Transplant Athlete
Monday, May 04, 2009

When my kidneys were originally failing way back in 2000, I was trying to understand why I needed to get a transplant. He explained it something like this (paraphrasing, because my memory stinks): your creatinine is 10.3, your kidneys are not cleaning your blood effectively, the wastes that are building up in your bloodstream will damage your internal organs.

So, when a simple change to my dialysis routine sent me to the hospital, I reviewed my chart at Davita. My Kt/V was in the good or adequate range (i forget their actual terminology), which as far as Davita and Dr. Goel (the Nephrologist I fired) were concerned that was good enough.

What's Kt/V? Wikipedia says, "Kt/V is a dimensionless number used to quantify hemodialysis efficiency". Where V is the volume of water in the body. T is the time dialyzed and K is the dialyzer clearance of Urea.

So, what I can't understand is how we can say I'm adequately dialyzed, when my Creatinine is around 14...I'm not a nephrologist, but I'm pretty sure that's in the range that would damage my internal organs.

My new nephrologist and I discussed this briefly and he recommended that we extend my dialysis from 3.5 hours to 4 hours. After seeing my creatinine at 14, I agreed.


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While researching for this blog entry, I came across this website:
Figure 1 (just below the fold) is quite interesting. It seems to suggest that as a dialysis patient in the 35 - 39 age group, my life expectancy is less than 10 years on dialysis. Compare that to the rest of the US population in my age group with a life expectancy of 40 years.
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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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