Monday, July 10, 2006

Back from Arkansas

Hi, everybody. I am back from my trip to Arkansas, and I thought I’d share some stories with you. I traveled to Fort Smith, Arkansas, last Friday night for my 10-year high school reunion. I called the Fort Smith dialysis clinic, seeking a spot for possibly Saturday morning. I was told that they had no open chairs in any shift all weekend. So, I called Poteau, Oklahoma, and they opened up a spot for me on Friday night. I went to the clinic, and was the only one there. They nice people in Poteau opened up their clinic just for me so that I would be able to attend my reunion.

My treatment went fairly well. They Poteau clinic did things a little differently. First, they measured your weight in pounds instead of kilograms. That meant they had to convert your difference to kilograms to input into the machine (which seemed odd, since their scale worked in kilograms). I just took my kg weight and subtracted my dry weight for a good UF removal. The other difference in treatments was how they administer heparin. At my clinic, I get 6700 units at the beginning of my treatment. In Poteau, they like to give some at the beginning, and then a little more during the treatment later on. Unfortunately, they didn’t give enough on the later shots, so my blood ended up clotting in the machine with 10 minutes left on my treatment. They returned as much as they could, but I ended up being a half kilo under weight (due to unreturned blood). That left me a little light-headed, but overall, it was a good treatment.

I was really happy that the clinic opened up for me. They didn’t have any other patients and did not have to stay open, but they did. They also told me that the Fort Smith clinic almost never opens up a seat for travelers. I think I’ll have to call one of the nephrologists in Fort Smith the next time I go back to see if they can get me a spot. So, Jenny and I went to the reunion activities on Saturday and had a pretty good time. I saw several people that I had not talked to in 10 years, and we had some e-mail exchanges, so I should be able to keep in touch with them at least for a while.

On Sunday, we went to church with my mom. I was able to talk to many, many people that have been praying for me. It was really heartening to see all these people that have been praying for God to help me be healthy again. I am thankful for such a wide group of people that lift me up. Thank you to anyone that has been praying for me.

I think I probably will have put on a lot of fluid weight over the weekend (since I will go four days between treatments instead of two). I suppose I will have the clinic take off 3500 ml per treatment until I get back down to my dry weight. The bonus of that is that I will not get dehydrated during dialysis this week!

The nephrologist did not come to the clinic last week. I need to ask him this week to write an order to remove my catheter. They haven’t used it in several weeks, and it is an easy way to get an infection, so I want it removed. The doctor has to order it, but I hope he can do it soon. I also have to get my TSH blood work results back so that I can send them to the endocrinologist. They are checking my TSH levels to make sure my thyroid is working normally again (as it is supposed to). I just have to get the results and send them to the endocrinologist, since the dialysis clinic can’t seem to do that.

Please pray this week that my treatments will all go well and that I won’t end up at the hospital. Pray that the doctor is able to get me in to have my catheter removed soon. And, pray that I can talk to the insurance company and figure out the payments for transplant testing.

By the way, today is my 2nd wedding anniversary! Thanks for reading.
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