Finally, after months of medical drudgery, some good news! I had an appointment with my nephrologist which I've been dreading for several weeks. Why have I been dreading it? Because I've had a notable increase in symptoms that read like a laundry list of "what to look out for when you think your kidneys are failing". I was fully expecting her to call me and tell me that it's time to see a surgeon to have a peritoneal dialysis (PD) catheter placed. PD is not something I'm looking forward to because it means some substantial lifestyle changes involved, but of course, it is better than dialysis in a clinic setting.
So after talking with the doctor and the renal care nurse and the renal care financial counselor, the doctor has me pop over to the lab for blood work and urinalysis. Late in the afternoon, I get a phone call. GRRREAT news: kidney function remains stable at 24% (that's actually a little higher than the last test), hemoglobin at 13 (means I'm not anemic after all), phosphorous and potassium levels are normal (proof positive that I am following the renal diet), but God I miss potatoes. Parathyroid hormone levels right where they should be, as is blood calcium (I should hope so after having all those glands removed). Everything looks good and I'm right on course for my transplant evaluation on the 21st. Do not stop, do not reroute to the OR for catheter placement. Yippee.
But because nothing is quite perfect in LD's universe of health-related train wrecks, here comes the buzz kill. The nurse says "Did you know that you have a FLAMING urinary tract infection?" Errr, no. Flaming, I'm not sure that appears in any of my medical terminology texts. "No pain, burning, urgency, fever, chills, back pain?" No, believe me, I know the signs and symptoms of a UTI, this ain't this cowgirl's first rodeo. Then she says "Ahhh, you have neuropathy, that explains why you're not having symptoms". That's right, that's why I can't feel my fingers or toes and my shin looks like a freakin roadmap of bruises. Amazing what nerve damage can cover up. So a culture is being run before the doc prescribes antibiotics. Take your time, I want whatever will knock these bugs on their collective butts.
All in all, not a bad day at the doctor's office. Next update, I'll tell you all about how much fun it was to be evaluated for a transplant.