Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cardiologist Appointment - June 18

I went and saw my cardiologist on Thursday, June 18, 2009. I realize that it has been almost two weeks now since I went to see her, but that's not my fault. We have been very busy here at home and I have not had the opportunity to make a good blog post.

That's not to say that this blog post will be either informative or humorous, but at least it will exist.

All that being said, my appointment was to have a 2D echo cardiogram done on my heart. This apparently went well, according to the doctor. She said that my results are the same as they were last year, and that she would probably not need to see me for another echo for twelve months. This is always good news (yippie!).

I told her that I had been experiencing some shortness of breath when I walk up stairs. This is not a problem when I walk for a half hour on the treadmill. Even when I am carrying small weights, I still do not have trouble breathing. I only notice the breathing being harder if I am walking up the stairs, or working out in the yard (bending and standing a lot). She told me that it might not be a problem and that I may just be noticing this more since I am exercising and paying more attention to my heart and lungs.

That being said, she told me that she wanted to run some tests. I asked if that meant she would try to kill me, and she chuckled. She asked if I had ever done a stress test before, and I indicated that being the reason I had asked about murder. She laughed again, and told me that we should go ahead and make sure my heart functions correctly when it is actually having to do something (not just when I am laying down on the exam table).

So, on July 10 (which will be my fifth wedding anniversary), I will head back to the cardiologist's office with running shoes and a pair of shorts. There's no way I'm doing this test in smooth soled shoes and khaki pants. That's just crazy. For those of you that don't know, the doctor is going to have me walk on a treadmill that gradually increases in speed and angle of ascent. In layman's terms, they want me to start walking lazily on a park path and work my way up to attempting to run up a large hill. Once I get to the point of nearly passing out, they start a five-minute timer and see how well your heart does.

As far as I can tell from the one time I did this for my transplant testing, if you live to hear the timer beep, then your heart functions correctly. Last time, I obviously passed, and I expect to pass again. I may ask to see if they can start my incline a bit higher so it doesn't take nearly fourteen minutes to complete! That's about how long I was on the treadmill the last time. But, of course, as a man I can do it. (Here, you can imagine me with my chest stuck out, facial hair gleaming, and muscles bulging inside my shirt).

That's about it, healthwise. You will notice that I updated the links on the right-hand side of my page (for those of you using my style sheet and visiting on line). I changed the link from our now-defunct adoption blog to our new hot "family" blog. It's called 'Journey Through Parenthood' and can be reached at http://journeythroughparenthood.blogspot.com/. I think that's the longest name Jenny could get (sorry about that). Update your RSS readers, bookmarks, or that little scrap of paper next to your monitor (yes, I know you have one).

Nothing eles from me at this time. If you just can't get enough of Nathan, you can always follow me on Twitter. If you are not familiar with Twitter, just imagine what awesome would smell like, mix in some Internet, and add a dash of real-time updates. Oh yeah!

See you next time (probably after July 10).

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Not About Kidneys: But Still Important

Hi, it's Nathan. I know that it has been a while, but not too many exciting things have been happening (medically speaking) to me. However, I do have a major announcement. Now, normally, this blog will NOT contain information that does not pertain to my health. But, for today, we are going to deviate.

Jenny and I are pregnant, and will be having a baby in mid-December (2009)!

Below is the story that is posted on our other blog. This blog was originally going to be about our adoption process, since the doctors told me that my chances were very close to zero for ever fathering a child naturally (ha, showed them!). Though we are not stopping our pursuit of adoption, it will be on hold (per the agency) until after the birth of our child. The following paragraphs were written by Jenny:

When Nathan and I decided to pursue adoption we did so because the doctors told us we had a VERY small chance of becoming pregnant naturally. They recommended procedures that involved lots of doctor manipulation. We did not have peace about going down that road so we chose adoption. However we saw no point in going back on birth control. We said if I ever got pregnant it would be because God wanted it to happen. We are excited to announce that God decided that a pregnancy IS in His plan for us! I am 14 weeks pregnant, due December 16. Everything looks great so far, the sonogram showed a good strong heart beat. I also had a first trimester screening for Downs Syndrome and Trisomy 18 and all those results came back normal.

After finding out I was pregnant one of the first things we talked about was how we felt this affected our adoption process. Nathan and I both feel that God has still placed a desire in our hearts to be adoptive parents. We believe that God is in control of timing and don’t even feel a need to put ourselves on hold or anything. We realize this means we have the possibility of having 2 babies very close together. =) We know God will work our all those details though. I’m going to call our agency this week and let them know what’s going on. Once the baby is born we plan to create an additional page to add to our scrapbook.

Here are some things you can pray for:
  • Healthy pregnancy
  • Healthy baby
  • God’s perfect timing on our adoption
  • Continue to pray for our birth mother
Since this blog will no longer be solely focused on adoption I think I’m going to change the blog’s web address. So be on the look out in the next few days for a post giving the new address. You will want to make sure you update all your bookmarks to the new address once it is in place. We are still on an adoption journey, and this pregnancy is now a part of that journey.

Thanks for taking a few minutes to read something non-kidney (at least so far) related. If you would like to follow developments on this story, you can always visit http://nmccart-adoption.blogspot.com/ for details. Please note that this link will soon change, but I will be sure to update it in the side bar (to your right and my left, as I am behind your screen looking at you).

This is truly a miracle, and we continue to trust God for his best in our lives. As you all (may or may not) remember, my Polycystic Kidney Disease is most likely the autosomal dominant type. This means that there is a 50% chance of the gene being passed on to any of my children. Given that both my sister and I have PKD, it is probably not the autosoal recessive version (the more deadly at a young age). We will have to see, as time goes on, what we decide about testing and kidney disease and things of that nature.

For now, we appreciate any and all prayers. I will be blogging later this week on my cardiologist appointment this Thursday.

See you soon!