Friday, July 21, 2006

After My Vacation

Hello everyone. I realize that my last post was eight days ago, but I have not been around much. Last weekend, Jenny and I took a short trip to Arlington to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary. We had a good time, but I did not do any computing while we were gone, so I am a little behind on my blog. I have several updates to make, and hopefully I will not forget any of them.

I went to the nephrologist’s office after work on Friday, July 14. He took out the chest catheter and bandaged me up. This catheter had been in since March 24 (almost four months). They used it off and on, and even cleaned it out once. I am glad to be finally rid of it. I can now take showers (like a normal person) and sleep on my stomach again.

Like I said, we went out of town over the weekend. I had a dialysis treatment on Saturday, which wasn’t all that bad. The technician that I got on Tuesday was new (to me). Since I have not had a lot of success recently with my needle sticks, I figured it would be okay to let someone different have a shot at my arm and see if maybe she was better at sticking me. She was not. She had to go and get another technician to stick the arterial side of my access. I don’t think it was her problem. I have determined that there is only really one or two technicians that can consistently find my arterial access.

Saturday’s treatment had lots of struggles. So did Tuesday this week. I got a decent stick, but the machine didn’t seem to like it. According to the technicians, there is not quite enough stickable area on the fistula. They have to stay one inch away from the surgical site (on both ends) and try to keep the needles from being too close together. This is difficult, as the entire fistula is only about 4 or 5 inches long. It is also slightly curved, which leaves less spots in which to insert the needles. Fortunately, someone has been able to find a spot to go in each treatment so that I can be dialyzed.

Thursday’s treatment went fairly well. I got a quick, easy stick, and the machine ran at 300 ml/min for most of the treatment (and at 290 ml/min the rest of the time). My thought is that if I can get six good treatments in a row (no machine problems, and little to no sticking problems) that I will move from 17- to 16-gauge needles. The larger needles give a better treatment, but I do not want to try and use something larger until I can get the little needles to work properly.

In other news, I have been working with the financial department at Baylor to figure out who is going to pay for my father’s transplant evaluation. It turns out that the paperwork was initially misfiled, but that the current balance is $0. This is good news, and it means that I can contact my other donors and get them started. So, if you see my name pop up on your caller ID, then it’s time. I haven’t decided if I am going to do one donor, or have all three of the people that live in town and completed their paperwork to go at the same time. I might try that, just to confuse everyone. It should be fun.

Aside from that, I have nothing too interesting to report. I have an appointment with the endocrinologist on July 31. I don’t think I will have to go back to see him after that. My TSH levels have been normal for nearly a year now, so I think my thyroid problems have subsided. It would be nice to have one less doctor to keep up with. Maybe I should try and schedule a neurology appointment and get rid of her, as well. I haven’t had any stroke problems in over a year, and maybe she can reduce some of the medications she prescribed. I’ll have to get on that one.

I have a few prayer requests for you to consider:
  • Pray that the technician at dialysis will get a good stick that works well for the next several treatments(by works well, I want the machine to run at 300 ml/min and to not have arterial alarms caused by being unable to pull my blood)

  • Pray that we will find the right person with the right kidney at the right time to be a donor for me

I am currently searching my records to find out what my blood type is. When I get it, I will let you know. I have had many people as me about this, and I wanted to be able to give the right answer.

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