Stayin’ alive

A kidney dialysis/transplant diary

Who knew?

Do you know walking 25 feet twice with a new prosthetic can wear you out? It can.

I did the 25 X 2 latish this afternoon. Maybe that’s why it made me close to breaking out in a sweat.

I also put the prosthesis on this morning during occupational therapy and stood at the kitchen sink for a couple of minutes twice. May not seem like much, but it is progress. I actually raised both arms from the death grip, too … one at a time, of course. Have to work on trusting my balance, too, and that I’m not going to topple.

I also turned 180 degrees during the walks this afternoon and managed not to fall. Again, progress.

I’m at the computer for a quick blog update now and then checking out the state medicaid site since I received notification that I was rejected for the assistance. I plan to appeal.

I also waited in vain for a call from the Social Security office this morning. Why? Well, I had the day confused. I’d thought we’d set the call for today when it was actually set for tomorrow. Ooops! I called the office after waiting about a half hour and checking the letter they’d sent me. I re-set to telephone appointment for 9:45 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 30.

Sleep was pretty elusive again last night. I wish I could make that better and get a solid 8 hours. I seem to yawn and yawn and nearly fall asleep until I actually get into bed and then even with sleeping pills it seems to take a long time for me to fall asleep. Once asleep, I’m waking what seems hours earlier than necessary and trying unsuccessfully to fall back asleep until it’s time to get up (a little after 6 a.m. so Mom can help me get ready for the day before we both go down for breakfast).

I think my mind is just too wound up with everything to allow me to fall asleep easily most nights. Too many thoughts, too many uncertainties, too many questions and concerns. Can’t seem to just let go and let things happen.

I am working on the “as if” aspect of life but it is, of course, still difficult and will be for quite some time, I’m sure, but it takes little time to read the inspirational message in the mornings. I’ve been reading it twice and seeing if there seems to be some message for me. Baby steps, you know. 

Just as in the walking with the prosthesis and the exercising. I’m not going to say I’ve been the absolute best at doing the upper body and leg exercises OT and PT have laid out for me, but I have been doing at least a set of each each day and wheelchair pushups, too.  I’ve been slowly increasing reps or hold times, too, and I do notice I’m stronger day by day.

It all takes so much time, which, of course, the therapists assure me will decrease drastically sooner than I think. But i get antsy with myself and the apartment is small, TV isn’t holding my interest and I still haven’t picked up my knitting again so I’m going a bit stir crazy on top of everything else.

Dialysis takes big whopping chunks out of my time, too, though I know intellectually that it saves my life. Still, 3 entire days each week stultifying. Some days it’s a real internal battle just to make it to treatment. Strange isn’t it, when you know full well that those treatments are not just important but absolutely necessary to life.

I need to make it a point to do something fun or get out of here this coming weekend. I’ll work on that. See if I can find a friend with a regular car to take me shopping or get my hair cut or go to a movie. I need the break, I think.

among the wonderful things that happened today was a package I received in the mail from Alecia, my great good friend who’s been so helpful to me since the surgeries and amputation. What a surprise: A beautiful hand knit vest her daughter, Kristin, sent to me from Michigan.

I had asked Alecia to see if she could keep her eyes open for some sweater vests for me to wear during dialysis. Kristin, “Sis,” knit the vest for herself but had never worn it so she sent it to her mom to send to me. It’s gorgeous colors – blues, lavender, turquoise, shots of rusty orange, too  – in a diagonal stripe. I’m not sure I can bring myself to wear it to dialysis and chance bleeding on it.

My blood is pretty thin at the moment since I’m taking 10 mg of coumidin daily and they give me 15,000 units of heperin before each treatment so when dialysis is over and I transfer back to my wheelchair from the recliner, I’ve been just as likely to “spring a leak” from one of the access points as not. That means a pretty liberal flow of blood from my left bicep. Perfect for dialysis as the beautiful vest is, I’m not sure I’m ready to chance it.

Well, I’d better scat over to the state medicaid site and check out what it will take to appeal their rejection of my application.

For the rest of the night and tomorrow, I intend to keep fighting the good fight.


October 21, 2008 - Posted by | diabetes, dialysis, fistula, health, kidney, renal diet, renal recipes, transplant, weight loss


  1. Hi Kathy-

    Do you have an email address I can contact you at?


    Comment by Aaron Hepker | October 23, 2008 | Reply

  2. Probably should post mine:

    Comment by Aaron Hepker | October 23, 2008 | Reply

  3. Hey, Aaron —
    My email address is can’t say I’m checking it daily these days, but usually at least once a week

    Comment by iowakitkat | October 25, 2008 | Reply

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