Transplant Athlete
Saturday, May 03, 2008
  The End Is Nigh

I saw my nephrologist yesterday and things aren't looking good. My hematocrit peaked at 33 at my last visit and is now down to 28. My glucose is a bit high, which is most likely a side effect of the Prednisone...
    Speaking of Prednisone...
  1. Difficulty sleeping (check)
  2. Fatigue (check)
  3. Excessive night sweats (check)
  4. Uncontrollable Shaking of Hands (check)
  5. Shortness of Breath, especially at night (check)

Last but not least, my creatinine has reached 5.6, a level that the Head of Transplantation at Washington Hospital Center said would be appropriate for transplantation. My nephro and I feel that we should use this kidney until it doesn't function anymore, so I'll be waiting a couple more months. In the meantime, I'll be getting access for dialysis just in case. It's an outpatient surgery where they cut open my arm and connect my vein to an artery. I really don't want it, but it makes dialysis safer and easier. The vein grows larger to accommodate more blood flow and it will look like I'm hiding a climbing rope inside my arm. I've seen some on transplant patients that look seriously scary.

I know I keep talking about Kidney Failure in apocalyptic terms and I really shouldn't. This guy Shad Ireland has completed an Ironman Triathlon while living on dialysis. I have so many questions, but I suspect there are no answers. As a transplant athlete, I was pushing the boundaries with my ultracycling habit to the point of amazing my nephro docs. I suspect that as a dialysis athlete, I will again be pushing those boundaries. I wouldn't be able to do solo RAAM, but team wouldn't be out of the question, maybe a transplant team...

P.S. The only good news to come out of my DR appointment? Lipitor is working and my cholesterol is down reducing my risk for heart disease.

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Bummer that your kidney isn't working right. Hopefully they can figure something out so you can do some long rides and races again.
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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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