When one faces the prospects of dialysis, every trip to the kidney doctor — or nephrologist for those preferring the official name — can be a breath-taking adventure.
My kidney function had dipped to 11 percent, which is pretty darn low. It’s near the level where some might be preparing to have a fistula installed to prepare for dialysis, or already be on dialysis.
That’s not happening with me — yet — because I still don’t show symptoms of pending renal failure. Understand, I’ve had kidney disease going on 25 years, so my body may have adapted to the symptoms better than someone whose kidney disease is progressing at a quicker pace.
I still pee
I’m not losing weight.
I’m not yet twitching or hiccuping or experiencing a metallic taste in my mouth.
I feel a bit tired but not woefully so or ill.
I’m not experiencing any serious problems sleeping.
No diarrhea or constipation. (I know, too much information.)
During my appointment Wednesday, my blood-work numbers proved to be stable. Doctors had warned me that at my level of function, the numbers could worsen at a rapid pace. I’m eating well -- that is, save for the times when I eat lunch with friends at the Post-Gazette. I maintain blood-sugar levels in the normal range and maintain a relatively health blood-pressure level that actually was almost too low during the doctor’s appointment at 112 over 58
My creatnine levels of 5.5 are horrible but stable. My potassium, vitamin D, calcium, hemaglobin and phosphorous numbers are nothing to brag about — save for excellent vitamin D levels — but fall generally within normal ranges which is a clear victory for anyone with stage IV kidney disease.
And the doctor gave me the best news when he said to keep doing what I’m doing, and he’ll see me again in six weeks, unless something unexpected occurs. That means, I can forego dialysis for another month or two, with hopes that the kidney-pancreas transplant will occur soon. Fingers crossed.
So I left the doctor’s office in one good mood. My goal is get the transplants without first having to undergo dialysis. It’s not been easy, but I’ve avoided dialysis now for the entire time I’ve been on the transplant list — 13 months and counting — and actually for more than 15 years and counting.
I plan to celebrate tonight with my dogs, Cricket and Nutmeg.