Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cystoscopy and Fan Question

As a qiuck follow-up, I am feeling much better. It has been almost a week since my cystoscopy, and I think I am doing fine. I am back to using the bathroom a normal number of times per day (which is nice). There is little to no pain associated with it, and that's nice, too. I haven't had to take much Tylenol or anything else, so I'm appreciative. I also have not heard back from the urologist, so I am guessing there was nothing wrong with the urine sample that they sent off to the lab.

In other news, I received the following question via Facebook, from an R.K. the other day:

Yes... Sadly I was diagnosed on Monday. Go back in on Wednesday to go over the test results. I have 12 cysts and 6 stones. Went in for back pain. I just happened to be good friend with a urologist and went to see him over my general doctor. Did a full ct scan after the sonogram showed several stones. Says my kidney function is however at 100%. did they do an MRA on you to see if you had an aneurysm? That will be next. I went to B & N to find a cookbook, but the only ones are either vegetarian or diebetes. What does your diet consist of now? I also have had hypertensive blood pressure for years and sleep 15 hours a day. I'm now on lisinipril however, I'm still so exhausted from nothing. How is your body handling the transplant?

I had asked her about her PKD diagnosis, and she gave me that reply. As a response, I told her:

That's never good news. Being diagnosed with a life-long illness can be a big shock.

I was diagnosed when I was in college. I had pain in my lower back that turned out to be a kidney stone. They did a sonogram to make sure the stone was small enough to pass, and they discovered Polycystic Kidneys hiding inside. This was a huge shock to me since no one in my family had ever heard of it.

Do you have a family history of PKD? I was told that it is a dominant genetic disease, and that it is a guarantee that one of your parents has it if you do. They were not sure if my mom or dad was the carrier, but both my sister and I (only two siblings) have been diagnosed.

I don't remember if I had an MRA done. I've had many, many different scans done on my kidneys. They have all shown the same thing. I have a bunch of cysts, and the last time they measured, my right kidney was over 20 cm long.

As far as diet goes, the most important thing to do is to cut down on sodium and caffeine. The biggest danger for kidney disease patients is high blood pressure. So, if you can keep that under control, you are in good shape. As your kidney function declines (and you move through Stage 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5) your diet changes. They recommend less proteins like red meats as they are harder on the kidneys to process.

Your worse diet will be on dialysis. There are SO many things to watch out for it's crazy. But, don't worry about that unless you end up there (hopefully not).

And, after transplant, I'm up to eating anything I want. I have to watch out for fatty foods, since I'm on a steroid, and it's very easy to gain weight. I also still watch my blood pressure (just a smart idea for anyone).

I would suggest finding a good cardiologist and a good nephrologist (in addition to your urologist). The cardiologist can closely monitor your blood pressure and watch out for things like heart problems or cholesterol issues that may develop with your kidney disease. The nephrologist is a kidney expert that can give you your best advice about your kidneys, and get you on regular checks to monitor your progress. It's also important to make sure your doctors are aware of you kidney problems so that they don't prescribe many medications that are cleared through the kidneys (better for the kidneys long term).

Not being a doctor (only ever a patient) I would recommend a Glofil (pronounced "glow feel") test soon. That test gives a very accurate kidney function level. This way, you can have a base reading while you are still young and are at full functionality. Your nephrologist would be able to schedule that. It's about 3 hours long and mainly involves drinking lots of water and tracking a radioactive dye as it passes from your body.

If you're sleeping fifteen hours a day, I'd recommend getting checked for anemia. I had that, for a while, and it really sapped my energy. They have medications to help, but if they find it, I'd suggest iron supplements and more spinach.

Please let me know if you want to ask anything else. I'll be glad to give you any and all information as I have experienced it.

I did ask her for permission before posting her message and my response. She said that it was fine. I just wanted everyone to know that I am still answering questions, and that I still hope my advice or experiences are useful to others.

I also got a new comment on an older post where someone named Heidi enjoyed my explanation of the Glofil test. I'm glad to help!

I'll see you again next week to tell you about my echo stress test. See you later!
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