Transplant Athlete
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
  I'm Not Dead

I've just been working really hard on my home.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008
  17 Things To Do When You Are Stuck at Dialysis

I'm starting a list of things to do while I'm stuck in the dialysis chair. There's no wifi available at my dialysis center so surfing the net is out.

  1. Watch Movies on my computer.
  2. Watch TV
  3. Write blog posts
  4. Write a book
  5. Draw/Paint/ other artistic pursuit
  6. Learn to play an instrument (quietly)
  7. Learn to program in a new language
  8. Read A book/magazine
  9. Take a free online course.
  10. Plan a party
  11. Learn another language
  12. Do seated exercises
  13. Build a model
  14. Cut up a magazine and make a ransom note
  15. play Video Games
  16. play Sudoku
  17. Drool/play dead.

Did I miss one of your favorites? Tell me about it in the comments.


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Monday, September 15, 2008

Things have evened out a bit with dialysis. I don't feel as weird during treatment. Every time I go, I'm reminded that I'm not a patient person and that I hate sitting still. I get antsy in the chair and occasionally, when my batteries die on my computer or the TV goes dead (each chair has a hospital TV on an arm), I want to get up and move around way before the treatment is over.

My blood pressure is still uncontrolled. It's way above where it should be on a daily basis, but during treatment it spikes upwards. Usually treatment lowers blood pressure. Once again I'm having an unusual reaction. My guess is that my electrolytes are getting out of whack and I'll discuss it with my new nephrologist when I see her next.

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Friday, September 12, 2008
  What Makes You Think She's A Witch?

I wanted to write about the food I'm feeding my baby. I had this whole long diatribe prepared on why it looks like fish food. All of you parents out there know it's true, that baby rice looks like fish food...

If after writing about fish food/baby food and I didn't like what I had written, I had another post prepared in my head about all the weight I'm losing...I've been leaving dialysis at 68.4 Kilos. That is 150.8 for those like myself who are metrically challenged. I had to struggle in '06 and '07 to get anywhere near 155. I don't think I've seen the scale stop at 150 since high school; pass it by on it's way to 190, but not stop there.

Instead, I'm going to talk about Newt Gingrich's plan, "Drill Here, Drill Now..." The woman who called me asked me to listen to a short message by Newt Gingrich and to stay tuned afterwards for a short survey. Gingrich blamed high oil prices on the democrats saying they were against off-shore drilling and strip mining in the Rockies. Then Newt talked about the Big Bad Chinese drilling for oil right off of the coast of Florida. After Newt was done, I expected to answer a few questions about my preferences, instead the man on the other end asked me,"Do you think Congress should act immediately on the energy crisis?"

(No, I want them to wait a really long time to fix the energy crisis.)"Of course I want them to act now."

He responds, "That's great, Newt would like to count on your support and for a $300 donation, you get blah blah blah."

I respond, "I want Congress to act now, but I want them to support Alternative Energy"

He responds, "Are you aware that Gas would be $2 a gallon if it weren't for a few liberal politicians?"

Before I can ask why the 30% Residential Solar Tax Credit hasn't been renewed yet (it expires at the end of the year), he's hung up on me. How Rude! I listened politely to Newt, I expect the same courtesy...

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Thursday, September 04, 2008
  Fluid Overload

I woke up sometime between 2 and 3 am this morning because I was having trouble breathing. I went downstairs so I could sit up without bothering ABL. For the longest time, I felt like I was going to have to go to the hospital for dialysis. I was hearing bubbling as I was breathing. Not Good.

Finally, I called ABL to bring me the computer and some clothes. I wanted to check Davita.com to see when the clinic opened. I wondered if they'd take me early or if I'd have to go to the hospital and have them dialyze me. I couldn't find anything on the site, but I was pretty sure that they didn't open until 4ish. I did a little surfing to pass the time and eventually, I started feeling better. After a couple hours, the panic passed. I should be fine until my regular treatment at 4pm today.


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Wednesday, September 03, 2008
  One Week On Dialysis

I've had my second full treatment of dialysis. Overall, I'm feeling better. I'm going to try to describe how I felt before and how I feel now; it's difficult, so bear with me.

Before dialysis, with all the extra fluid on board, I would wake up feeling like I couldn't breath because the fluid would pool in my chest. If you've ever been held under water, you know the panic that comes when you can't get your head above water. Imagine feeling that panic, but you're sitting in bed with air all around you. You don't want to move around, because that burns oxygen. I would close my eyes and breath deep.

Excess fluid is the most visible danger of failing kidneys, but the other danger is the toxins that build up in the bloodstream. The waste we generate will actually damage the other organs if it's not removed by the kidneys. There's no way to feel when the toxins have built up to a critical level and for me it happens so gradually that I never notice the change. Now that dialysis has cleaned my blood, I can feel the difference. Before, when walking to the pool in my development, it felt like there was actually junk in my blood. Imagine putting sand in your car's oil, the oil is meant to lubricate, but the sand will gum up the works and wear out the engine... Now, with clean blood, I can walk to the pool and I'm not out of breath and my blood feels clean. It's possible that the dirty feeling is all in my head, but either way, I feel better now.

I cramped pretty bad during yesterday's treatment. They had to administer saline (by IV) and some chicken broth (by mouth). I also got to meet my new Nephro...She's 32...Yes, my doctor is 4 years younger than me. Is that one of the signs of the Apocalypse you're getting old? The scary thing is we were at Maryland together...She got her MD in 2002, I got my MBA in 2003. Small world.


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Monday, September 01, 2008

Thank you Paul for showing up at the Hospital with magazines. Thank you to all the friends who offered support during this trying time (Clare, Rich, Chris, etc). I feel like George Bailey.

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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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