October 17, 2011

A Good Visit - Kidney Update

Alternate Title: Better than a Punch in the Face!

Last month I was afraid - genuinely afraid - of what I had done to my body over the last year by going off of my kidney medicine. I had not seen a doctor in over a year, and my first trip back made me fearful that a professional would not only give me grief, but would also want to punch me in the face for such stupidity. The thing about a first-appointment, though, is that there is nothing to work with aside from height, weight and, in the case of kidney patients, swelling. I was relieved to not be punched in the face, but still nervous after the appointment at what actual lab results would show.

I will be honest that even a setback in my long term health might have been worth the year of being medication-free. Especially in a year of moving, new jobs, settling, et cetera. Not saying it was smart, but I am glad that I did it.

Today I went back to the nephrologist having done a 24 hour urine and 10 other tests three weeks ago, as well as a spot sample with only four test about a week ago. We were going to have real data to see how things are working in my system. This is what I put on Facebook:

"So, not nearly as nervous as a month ago, but headed back to the doc's office. Today should be about coming up with a plan of attack on my body. Sounds harsh, but that is the reality of living with disease."

This morning I was almost shocked at the conversation with the doctor. I began preparing myself about a week ago for steroids and all that goes with it - superhuman strength ability to sleep, gorging myself on crappy food and blaming the medicine and, of course, Moon Face that accompanies such. I also braced myself for something like the immunosuppresants that I have been taking for so many years that they were as much a part of me as my fingernails. (though they tasted much nastier – gross!)

The shock part of the appointment is that he does not want me to do any of that type of stuff right now – my levels are high but not bad for a kidney disease patient! (He actually said "High for a normal person, but really low for someone with your condition.")

My stats, since some folks care and know what they mean:
Creatinine – 1.2 (almost down to a "regular" person)
Protein – 4 grams (lowest in a long time for me)
Cholesterol – LDL is 127, total is 200 (good, not great)
Blood Pressure – 125/94 (oops – that's high!)

Yes, my blood pressure is high, which is not uncommon with people with kidney disease. Last month the doctor put me on 5 milligrams of Lisinopril, a very low dose. Due to my test results, and the desire to stay off some of the really bad drugs as long as everything else is stable, this is an opportunity to change things up. Looks like changing them up in a BIG way, too. Going from 5 milligrams once daily to 10 milligrams twice a day. Eek! This is an effort to lower blood pressure, so he warned me that I will likely feel dizzy for at least a week and to be careful with that. I think I will start by taking them at work instead of before leaving and driving around town on my way to work, just to start anyway.

My weight is also down a couple of pounds, I think. I will not publish that number here for fear that those close to me will hunt me down, but I really have been making efforts to eat better and get a lot more walking in at work than you would think! (I have done away with our mailroom and walk the mail to our co-workers on a daily basis. Our main level is about 250 cubicles and 50 or so offices, lots of walking to be done!) I think I have convinced myself to run in the local Turkey Trot which is about three miles. It's also only about a month away, so I guess I had best get started on training for that… eek!

Things are going well enough with the doctor that he ordered lab work for one month and I will not go back for a visit until December – just before my birthday actually. THAT could prove to be interesting!


  1. Wooohooo! You're protein is creatinine is worse than mine, but your protein is MUCH better! Yay for a doctor that didn't punch you in the face~!

    Gotta say I'm a bit jealous about the weight loss, since I seem to always be on the plus side from the previous appointment. Guess I should start taking the stairs at work more, huh?

  2. Great news! I'm relieved. :)

  3. Glad it's good news overall! Want to talk about a training schedule for your 5K? I can help!