Stayin’ alive

A kidney dialysis/transplant diary

A typical or atypical way to cheer up?

womanwalkingdiealysis

Take food, drink, alcohol, salt, cigarettes and – frankly – sex away from an addictive personality and what’s left to cheer you up?

Shopping!

Case in point: See the above additions to my spring wardrobe.  Might as well be political while reclining.

Yeah, I know they’re a bit macabre, but they make me smile a crooked smile and I like that.

Another mood lifter was the bright bouquet of flowers left on my desk by another coworker (who works in a different department here but who has been reading my blog) left on my desk. How nice. Lavendar and white daisies, red-tipped carnations and purple stock. All tied with a pink organza bow.

My doggy-doodoo down in the dumps mood was also slightly lifted this morning when I read there may be hope in eliminating anti-rejection drugs for kidney transplants.  That would take a huge worry physically and financially from patients.

The physical worries? Well, anti-rejection drugs suppress the immune system to keep it from trying to force the foreign organ from the body.

The drug of choice is prednisone. Here are some of the more bothersome side effects: 

These include, but are not limited to, fluid and sodium (salt) retention, high blood sugar, muscle weakness, bone disease, stomach ulcers, impaired wound healing, acne, mood swings, anxiety, cataracts, glaucoma, weight gain, hormone disorders, and growth suppression in children. — The USC Kidney Transplant Program

Not a pretty list of side effects. Almost makes one wonder if the cure is as bad as the disease. Guess I can’t say worse than the disease since untreated kidney failure means life failure.

So the idea that taking bone marrow from the donor to recalibrate or reprogram the recipient’s marrow manufacturing sounds pretty good to me, especially if the side effects are less or much less severe than the prednisone side effects.

The financial worries: Anti-rejection drug therapy is extremely expensive and continues — now — for the rest of the recipient’s life. We’re talking multiple thousands of dollars per month (but still cheaper than dialysis).

I’m sure Diane Langton found much irony in the release of this study information now since the recipient of her kidney, Jim Wilson, died this month. Because of his suppressed immune system, he caught a serious case of flu which ended up causing heart failure. Who knows, maybe the bone marrow treatment at the time of transplant or shortly thereafter would have saved Jim’s life.

I’m not sure the furosemide is working as well as it should, and I have limited my fluids more than usual the past couple of days, so we’ll see how dialysis goes today.  I still have a long way to go to get rid of this excess fluid.

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January 24, 2008 - Posted by | diabetes, dialysis, fistula, health, kidney, renal diet, renal recipes, transplant, weight loss

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