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Transplant Athlete
Thursday, December 24, 2009
  Wolfram/Alpha Is The Best Search Engine In The World For...

Figuring out how much potassium is in your food...On my last hospital visit, I was discharged with the instructions to get 3 Grams of Potassium in my diet. The nurse discharged me with lots of stern warnings to do better...And to limit my fluid intake...And to reduce the potassium in my diet...

Well, after doing a couple Google searches, I realized finding potassium values was going to be hard. That is until I remembered there was another search engine out there that could probably do better, only I couldn't remember the name and I had moved the link from my toolbar (because I never used it). Then I remembered...Wolfram/Alpha. Compared to Google on most searches, it sucks, but it is the ideal search engine when you need to know something mathematical. In my case, potassium levels in Oatmeal, Mustard, Ham, Swiss Cheese, pizza, etc.

It turns out that I was getting somewhere between 1 Gram and 1.5 Grams of potassium in my meals. This could be the problem with my blood pressure. Yesterday, I added a cup of carrot juice (500 mg Potassium) and 2 bananas (422 mg each potassium). My blood pressure was really good all day, never exceeding 174/108 so I'm going to talk to the Nutritionist at the clinic to see if I'm on the right track.

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Sunday, December 20, 2009
  In No Particular Order

Pepsi
Coke
Rootbeer
Birchbeer
Snapple Lemonade (regular and pink)
Orange Soda
Grape Soda
Ice Tea (from Mix)
Snapple Fruit Punch
Ginger Ale
Gatorade
Cran-Apple
Ice Water
Cherry Slurpee

...What I'm going to drink when I get a new kidney...
 
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  Transplant Delayed

I don't have details, yet. But apparently, a nurse at the Home Hemo program made a report to the transplant clinic and now I need to see a psychiatrist before they will perform the operation...The earliest appointment I can get with the psychiatrist is January 13th...Nearly a month away.
 
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Thursday, December 17, 2009
  I'm Thinking Of Riding Another Transcontinental

Assuming I get a transplant within the next 30 days, I think I may be able to get back in shape in time to do a PACTour Northern Transcontinental. That would be a great way to celebrate the new kidney. The first time around, I had 9 months to recover from the surgery and build up to 100 miles a day. This time around, it'll be closer to 7 months, but I have a better base to work from.
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  Yet Another Hospital Visit

Last week I was in the Hospital 3 times for hypertension. Monday night, I went back in to the hospital. It took several rounds of medication and a session of dialysis to get my blood pressure down to a reasonable level.

Since my blood pressure was well controlled when I dialyzed at home 6 days a week (and they won't let me back in home hemo), I'm going to request that I be allowed to dialyze a couple more times a week in-center. The stumbling block may be my insurance, Carlos (the guy who runs my local clinic), has told me over and over that my insurance will only pay for three treatments a week. It will certainly be cheaper for my insurance company to pay for a couple extra treatments a week than paying for hospital visits, but they rarely see things that way.

 
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Saturday, December 12, 2009
  Fresenius vs. Davita

While in New Jersey for Thanksgiving, I dialyzed at my second Fresenius clinic. I wish I had the opportunity to dialyze with Fresenius down here. First of all, at the Fresenius clinic, there's plenty of space between chairs, enough space, that they have those hospital curtains that can give a bit of privacy if needed. Each station has a very large TV that has a touch screen. You can get TV, the internet, Music, games, and patient education.

Davita on the other hand has us packed so close together that my chair overlaps my machine on one side and the next patients machine on the other side. We have smaller TVs. Most of the TVs output audio in a mono format. When I came back in center, there was a message scrolling across the screen that said the cable company was switching to new digital equipment and be prepared for the switch or else lose channels. Well, weeks later, we've lost half the channels to snow.

I'm betting it's only a matter of time before some patient goes postal. My money is on a woman who talks constantly on her cell phone very loudly...about so and so's boyfriend who has firearms, but doesn't have a gun permit due to...um...shall we say time spent under the care and supervision of the state. The other day she stood up and said in not so polite terms that her dialysis session was over.

 
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Wednesday, December 09, 2009
  Transplant Around The Corner

My father is coming down to VA on Tuesday to meet with the Transplant Nephrologist. I found out today that both of my sisters completed the paperwork to start the donation process, so if my dad is rejected, one of them may donate. I had asked Clair, but I was shocked to learn that Heather volunteered to donate. I'm touched.

This means a Transplant could be just around the corner for me, and not a moment to soon. With my current blood pressure issues, it feels like it's a life or death thing.

 
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Tuesday, December 08, 2009
  Awesome Fundraiser

The Fat Cyclist has been challenged by Johan Bruyneel to raise $50,000 each for his two favorite charities (The Lance Armstrong Foundation and the World Bicycle Relief Foundation). Go to the Fat Cyclist Blog to read about the challenge. I think this is the coolest thing ever. Please make a donation for Elden aka Fatty, its going to a great cause and you could win some great prizes.
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Monday, December 07, 2009
  Hypertension

It's been a rough week for me, I've been in the hospital 3 times for hypertension. I'm hoping for a kidney soon to fix all this.
 
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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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