The Kidney Conundrum

3 05 2015

A couple of months ago, I started going to this Chinese Doctor.  My wrist hurt, and I wanted acupuncture, but also I’ve been struggling with my weight for a couple of years.  Thought, screw it, can’t hurt right?  I mean I’ve been super frustrated, I’ve exercised, I’ve eaten well, and nothing, plus I’ve had this annoying feet swelling, leg cramps, and a lot of general aches etc.

While I’m at the doctor, he says that my kidneys are not working properly and that why I can’t lose weight, and that my main problem is water retention.  I’m like, sure, sure.  Whatever, I take my medicine and life goes on.  Well after 3 or 4 weeks of seeing the Chinese doctor, and every time he mentions my reduced kidney function, I think.. hu.  I wonder if he’s full of shit?  I mean how could your kidneys keep you from losing weight?  So I go online, and I find these lists about symptoms of kidney disease and failure.

(✓)puffy eyes, hands, and feet (called edema)

(✓)high blood pressure

(✓)fatigue

(✓)shortness of breath

(X)loss of appetite (I wish)

(✓/X)nausea and vomiting (dunno, don’t think so)

(✓)thirst

(✓)a bad taste in the mouth or bad breath (off and on)

(X)weight loss (I never get the good symptoms!!!)

(✓)(✓)generalized, persistent itchy skin

muscle twitching or cramping

(✓/X)a yellowish-brown tint to the skin (hard to say… my skin tone doesn’t really help)

(✓/X)urine that is cloudy or tea-coloured (sometimes)

Holy shit…. SERIOUSLY?  That’s way too many solid yeses…  What the fuck.  Is there something wrong with my kidneys?  I just chalked the fatigue and the aches, cramps, swelling … pretty much all of that stuff to getting older.  I mean, Some of you may even remember my commenting in the past year or so, that does everyone get achey young but just doesn’t complain about it until they are a lot older?  Turns out, from the sort of horrified response of a couple of colleagues and friends when we got into this (as in beyond my vague comments, and details of my issues),That  no.. in fact it’s not normal.  I’m not nearly old enough for all of this to be chalked up to getting older.  I didn’t know, I just figured it was normal, sucks but buck up.

I figure I should probably go to the hospital and have it checked out or something but I had a class coming up, I was super busy.. meh I’d get to it later.  Well the two friends I had talked about it to, flipped out.  AREYOU INSANE you don’t fuck with kidneys, damage is permanent, they don’t heal, if they get fucked up your fucked… so I do more research and get really scared.  All the web stuff uses scary words, like disease and failure and death.. um.  But let’s be honest, I hate doctors, and hospitals and the only thing that was going to get me to go short of being dragged was fear of death.  I finally broke down and made an appointment for the Nephrologist (yeah that’s not a scary sounding specialty) at the hospital near my house a couple of weeks back, and took the morning off work.

I thought to myself..  do I tell people or no?  I thought about telling my sisters, and mom.. but the morning I was going for tests there was that wedding Crisis (you may or maynot have heard about it, in the end everything was ok).  Then I posted that thing on fb asking people about their opinions on sharing vs not, I was genuinely curious what people thought about it.  I had been thinking about the subject long before any of this came up, and then I thought hey lol lemmi posts this and the people who want to know will make themselves apparent. <- ha litmus test

It was really genuinely interested in thinking about and hearing all the different perspectives, and honestly, I , personally, still prefer people tell me.  I don’t get stressed out and scared about that stuff for other people so it’s not a burden to me, and I know for me I freak out in my own head so I’m all about spreading it around a little and self counseling so I can handle my own omigod.  But then I don’t want to be burdening others… shit’s complicated.  Anyway I did my best to help with the wedding crisis, and went in to see the doctor.

I head in, and wait.. they tell me it’s going to be ages till my number comes up, and I can go home and come back in a couple of hours.  Sweet, I can work on my homework for class!

I get back and it’s like ha no, nowhere near your number.  Fuck.  Ok, good thing I brought my laptop, so I sit on the floor and wait.  I’m getting worried I’m even going to get in, I have to get back to work for the afternoon and It’s still ages till my number, I ask the nurse and she says they will see everyone but it might go into the afternoon.  Crap, Ok well I might just have to call in, not coming, to work.  Then, not even, 10 minutes later the nurse grabs me and says, come now.  Hu? Ok, cool, I figure she just talked to the doctor and they are trying to do me a solid, I sit down and he tells the nurse I’m his daughter’s favourite teacher and he says to me.  OH my god, how long have you been waiting out there?? Why didn’t you tell me that you were coming?  I would have brought you in much earlier.  I’m super confused, because he’s wearing a mask and lab coat, he looks like.. well a doctor.  He takes off his mask and says ‘I’m Peggy’s Dad’.  My Jaw hits the floor!.  One of my kids from last year, I actually knew her dad relatively well, I even knew he was a doctor I just didn’t know what specialty or where.  What are the odds that one of my favourite student’s dad would be the random doctor out of 4 that I picked.  Wild.

Anyway I tell him the whole story, the Chinese doctor, the internet stuff, the symptoms, everything.  And I’m kinda freaked out, but trying to stay chill.  They took my blood pressure, and it was through the roof (stress).  While I’m talking, he’s typing the symptoms, and looking at the screen he begins to talk, and he says ‘”yup, well that sounds like some kind of kidney failure so we’ll order some tests… oh my god no no don’t cry, sorry, sorry it’s mild it’s certainly mild it’s ok!”  Because I’ve started to weep, I’ve got dialysis machines and kidney transplants swimming through my mind.  I calm down a little and explain that I’m just really scared, because these symptoms have been going on for well over a year closer to two maybe even three, and everything says you need to catch this early.. or there will be irreversible damage.

Well it turns out, that ‘early’ is in the many years category.. like 2 years IS catching it early, it’s more like don’t let it go one for 10 years.  Oh.  and by the by, FUCK YOU internet, like that wouldn’t have been a good thing to include in your scare mongering?  He orders tests and sets up an appointment the next week for the results.  I go back the next morning to give the urine and blood sample, and that was an unexpected gong show, but I got it done, and made it to work.  I honestly felt a lot better, shit was being handled and one way or another I’d have some answers and a plan of action. Plus I was pretty enthused by the idea that the exhaustion and other issues had a name and a cause.

A week later, I went back for the results.  And mostly yay.  Let’s be honest here I didn’t want it to be BAD, but I did want there to be something.  Because if it’s nothing then why the fuck do I have all these other problems??  I had checked my blood pressure a few times in the week and it was fine and on that day it was totally fine, so I was right I was just ouber stressed that first day (you know I always kinda thought that “you’re stressing me out and raising my blood pressure” Thing was just something people say.. hu turns out no, it’s a real thing.)

The results:  I do have lowered kidney function, my kidneys are working at 88% of capacity so not the end of the world but indicative of a problem.  All my numbers are high, but not dangerously high, salt is fine (thank god I would have cried if I had to take salt away).  Blood sugar was too high, which worried me because of the Diabetes in the family but he said it’s not high enough to be worried about that yet but we’ll keep an eye on it.  My liver function is lower than normal.  My Cholesterol is too high. And I’m super dehydrated, according to the tests.  But, nothing is high enough to warrant medicine even.  Basically, just keep doing what I’m doing (exercising a few times a week, and eating reasonable food) and try to up the exercise a little if I can.  The only real change I need/ed to make  is I need to drastically increase my water intake.  Um, but I generally drink 1-2 liters most days it’s closer to two.. how much do I need to drink?  Bare minimum, 3-4 liters.  OOF do you know how much water that is?  Let’s be honest though, having to drink stupid amounts of water is like nothing compared to how bad it could have been.  (Note, I have actually been really good about it and have been drinking on average 3.5-4.5 liters every day for more than a week)
There it is, there’s my story :).  Some of you already know, but here’s a bit more detail and the results.  Those of you who didn’t know, look, yay all good.  I just need to go back in tomorrow, for a sonogram of my liver and kidneys to see if there is any damage, liver whatever it will heal even if there is damage, and kidneys he’s hopeful that it’s just reduced function and no damage which means it should all go back to tickity boo as long as I take care of myself.  He did deliver that news about the possible damage with a keen eye on me to make sure I didn’t burst into tears again, lol I guess we can’t break the daughter’s beloved teacher, chuckle at least I know he’s invested in keeping me well!

Worst case, is there is damage, and my kidneys will not go back to 100% function, but even if they stay where they are as long as I drink copious amounts of water, and take care of myself it’s nothing.  Will be going back in, in 3 months to do the tests again, but I’m pretty confident that everything will be fine, even good.  I already am feeling a bunch better, less fatigued, the Chinese medicine has been helping with the water retention, and weight loss (I’ve lost about 5 kg in the past 3 months).  I just need to pee every 15 minutes and I hate, nah loath the water.. I call it names.  It’s agony trying to get all the water drinking in, but I power through because, let’s be honest as far as medical treatments go, it’s pretty much nothing.

Any questions?  I leave anything out?  Ask away 🙂

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Are you an Organ Donor?

7 12 2010

I often wonder why it’s not automatic, organ donation that is.  If someone comes into an emergency room.. and they can’t be saved their organs should be automatically donated, unless they have specifically stated they don’t want to donate.

Instead, the way it is now, if someone dies and hasn’t previously stated on their medical records or drivers license they want to be an organ donor.. then tough noogies.  So then the decision falls to the grieving family to decide to cut up their family to save strangers.   Most people aren’t that big, they are too selfish and can’t look past their own grief to help someone.  Give them a week or two, and they probably would.. but the organs are only viable for up to 24 hours (72 for kidneys) after death.

[lots of information about donations here]

Plus did you know, just because you have said once upon a time you that you wanted to be an organ donor, it doesn’t mean that you ar Read the rest of this entry »





I Learned Something from Boot Camp

14 09 2009

But not what you might think.  I didn’t do one and then learn some epic thing… I’m talking about the other blog,  Boot Camp (bitches, babes, buddies).

I made this other blog, for a couple of reason, to help motivate me to keep on track with my workouts and to help push and encourage a couple of my friends to get into and stay in shape.  Well it was a success and a disaster all at the same time.  As a fitness thing… pffft, but it was a learning experience.

Initially I wanted to keep it a small ‘tight knit’ group, even going as far as to discourage people from joining in until the ball got rolling.   Well I still stand by keeping things closed in a sense, but I think who was involved and how that happened didn’t work.  I set it up for a couple of my friend’s here and invited one friend from back home to join in.

But I think I made a mistake, what I should have done was got some hardcore people who were committed to themselves to get the ball rolling.  I’m still posting on there, but I’m the only one.  So what I’m going to do is try to invite a few people who are ‘hardcore’ to set the tone and then invite others to participate.

So here is the site[http://bootcampb.wordpress.com/],  if your interested in becoming involved send me an email and we’ll discuss it!  Anyone is welcome to message if you think you might be interested!!

bootcampb@gmail.com  <—- this is assuming I can get the damn email to work.

Never got it to work.. just email me at my normal address, if you don’t know it leave a comment I will email you. 😀





Persistence Hunting: And you though you were tired?

23 06 2009

kudu-bullI read the article on a blog a while back and I’ve been meaning to write about it.  [here is the blog I read it from] <– actually I highly recommend reading this article, it’s really very good!

Essentially, Persistence Hunting is running an animal to exhaustion and death.  Impossible you say?  Not at all, the human body was actually designed to do this, running on two feet is more efficient over long distances, sweating cools the body so we do not need to stop as much, we have hands and are capable of carrying water to cool down and rehydrate on the move.

Here is a part of a documentary demonstrating the tribe that still practices this form of hunting.

No real point in going on and on about something, when others have already outlined it very well :).   I found this super interesting and thought I would share it with you guys.  Honestly it gives me pause thinking about the human body, what it is designed to do and what we are physically capable of.  Each one of us is different but I think more than we realize this sort of thing is in our heritage.  We were not meant to be domesticated in the sense of cubical office rats… but that’s another post.

Off for my morning run.





Ow fuckity ow

11 06 2009

So here’s what made perfect sense while I was asleep.  On my big toe a little flap of skin came loose, you know how it does.. like a little ‘tag’ of skin.    it must have hurt or something bc I woke up to it and was like.. oh just pull it off.. MORON  Now if I had been awake and in reasoning mode, I would have remembered that pulling it just rips the skin all deep like, almost never solves the problem and makes it worse 90% of the time.  Yeah it made it worse.. woke up REALLY fast.  OW OW OW  Had to really get up get some scissors to cut it off but then it hurt like a bitch.  So I had to find a band aid, and then I had to take a fricken pain killer because I couldn’t get back to sleep.

Gawd I’m dumb.   You know it’s going to hurt like hell for days, and I won’t be able to go running (although I might try).  Well I can bike anyway.

But I do have to take more time to study,  I’ve been falling behind and it sucks that I can’t remember a lot of the new words.. sigh.





Coming Soon to my Sister’s Blog

8 06 2009

Magda’s words of wisdom (hahhahahahahha)

Shit.  I didn’t forget that I was meant to do this every week… but damn it if the week doesn’t just sneak up on you all unexpected like, that and life (as Dee will attest to) has just been getting in the ‘way’ for me recently.  Regardless here we go.

Wait quick side note, seems I come up with idea’s when running… 😉 maybe I should run more 😛
Shin splints:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shin_splints
From what I hear they suck, some serious ass, I’ve never had them personally for a multitude of reasons.  I’ve been a runner (and yet I still don’t have a running belt.. [looks a Dee side ways and smirks] since I was a little kid (as in competitive all through elementary to high school until my ‘accident’).  As a result I received all kinds of training and just general practice that prevented them.  As a result of learning it all so young I have no idea what was relevant and what wasn’t.  But in High school a lot of the other athletes had problems (maybe I’m just lucky?), so we got speeches all the time on different topics.  Another reason I’ve never suffered with shin splints is I know the warning signs and then do what is needed to Read the rest of this entry »





PICKLES and Bananas

17 05 2009

Yeah that title came from a complete lack of inspiration.. meh waddya gonna do?

So my sister is mad at me..  Well not so much mad as mildly irked.. oh she’ll deny it, but ti’s there a smidgen of animosity.  I can sniff it, I can I can.

Now how or why could anyone ever be irked with someone as precious and lovely as me you ask?  I just don’t know, she must be a cranky and disturbed chicky poo.. yes I’m sure that’s it… It can’t be related to the fact that she asked me to do something weeks (yes really weeks) ago and I still haven’t done it.  That would just be silly.

Now in my defense before you all jump up and down accusing me of being a big suck face, she did ask me to do something.  And made the task wildly vague, with no real guidance of what she wanted!  Other than hey can you write a guest sport or two something along the lines of a sports injuries for dummies.  Sounds simple right?

WRONG… what the hell am I meant to write about.. where do you start?  Where do you end?  It’s a heck of a lot harder than you might think.  Imagine if you will, that someone asks you a simple everything and then asks you to give them 10 examples I bet you money you get stuck!

So I have thought of a couple of topics I could mention, but how much do I say?  How much is too much how much is to little… the pressure is Read the rest of this entry »