The D-word.... (Dialysis)

So here's how I spend my Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays..... I started at the hospital, but now I go to a center for dialysis four hours for each scheduled day. So I am sitting connected to a machine for 12 hours a week! It's like a bad part time job (one where they pay you by letting you live). The purpose of dialysis is to do some of what your kidneys don't do--filter your blood and remove excess fluid (remember my swollen ankles). There are some key things that are looked at when checking for kidney function. Two big ones are BUN (blood urea nitrogen) and creatinine level. Both of these have to do with waste and the function of your kidneys. The BUN max is around 25mg. In May mine was a

What Happened to Your Arm??

I get that question about as often as I wear a short sleeved shirt (for some reference, I live Tampa, Florida...). I don't mind it anymore. Most people are genuinely interested and concerned. It gives me an opportunity to share my story. After finding out about my CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease). I was told that I would need dialysis. I was devastated. I could not imagine how dialysis would fit into my life AND I was terrified about the impending pain. The doctor describe an at-home methods, but due to me living alone at the time and having a dog, these were not options. I was going to have to start hemodialysis. First I had to have a surgery to create an access for dialysis (fistula). I've

How it all began. The story of my lazy kidneys...

How long have you had this? Why? When did you know something was wrong? You don't seem sick... I hear these things frequently. Here's my story.... On Mother's Day weekend 2016 I traveled the 5hr journey to visit my parents in Georgia. I'd talked to my mother earlier that day. "Mom, I'm getting some kind of rash! My skin is so itchy, and I haven't eaten anything different." Mom in typical fashion lectured me about my Bath & Body Works addiction and urged me to stop using so many different things. Hours later my trusty sidekick, Snow White, (my black lab mix) and I arrived home. Whoah! I stepped out of the car and almost fell over. My feet felt like they didn't belong to me. I stumbled to the

Dear Theodosia.........

Like everyone else, I'm a Hamilton fan. I've been singing these songs nonstop (punny pun) since 2015. My favorite song from this show is "Wait for It." The lyrics that are most meaningful to me are "If there's a reason I'm still alive when so many have died, then I'm willing to wait for it!" I knew the story and loved the song immediately, but one day these words struck me. I have an illness that kills people, yet I remain alive and well. There's got to be reason so I keep pushing and waiting (for a new kidney in case you missed the first entry). In the original cast, this song was performed by Leslie Odom Jr. (who I'm -what's a polite word for 'obsessed'?- obsessed with. His album is the so

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