Stayin’ alive

A kidney dialysis/transplant diary

Suffering a case of the grumps

I promised myself I’d be as honest as I could be with this blog and not all days are up days.  This is one of those not-so-up days. I seem to be going through a string of them recently.  Maybe it has something to do with the weather, too.

All I know is I’ve been down in the dumps and suffering a case of the grumps for the past few days. Not without reason, comma but…

My legs have been bothering me during the day as well as at night when I’m trying to sleep. They’re hard to the touch and feel tight, especially when I stand and walk. And, of course, my weight going into treatment is reflecting whatever is going on, ie: I had gained like 6 and a half kilos between Saturday and Tuesday.

I’m urinating less. Damn.

I have a difficult enough time trying to limit my fluid intake to a quart and a half a day. If I have to take it down to a quart, I’m not sure how or if I’ll cope with that.

I talked with the nurses after weigh in Tuesday and had a couple of them feel how tight my legs are. They wrote a note to the doctor suggesting we try a diuretic or something to get this fluid moving out of my body.

For awhile — like after 7:30 — it looked like no doctor would be making rounds that evening but just before 8, one came through. She put me on 160 mg of furosemide twice a day to see if we can drain the water from my tanker-truck legs.

I took the first dose last night. Didn’t seem to help much. Maybe it will just take getting some of this in my system before the flushing starts. I hope.

I haven’t been on a diuretic while on dialysis so I’m hoping this will help. Something sure needs to. It’s getting difficult to bend my legs enough to get in and out of the car easily. Think trying to bend an overstuffed sausage to a 90% angle without something exploding. It ain’t easy, my friend.

It also hurts. I tried crossing my ankles while I was reclining during treatment last night. It was too uncomfortable where my calves touched.

Maybe I should try something batty like hanging from my ankles to sleep. Naw, that would probably clog my sinuses more then they stuff up now.

Good things. Let’s think about good things that have happened in the last couple of days.

tick tick tick


tick tick tick

well, I know there has to be SOMETHING

Oh, wait … the knitting is going pretty well. I finished six little pairs of woolly socks for six little orphans in an orphanage somewhere in Kosovo. And three-quarters of a wool stocking cap to send to an American soldier in Afghanistan as a “hug from home.”


Tick tick tick

OK, here comes the realization: I am alive and that is still a very good thing.

The snow has stopped for the moment and the sun is shining and that is still a very good thing.

Life could be worse.

As farmer Hoggett says in “Babe”: “That’ll do, Pig. That’ll do.”


January 23, 2008 - Posted by | diabetes, dialysis, fistula, health, kidney, renal diet, renal recipes, transplant, weight loss


  1. There is a long and a short explanation for why it is hard to get “dry” once you are carrying more than 4 kilos of excess fluid. The short reason is that there are three fluid compartments in the body and it takes time for fluid to migrate from inside the cells to the space between the cells to the blood compartment where it can be removed by dialysis. Fluid moves at a rate of about 300 to 600ml/minute – how fast fluid can migrate is related to your sodium intake and genetics.

    I would ask if you could take extra treatments – have four treatments a week instead of the weekend – to get that fluid off. If they’d let you dialyzing every day for a couple weeks would do a world of good. As you loose your urine output it will become increasingly important to control sodium intake. Sodium intake drive thirst; controlling sodium is the key to controlling thirst.

    Comment by Billp | January 23, 2008 | Reply

  2. oops that should have been: Fluid moves at a rate of about 300 to 600ml/hour.

    An hour not a minute.

    Comment by Billp | January 23, 2008 | Reply

  3. Thanks for the info, Bill … Of course, it’s not what I want to hear 🙂 If the furosemide doesn’t do the trick, i will suggest adding at least one treatment for awhile. They might be reluctant to do that, though, since – as i understand it from a doctor friend – Medicare no longer pays by the treatment but by the patient. My getting an extra treatment would cut into the profit margin. But it never hurts to ask. All they can do is say no.

    Comment by iowakitkat | January 24, 2008 | Reply

  4. Medicare will reimburse when it is medically justified. The only risk is that you may like how extra dialysis makes you feel.

    Comment by Billp | January 24, 2008 | Reply

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