Friday, November 11, 2005

Weight Upped due to High Heart Rate

Welcome to the blog. It’s Friday morning at about 9:00am, and I thought I’d give you all an update as to what is going on with my dialysis. As you might have guessed from the post title, my heart rate was up at the end of dialysis again Thursday night. Fortunately, it was only in the 160s, not over 200 like it was last week. They gave me some oxygen, had me drink a grape soda, and kept me in the clinic for over an hour after my treatment was over to attempt to stabilize my heart rate. Now, I am all for safety, but I did not feel bad at any point after my treatment. The nurse was worried that I would have shortness of breath or dizziness, but neither of those was a problem. I just had a high heart rate. So, when my seated and standing heart rates were both 120 beats per minute, they let me go home (at about 9:45 pm). The nurse also agreed to move my dry weight from 68.0 kg to 68.5 kg (which is about 151 lbs). The last time I had problems after my treatments, raising my weight solved the problem. I guess I’ll know for sure on Saturday.

I called the vascular surgeon’s office again on Thursday. The nurse said that she would have to pull my chart (same thing she told me Tuesday) and that the doctor would give me a call. This time, I gave her my cell number instead of my work number, but the call never came. I guess he’s busy. They say that “no news is good news,” but I would like to know what is going to happen to my arm.

I received a letter from the Baylor Regional Transplant Institute the other day. They wanted me to sign my HIPPA consent form and read their Notice of Health Information Practices. I guess this means that they are moving along in the transplant process. Hopefully, I will hear more soon from them. (This is good news!)

They tested my access flow again last night. The purpose behind this is trending. If they take an access flow test on a regular basis, they can see if it starts to slow down or speed up too quickly so that they can find problems before they get too bad. My flow yesterday was 331 ml/min. I asked someone to explain access flow, and here is what I learned. The access flow is the blood flow rate in my fistula (all the time). This is different than the dialysis flow rate of 400 ml/min. They would prefer that my fistula would flow faster than 400 all the time. This is why I want to know what the vascular surgeon plans to do for me.

I got my insurance card in the mail, and gave the nurse a fax-in prescription form. With my new insurance, they will only pay for maintenance medications if you get them from their mail-in pharmacy. So, they provide a form that the doctor can fax in to request your medications. I gave that form to the nurse, and she said she would get it to the doctor next week when he gets back. I looked up my prescriptions, and all but one is a Tier Two medication. The pharmacy has three pricing tiers for their medications, and I have one that is in the highest tier (3) and the others are mid-range. Mid range medications cost $50 every three months, and the third tier medication will cost $80 for 90 days. This puts me at paying $380.00 every 90 days for my medications (not to complain, because the insurance company will be paying $913.97 for that same time period). So, if you find a dollar on the ground, give it to me, so I can give it to the insurance company!

That’s about it. You might have noticed that I played with the layout on the website. I took off the rounded corners and made the two columns take up the entire width of the screen. No use having blank sides, when it is possible to take up the entire screen real estate. Hope you like the new size (I know I do).
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