Transplant Athlete
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
  Doctor Patient Rapport

I think my Nephrologist and I are going to have a problem. I didn't want to switch doctors for a reason. My old doctors know what medications worked for me. If you've been reading for a long time, you may have seen that I sometimes get the least likely side effect of a medication. For most people, when you hook them up to dialysis, their blood pressure goes down; but not me...Why do I have to be different?

I have a Mechanical Engineering degree from Stevens Tech. Although, this trend is so obvious, my kid could probably figure it out. I looked over the data for my first 6 dialysis treatments and my ending blood pressure was greater than my starting blood pressure on all 6 occasions (sometimes by a lot, once by a little). That trend continues to this day, so when the nurses turn to each other and say, "his blood pressure is running high, let's pull more fluid off him..."

I cringe...

because I know I'm going to leave, not only dehydrated, but with a splitting headache from the high blood pressure.

My new nephrologist asks me what my blood pressure's like at home, in between treatments; as if my blood pressure magically drops the day after treatment, but rises on dialysis days (or the reverse, it magically jumps off the charts on off days, but settles back down for dialysis days).

She hasn't given me an adequate explanation as to why my blood pressure is high in the first place. I realize some meds just work, but I also recognize some meds solve a specific problem. Diovan blocks a specific chemical called Angiotensin. Metoprolol is a Beta blocker. She's been trying to get my blood pressure under control, so she's prescribing meds, Diovan was a bust, it makes me sleepy, now she wants me to try Micardis. She says it won't affect my blood pressure at all, probably won't make me sleepy (but it's very similar to Diovan), but it will be good for my heart.

Really!?! Cheerios are good for my heart, don't lower my blood pressure, and don't make me drowsy, maybe I should up my dosage...



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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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