was no big deal as it had come loose the day I got them, but just hadn't found a good time to go back what with all the other problems with dialysis, surgery, etc. It didn't hinder my eating in any way, so hey! Anyway, he said the housing was loose so he worked on it for a pretty good while. Spent two hours there (appts have never been this long but that was okay) and thought everything was fine. I got home and decided to see if I could tell what he had done. Took them out, and the housing stayed on the implant!!! Rats! So now, we have some more adventures to enjoy. O-be, Kay-be!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Ahhhh......rainy days and Mondays. . . .

. . . Always get me down!!! It was quite disheartening to start the day out, especially with it being a Monday, with having to be stuck three times. They slice, and cut and sew and do all their stuff, but there is still going to be constant problems. Yes, I know that I just have to deal with it and take it as it comes. But, sometimes I just don't want to be a big girl. I want to whine, and whimper, and throw a tandrum, and kick and stomp and scream til I turn blue in the face. BIG SIGH! There. That feels much better now.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

Dialysis doesn't take any holidays off except Christmas. We had our family get-together at Joe and Jessica's yesterday. We got a family photo which you can view in the "grandchildren" section. Dialysis went great today. Since I have quit using clamps I have not bled one time after dialysis! In fact, the site is usually ready to go after five minutes. After 5 minutes I take off any pressure, after 10 minutes I take off the tape and cotton ball. Then I watch it for another 5 minutes, put a bandaid over it and I'm good to go! And the bandaids stay clean! Why oh why don't they educate the nurses and patients in the possibility of alternative techniques?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Another weekend and I'm looking forward to it. I had another near perfect day at dialysis. They have made an appt. for me with Dr. Martin to get the catheter out. I had hoped to get it out next Wed. but had to settle for the following Wed. It sometimes feels like it is pressing against something. I wonder if one has ever punctured anything? Oh well. I must exercise patience but I DON'T WANT TO!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Another Monday come and gone. And would you believe it? Not one single iota of problems today. Everything went smooth as silk. I don't remember if I've posted it or not about me not using clamps any more. That whole first year, I was clamped and taped and bled, and with no avail. After deciding I didn't have much to lose, I started trying other stuff. Holding the site til the bleeding stopped and then watched carefully as I released the pressure to make sure it didn't start again. It did just fine. At first I was peeling the tape off as soon as I got home. Then it was using minimal taping. Now I leave with a bandaid. It has never started bleeding since I've been doing this, but I do watch it pretty carefully just so it doesn't decide to mess me up. I just think my veins and tissues are loose and can roll around a lot, but to do so is easy to dislodge any healing clot that has formed there. I will be so glad when I get this catheter out.


Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday again

Here another weekend faces me, another week gone. Had to be stuck three times today. Couldn't get the top needle to work, even after jabbing it around to try and get it to work. I'm wondering about the little dr. that makes rounds. It's probably just me, but he's lacking in something. It could be a bedside manner. I went to Nashville to have the new access put in. I figured he was the one to release me to use it. But, this little dr. was just going to start using it himself because he thought it sounded okay. He was talking to the nurse more than me and I couldn't hear it all, but asked the nurse and she told me. I told her that when I had the other one done, the insurance people told me that I had to be released by the surgeon. She said if he asked about it I could just tell him why I had refused to use it. No problem. Today, he came in and saw I was using the new access and was all excited. Asked how long I'd been using it and I said 2 weeks. Welllll......., let's get this catheter out then. While I'm stuttering around, the nurse told him I'd been having trouble with the access. So that deterred him. It's not that I don't think he's qualified. He's basically very nice. He just seems to think I don't need to be consulted about what he's going to do. What should I do?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Too Many Choices

My days just seem to run together. Going to dialysis every other day is like suspended animation. Church-dialysis-Tues.-dialysis-church-Thurs.-dialysis-Fri.-Sat.-church-Sun.-dialysis-repeat, repeat, repeat!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Today didn't go so well. There was pain at the site just about the whole time. Finally it blew (infiltrated). I felt something on my arm and looked down to discover it was bleeding. Although I had an hour left on my time, they opted to take me off. Fortunately I did not have much excess fluid to begin with and I was almost at my dry weight already. It made a little knot and bruised some more. I can't help but be a little discouraged. I had hoped the new fistula was going to be the answer to the problems I've had. Looks like problems are just a fact whatever I do. This new arm sure is tender and more sensitive than my left one ever was. ouchie!

Any and all prayers gratefully accepted.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Yesterday I had a glitch at dialysis. The needle was sticking the back side of the vein and hurting. It's kind of knotty where it was and sore. And I was sore all over (every joint) from my previous day of galavanting and shopping (woo whoooo!), so it was a little rough lying there. I tried lying pretty far back but couldn't find a good place to lay. Toward the end I asked Mark how much time I had left and was told 16 minutes. I said, I've got to get up. He finished what he was doing and then came over and seemed to be getting ready to take me off. I said, what are you doing? "Taking you off." "But, my time isn't up." You're getting the gist of it here. He thought I was wanting off, and I was just wanting to sit up! LOL I told him that when I wanted to get off early he could know that something serious was wrong. He thought it unusual for me, but they never know. Some people do get off early sometimes. They had filled out my form and everything. They have to do that if you don't complete your treatment. Liability and such.

I have all kinds of little dark veins showing up on the inside of my arm. I told Mark yesterday that my arm looks like a Texas roadmap. He showed me his arm and said you could see his, too, (but they aren't as prominent). So I showed him mine again and said, yeah, but you don't have an interstate. (the scar) He admitted that no, he didn't have an interstate.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Here I am again! Just got home from dialysis. I have used my new fistula twice this week and so far everything is fine. No bleeding, and hardly any bruising at all. Just achy and sore from laying there, and after the trip to the dr. yesterday which always makes me sore just riding. When they sat me up my heart did the little flutter thing but has quit very quickly. Yesterday it lasted until the late afternoon. And always, fatigue. I went in at 7:00 this morning and got through early. They call me when they have a chair available early since I live so close. I'm very thankful that the center is so close to our home. When I left, a lady who was through at twenty minutes til 10:00 was still waiting for her public transportation at 11:15, and she has a very long ride to another county to get home. That's it for today. I think I see a nap in my near future. ~Later

Monday, May 5, 2008

Home Again

I'm home from my first fistula use in my right arm. All went well. I used no clamps but applied pressure myself as I did in the left arm. And minimal taping. So far, so good. Thanks for any prayers you've sent my way. Now I have to learn just how much I can use my right arm and how soon after treatment. I have graduation announcements that I need to finish this afternoon. Wonder if my dear hubby would like to learn to use the corner punch??

I did have some minor heart palpitations during treatment, but I don't know if that was because I didn't eat breakfast this morning, if I was nervous (didn't think so), or if using the fistula with the catheter still in place, or just what. I did tell the nurse and she didn't get excited about it, so I'm taking a wait and see next time attitude.



Monday's are not my favorite day, but I guess it's as good a day as any to start the week. LOL I start using my new fistula today. I am not looking forward to it but I'm resolved. I will use my numbing cream until I'm comfortable with it again. Before I started using the perma-cath I was comfortable with the needles and didn't use anything. That was six-seven weeks ago. I'm sure it's like riding a bicycle. You just get back on. Prayers are appreciated. ~Later

Friday, May 2, 2008

Dr. Appt.

Wednesday I had my 6 week checkup appt. with the vascular surgeon who did my second fistula. He was pleased with the access and said it was ready to use. They will use it a couple of weeks to make sure everything is okay, and then I can call for an appt. and he will remove my perma-cath. I will be glad to be rid of that thing!

I asked the doctor if he would explain to me exactly what he did to my arm. And he did. There is a large vein that runs underneath the arm. He exposed the vein and then retunneled it (I don't have the details of this) up and along the top of the arm and then connected it to an artery near the inside of the elbow. I therefore have a long access area. A nurse at the clinic was impressed with it. I think the surgeon did a good job.

I told them at the clinic today that they could start sticking me again on Monday. I needed to continue my work on Sara's graduation invitations today, so I didn't want to start it today. That's it for today. ~Later