Stayin’ alive

A kidney dialysis/transplant diary

Another day in Mayoland

It’s Friday, November 16, and I’m between appointments at Mayo’s again.  Time for a real-time update again.

I had a CT this morning, mostly of my thorax … I’m not sure if it included the heart area, but it definitely included the kidneys.  Already being in kidney failure poses some problems with CTs, too.  The contrast dye injected is excreted through the kidneys so they advise you to drink lots of clear, uncaffinated (sp?) fluids to help flush it through.  The dye can be hard on kidneys.

Except if you’re a dialysis patient.  Then you keep to your regular fluid intake and depend on dialysis to remove the dye from your system. I dialyze beginning at 8:20 tomorrow morning.

Wednesday afternoon I had a consultation at the Thrombophilia center.  The doctor told me it would be difficult to pinpoint my exact clotting problem because to do so they would have to take me off heperin before my dialysis sessions for about a week and off the coumidin for six weeks. Not a good plan since I seem to clot off the dialysis machines. That could prolong the sessions and waste dialyzers.

I have “proven,” Dr. C said, that I have a clotting problem even though it’s never been a problem before so they will note and treat me as having a clotting problem.  He did an INR (the same as a protime) and found I was “sub-therapeutic,” increased my coumidin to 12.5 mg and scheduled a follow up with a nurse for today (Friday).

Mary Ellen, the Thrombophilia nurse, found me to be even further sub-therapeutic then asked if I had eaten in vitamin K containing veggies.

Well, yes, I had spanokopita (sp?) at Michael’s on Wednesday afternoon and a half a spinach salad last night.  But, nurse, it’s the first spinach I’ve had in over six months, I swear….

So, my coumidin is increased to 15 mg tonight and tomorrow night and I’m to have an INR or protime done at home on Monday.  She gave me a calendar to log my INR levels.  I now have an appointment with her next Friday, November 23, following the rescheduled appointment with the obesity transplant specialist.

I’m in the waiting area of the cardio center at the moment.  I had to come up here to affirm that my PET scan had been canceled. That’s accomplished now so I have time to get some breakfast/lunch before my Sleep Disorders consultation at 1:15 p.m.

Mayo’s — when it’s busy — seems like a huge medicine mall. It’s all under one roof, so to speak, with skywalks and subways between buildings.  Gently burbling water falls, shiny stairways, lots of beautiful art work, piped in music and in the main lobbies pianists at grand pianos.

 Some of the hallways are so busy with pedestrian traffic that stoplights would probably be a good thing.  Patients, visitors, doctors and nurses rush by most seemingly absorbed in their own thoughts.  I sat at the Charlton Building lobby this morning waiting for a patient escort to take me to the CT scan area.  It was about 6:30. Staff members and others streamed in and out of the door since it was near a shift change. 

I watched the parade and then began to notice that no one looked my way, in fact it was as if they purposely avoided doing so.  Of all the people hurrying  through that doorway, only two smiled at me. Hmmmm. We have become so isolated and isolationist.

Patient escorts snake around the buildings, elevators, skywalks and hallways as probably some of the few who know the maze well enough to take shortcuts.  They all seem to be good communicators — desk staff to doctors — and friendly as well. It’s a good thing because people who are sick, worried, nervous and thoroughly poked and prodded have little patience.

When the escorts are whisking you down a broad, bright hallway with doors almost magically opening before you, it’s kind of like the opening of some movie or an episode of ER.  I have been using escorts less this visit and pushing a wheelchair full of my stuff  kind of like a wheelbarrow that can instantly afford me seating, if I need it.

Enough for right now.  My stomach says it’s time for some food.

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November 16, 2007 - Posted by | kidney

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