My Bro Nick was the one who referred me to the nephrologist and I know that Nick would not send me to someone who is a jerk. And yeah, this new doc is in the same ballpark as Nick, Steve and Wai. Todd is just as cool and we got along right off the bat, which made this trip a ltitle easier to take. However, the news was far from hopeful.
To begin with, even though the numbers for the heart have trended back to some level of normalcy, the kidney functions have operated like a bad sine wave; apogee and perigee…and at this time it is heading to a trough that has not hit bottom yet. According to the last few tests, both kidneys are now working at 30% of their capacity, which borders on a high Stage 1 and low Stage 2 kidney failure.[Anything beyond Stage 2 places the person in jeopardy of being at the mercy of dialysis]†For those not familiar with this, it means that while it if filtering fluids, it is not doing so in an efficient fashion and this is related to the congestive heart failure that I have/had as well, When the heart is not pumping blood properly, that means the kidneys are not able to work and remove the contaminants that are in the system overall, but when the kidneys are not harmed, they can take a little bit of the load off of the heart. This also assumes that there are no medications in said system which can cause harm to the overall machine, which sadly is where prednisone [the previously mentioned sarcoidosis illness for which this medication is considered to be and still is the main cure] and pain killers to correct the problems that were caused by the prednisone [onset arthritis] come in. Yes, steroids and NSAIDs can do such a number on the kidneys and liver to the point that their usefulness to the body would be tenuous at best.
With all of that mentioned, it sets the stage for the reccommendations that Todd made. And they are:
– an even stricter diet, with no fast foods, very few prepared foods which would contain an inordinate amount of salt
– continue the fluids that I have been drinking til now: cranberry juice, teas, gatorade with the understanding on the latter that unless it causes a major problem for the electrolyte numbers to curtail its usage
– stay on the same medications I am on now with no forseeable changes for at least the next few months.
– and I am now seeing Todd every 2 months…that is now a part of the schedule. So now every couple weeks, I am in one office or another getting an exam or an oil change.
Plus all 4 of my bros are going to be on the same page as far as the records are concerned. And as I said to Todd….very few folks around here are going to let me get away with anything out of the ordinary. It is the curse of being too well known even for a place whose major slogan is ‘Keep Portland Weird’.While it may sound like a mean thing to say, it is true. However there are some other curses with this.
For instance, this would place a premium on what little social life someone can have. Not being judgemental here, but the current raison de etre for a social life is to drink til one has more fluid in them than a supertanker†or gets higher than an SR-71 Blackbird. Yes I know folks who do not listen to their doctors after getting this type of news and well amble on recklessly…then again those are the same ones who end up in what can at its best be called God’s waiting room in more pain than those who go to Washington Nationals games. Even so…when someone finds out that they cannot participate in anything like that [I will not get into another little restriction here,†but look up prednisone and its side effects and then think of what one can catch out there and you will see the connection], that person becomes persona non grata, sidelined or even marginalized. Sad and pathetic, but in a world which has become an extended form of highschool this is to be expected. Which is my way also in part of explaining all of those copious notes to a certain someone over the past few months…and why I hope she understands part of the overall mindset here.
While I did not go into exactly how the illness that caused this calamity of events to come across occurred, that was due to the fact I did not want to get into a blame the relatives session. Yes, even though there is a major fault here that lies with them, that bit of vitriol will be saved for another time.What is coming up next are tests on Monday: an ultrasound of the kidneys and then a few oilchanges. Not that I actually expect anything to improve per se, it is jsut at the stage of trying to maintain things so that I do not need to be connected to a machine several times a week. It is not so much that this would take away time from my cats, the PC’s and the inordinate amout of reading material I have here, but also from sending out those notes, let alone hoping that one day my friend and I do meet. What can I tell you, there are just some† simple needs here…not so much simple, but basic needs.