Transplant Athlete
Friday, November 04, 2005
  Kidney Biopsy

Way Back in 1986, when I was first diagnosed with Glomerulonephritis, I had a biopsy done. My nephrologist performed it at the hospital in Dover, NJ. I spent at least one night in the hospital, maybe two (I can't remember, that was nearly 20 years ago). Then in 1999, I had another biopsy, which was performed by a technician at the Inova hospital in Alexandria. I was in and out inside of a day. The techniques for evaluating tissues had advanced, so by this time, the diagnosis was changed to Glomerulonephritis-"like", which is what they say when they have no clue what you have, but it looks like something they seen before.

Now, its come to a point where the nephrologists and transplant surgeons would like to know a little bit more about how my kidney is doing. They'd like to know if my Prograf (immunosuppressive medication) is at the right level and they want to make sure its not damaging the kidney. As I've found out, the drug that keeps my kidney from getting rejected also destroys the kidney (nephrotoxic). They think this may also answer some questions about why my blood pressure keeps going through the roof. So, I have a biopsy scheduled for Tuesday at 8am at Inova Fairfax hospital. Again, I'll be out in a couple of hours, and I'll have the results in about a week.

They say it will be two weeks before I can get back on the bike, so that sets my training back a few weeks, but I'll probably be on the bike sooner.
There was a question in one of the comments about how long it was before I was back on the bike after my transplant. I set my bike up on a trainer in the house and spun with light resistance a few weeks after the transplant. I had to wait until my wife went back to work, because she wouldn't let me ride. I was riding outdoors shortly after my 6 week appointment, when the doctors gave me the go-ahead to ride. The first ride was 40 miles out and back on the W & OD trail near my house. As a rail trail, there aren't any bad hills, so it was a nice easy ride. About 9 months later I was riding my bike across the country with Lon Haldeman and Susan Notorangelo.


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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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Warning Signs for Kidney Disease:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Burning or Difficulty when Urinating
  • Frequent Urination at Night
  • Blood in your urine
  • Cola or tea colored urine
  • Swellig of the eyes, ankles, or feet
  • Lower back pain unrelated to physical activity

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