Stayin’ alive

A kidney dialysis/transplant diary

Tuesday report

I’m working offline for this post. Looks like things are a bit screwy on the internet at the moment but I don’t want to wait to get this double post going.

Today was a long day, too. It started early – 6:40 for the first blood work – and went pretty solid until after 3:30.

So, I’ll start with Tuesday.

We were at the Eisenberg Lobby Level Desk G by 6 a.m.  The continental breakfast wasn’t out yet at the hotel, so we got some coffee (decaf for me) at Caribou Coffee in the lobby.  I got a slice of lemon loaf since I needed something in my stomach, not good for diabetics to go too long without food, you know, and there were no “good” choices.

The clerk, Yasmin, at the L-G desk hands me my itinerary. First appointment at 6:20, blood tests.  Well, not just blood tests but FASTING blood tests. Oops. Hmmm, had I known I wouldn’t have eaten the lemon bread.

“Didn’t you get an itinerary in the mail?” Jeanie asked. That would be a big no. No itinerary in the mail. Of course, she pointed out the fasting part after the tests were drawn – all 12 to 15 vials, I stopped counting after awhile.

It’s never a simple process to “stick” me as the nurses put it. My veins roll and hide and collapse.  It took a couple of tries and a bit of probing, but when she finally got things rolling, the vials filled pretty quickly.

Then at 7:30 it was the Gonda Building Desk SL-West for an electrocardiogram. You know what?  I really don’t even remember it. That’s quite a revelation to me since I pride myself on trying to keep track of what’s going on medically with me.  Note: The operative word is trying, especially since 7:30 yesterday seems ages ago.

8:15 it was back to Eisenberg L-G for a discussion with a nurse practitioner about the dialysis I would have later that afternoon. Pretty routine and pretty close to what takes place at the Mercy outpatient unit.

At 9:30 it was off to the Charlton Building, second floor, for a chest X-ray. I do remember that maybe because you have to get into an awkward position to take them. Makes me feel a little like a cross between a high-fashion model and the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz. She got everything she needed the first time around, though.

Dr. Prietor (sp), a transplant surgeon was next.  He asked me some questions, told me he was concerned about my weight and my history of sleep apnea and poked around my abdomen a bit.  “I would not deny you a transplant,” he said, “but I’m only one voice on the team.

The team, the doctor said, meets every two weeks to go over the cases and make decisions as to who is added to the transplant list.  He said he was going to set up an appointment with Dr. Heimbach, a transplant obesity specialist. Good.

After that appointment, Jean and I went across the street to the hotel, had some lunch and when it was time to go to dialysis (12:45), I told her to stay in the room, I could get over there just fine with the help of a patient escort.

She had been wheeling me all over the hospital even though I kept telling her we could get an escort for her as well. She has a bum knee and the “good” one is because of a transplant.  I knew If I tried walking the miles and miles of hallways to the various appointments that I’d be too tired to try to make the Wednesday appointments.

Unlike her cousin/sister me, she is stubborn as the day is long (to use a war-weary cliché) and if you think her cousin/sister me ain’t just as stubborn, you got another think coming.

She won out yesterday but was suffering from it mightily today.  I had a patient escort today but she still refused.

The day finally finished with Jean in the room, an ice pack on her knee and my telling her truthfully and forcefully that she was going to stay in the room and rest tomorrow.  I think I have this patient escort thing down pretty good. It’s 7:22 and she just piled into bed.  When I told her I’d see her in the morning to say “goodbye,” she answered “I ain’t gonna disagree with you but I feel really bad about it.” Both of us are pretty good at feeling unnecessary guilt and both of us are Swede stubborn by genetics.  Uff da!

The car was dispatched to a Kellog (near Wabasha) mechanic who should do right by me, Jean’s husband said. The clutch itself will be around $300 and who knows what the labor will be. Like Scarlet O’Hara, “I’ll think about that tomorrow.”

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November 7, 2007 - Posted by | diabetes, dialysis, health, kidney, transplant

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