Stayin’ alive

A kidney dialysis/transplant diary

Slo mo

The last week has been – actually, I don’t know how to describe it – wearisome, oh, yeah. Frustrating, you bet. Long, my, oh my, yes.

Monday was relatively OK. The groceries were delivered and quite satisfactorily. I was glad to have saved myself the physical stress and pain from that.

Tuesday, I was really tired at work but managed to make it through the day. Stopped by the house to apply the emla cream, take a pain killer and a dose of the antibiotic. I sat down in the recliner for a few minutes and really didn’t want to get up to go to treatment. My legs were already starting to cramp.

I got to treatment and was dragging, almost literally, several people in the waiting room commented that I didn’t look like I felt well. I didn’t. I got settled in the recliner and offered my arm up for poking and it hurt. Pretty damn bad, both the old and the new. I felt sorry for the nurse cannulating because I know she’s almost an empath and cringes every time she hurts someone.

It was like every nerve in my body was jangling and zapping.  Every place that hurts hurt worse than normal and some places that hardly ever hurt were screaming for relief.

My temp was OK. At least at the beginning of the treatment. About midway I started asking for sheets over my plush throw. I had three of them piled up and was still shivering. When you feel that bad, every minute seems at least an hour long.

When the treatment finally crept into only a half hour left, they took my temperature and found it to be 99.9. Ahhh! Sounds like maybe there is/was an infection in my thighs. Something nasty marching through my already embattled body.

99.9 doesn’t seem particularly high, but I normally run low at 97.4 Anyway, high or low, the fever had me feeling lousy. And the thighs, of course, still swollen and even more tender to the touch.

Home to pain pills, hot packs, night meds, insulin shot, antibiotic dose, some time in the recliner before bed.

I stayed home from work Wednesday. Stayed home from knitting group, too (the third time in the last two weeks). Just didn’t have the strength to go. I was still a bit feverish and the pain, especially in the swollen thighs, was still pretty high. The fluid pocket area, in fact, was warm to the touch, another indication of a possible infection.

Stayed home from work Thursday because the pain was still prodigious, especially when I tried to bend my legs. I was also hoping that another couple of days with my legs elevated might start shifting the fluid away (up, hopefully) from my thighs.

Thursday’s dialysis started out better: We got both needles in the arm. This is good, I thought. I wore loose-fitting velour trousers so I could pull them up past my thigh and Nurse Practitioner Jodi could see them.  She thought the heat was less in the legs, but commented that the hard nodules looked almost bruised. Continue the warm packs and leg elevation and probably do a second course of the antibiotics.

Still no official word on what it might be. The ultrasound revealed no blood clots and no cellulitis. The best guess is leaning to simply fluid pockets. Whine, whine, whine: I want them gone!

So, in the midst of talking with Jodi, I reached up – with both hands – to adjust my glasses and promptly blew the venous needle and that infiltration did a number on the arterial, too. My reaction as I was making the motion was, “Shit, Kathy, how stupid can you get?”

My left bicep looks like a 5-inch wide deep purple/black slave bracelet wrapping at 240 degrees around the arm. It’s sore to the touch, too. So now I’m warm packing the legs and the left bicep.

I’ve had enough sitting at home mentally chained to a recliner and one or two heating pads. I love knitting and have done quite a bit during my enforced quietude, but it’s getting a little old now, especially doing it so much in solitare.

So, I did break out of the house Saturday morning to meet with my knitting group. Das ist gut!


March 10, 2008 - Posted by | diabetes, dialysis, fistula, health, kidney, renal diet, renal recipes, transplant, weight loss


  1. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

    Stacey Derbinshire

    Comment by Stacey Derbinshire | March 10, 2008 | Reply

  2. Thinking of you, Kathy… Wish there was a magic pill…

    Comment by Mary in Iowa | March 13, 2008 | Reply

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