Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Sorry for the Delay

Sorry for the delay, everyone. I was so busy at work and at home last week that I did not have time to update my blog. I realized that this was a blunder after the third or fourth person asked me how I was doing (since I had not updated). I repeatedly heard people wondering about my health, hoping that I had not been too sick to post. Well, fear not, loyal readers, I have not been ill, I was just busy.

It has been over a week since I last posted. Not too much has been going on lately, which is nice, I suppose. My arm is still sore from the infiltration on the 7th. There is some minor bruising above one of the needle sites. I think the tech pinched my arm while she was taping it up on Saturday, and it left a bruise. My arm does not hurt too much, except for about an hour or so after each treatment. Most of the yellow coloring has gone away, which means that most of the blood has been reabsorbed into my arm. Thankfully, it was not a bad infiltration, so there was no damage.

I had mostly good treatments last week. Tuesday’s treatment ran a little slower because I don’t think the technician that stuck me has quite as good of an aim as some of the others. There are three technicians that I really like, and two or three more that do a decent job. The lady I had on Tuesday gets the needle in, but it must always be brushed up against the vein wall because it can’t pull blood quite as quickly as normal. Thursday and Saturday, I had some of the better technicians, and my machine was able to run at 400 ml/min.

My fluid intake has been pretty good lately. I had my dry weight raised to 71.5 kg, and I think that has helped a lot. My poor remaining kidney doesn’t do too much work when my dry weight is too low, so I try to get it raised up every once and while just so the kidney doesn’t get too lazy.

Well, it’s probably time for me to do some work today. I just wanted to shoot out a quick update to everyone and let you all know that I am doing well. I have not heard from the transplant doctors yet about Josh’s kidney, but when I do … you guys will hear everything.

Please continue to pray that God’s will be done in that situation. And, continue to pray that I have good health and good dialysis treatments.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Hemodialysis Patient Report Card for Nathan - Sep 2006

Hello everyone. I am posting today to give you my latest lab results. I am posting directly from blogger.com today, because I am going to attempt to insert pictures to show you exactly what I see on my lab report.

Here it goes:
My Albumin was 4.6. Albumin is the protein in the blood that helps fight infections and aids in healing.

My enPCR was 0.6. This is the Protein Catabolic Rate; it suggests if I am eating enough fish, chicken, beef, and other protein foods to meet my daily needs. The dietician said that this number is probably dilluted because I am still producing urine.

my eKdrt/V was 1.5. This tells how well my dialysis treatment is working and if I am receiving enough dialysis to clean my blood. Notice that it has been going up since July (when I started using my fistula instead of the catheter).

My potassium was 4.2. Potassium is a mineral needed for normal heart rhythm and muscle function. High potassium can make your heart stop.

My corrected calcium level was 9.0. Calcium is a mineral needed for health bones and muscles. The calcium level was a little high back when I was taking more Phoslo. Now that I am hardly taking any, my calcium levels have gone back to normal.

My phosphorus level was 3.3 (which, by the way, is wonderful). Phosphorus is a mineral needed for healthy bones. High phosphorus can damage the heart and blood vessels by making them stiff, and can weaken the bones. The dietician said that 3.3 is wonderful, and that I do not need to worry about it being slightly below the "shaded area" of normal.

This final chart shows my average fluid weight gains over the past six months. This is a new chart to our lab packet, and it fairly interesting. I don't know how well you can read it, but the top line (bold) shows the average WEEKEND fluid weight gains. The smaller line, on the bottom, shows the average monthly fluid gains. As you can see, my fluid gains have been increasing, but I also recently got my dry weight moved up to 71.5 kg, so that number should balance back a little lower next month.

The other number on my lab report was hemoglobin, which was 12.1 (goal is between 11 and 12). This means that I have not been that anemic, and that I need to talk with the doctor about why I might have been feeling tired more often lately.

Also, they ran an access flow test at the treatment on Thursday. My access flow tested at 1166. This is very good. I am glad to see that my fistula is behaving correctly. Hopefully, it will soon be easier to stick, and that will make my treatments go easier.

Please continue to pray for Josh's test results. I want to follow God's will with gettng a new kidney.

Donate to the PKD foundation via Kelly's walk:

Thanks for coming by!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

September 12 - Update

Welcome to the blog everyone. It is Tuesday, September 12, 2006, and today is a pretty good day. Let me give everyone updates on what is going on, and hopefully you’ll learn a little more about where I am at this point.

My friend Josh has begun his testing process. He went in to the doctor’s office on Wednesday and Thursday of last week, spending his entire day being poked and scanned. There are a few tests that he still has to send in and a couple more appointments to take care of, and then his portion of the testing will be complete. From there, all we have to do is to wait and see how they like his kidneys, and if I will like one of them.
Read it: http://joshotrades.blogspot.com/2006/09/one-weeks-time.html

My friend Kelly (who lives in Minnesota) is going to participate in a PKD walk (it’s kind of like a Race for the Cure, if you are more familiar with that). 85% of the donations raised in the Walks go directly to pay for research for a cure to PKD (I’m guessing the rest goes to cover administrative costs). Her goal is $220, and I know you can all give a little bit to help her reach it. Check out her site, and make a small donation (even $5 or $10 would help).

Now, it’s back to me, personally. Today is Tuesday, and I have another dialysis treatment today. I had my monthly blood work done last week, so I should see the results today. I am hoping that my phosphorus will still be in the safe range, which would be nice. Please pray that those results will all be in the “normal” range.

I got two sticks on Saturday, with a new technician (new to me, not to being a tech). He was able to get the needles in quickly and easily, and the machine ran at 400 ml/min for almost the entire four hours. I am glad that there are now three technicians that have had successful sticks on my upper arm fistula. This is good news for me, since not all the same technicians work every shift that I am there. I now have greater choice when it comes to getting my needles put in.

I want to thank everyone that has been praying. Keep praying that God’s will is going to be done concerning Josh’s kidney. If it is not the kidney that God has planned for me, then I do not want it. I want to follow Him in this decision. Please pray that my treatments will continue to go well and that I will get good sticks at each treatment.

Thanks for coming!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Update on Transplant Evaluation

I’m writing today to give everyone an update on the transplant evaluation that my friend Josh is undergoing. Josh called me Wednesday morning to let me know that his testing was beginning that day. Thanks to Labor Day, he did not receive his “packet” until Tuesday evening, so he wasn’t able to fill out any of the paperwork ahead of time. That just means it will be a week or so extra to get the results of all the “at home” testing returned.

He has to do a chest x-ray, an abdominal sonogram, get his Glofil test done (to test kidney function) and have a bunch of blood drawn. He also needs to have several doctor consultations (with the nephrologist, the surgery team, the social worker, and the psychologist). Once all of that craziness gets done, they will let him and I know if he is a valid candidate to give me his “extra” kidney.

Please pray for Josh this week as I am guessing that all this testing is going to be nerve-wracking. I think it would make me kind of nervous to be potentially giving up part of my body to a friend.

As for me, life continues onward. I had another treatment on Tuesday, but the sticks did not go too well. A different technician asked if she could take a try at sticking me, and I decided to give her a chance (since my fistula seemed to be behaving better recently). She put in a needle, but couldn’t quite get it to pull, so she called over one of my more reliable technicians. She removed that needle and stuck me with two good needles. The machine was able to run at 400 ml/min, so I am glad that she got me stuck.

They drew our lab work on Tuesday, so I should know by next week how well I did with my phosphorus balance. I was kind of low last month, so I tried to do a little bit better balancing my diet this month. I also ate bacon and eggs for breakfast most days of the month, so I can see if my protein levels went up at all.

Please pray that my labs will turn out well and that everything will go according to God’s plan when it comes to Josh’s testing. I want His will to be done in the kidney transplant, no matter how long I have to wait. Thanks!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Kelly Solheim

I am writing today to inform you all of some exciting news. A friend of mine from high school, Kelly Solheim, is going to participate in one of the many 2006 PKD Walks that go on through out the country. She is going to walk, and is attempting to raise $220 for the PKD Foundation so that they can help find a cure for this disease.

Here is the web site where you can make donations for her walk:

Kelly and I became friends back in 1990 at Kimmons Junior High School in Fort Smith, Arkansas. We had many classes together (including Gifted and Talented) over the years, and both graduated from Northside High School in 1996. Kelly got married and has moved up north. We recently got to see each other again at our 10-year high school reunion.

I would encourage everyone to go to her site and make a donation for the walk. The PKD Foundation needs all the money it can get, and I would love for her to meet her goal (or even to surpass it).

If anyone else wants to get involved in a PKD walk, let me know. There are walks all over the country (including locally in Dallas). I can get you information if you would like to participate.

Thanks for checking out Kelly’s site (and donating, if you feel led). I was extremely touched by her wanting to help out in this way.