Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Just wanted to reach out and say hello!

I know I am not great at keeping up with this, but its been a very trying couple of weeks.... so here is the short of it

  • Hernias- Not sure if we have them or not - 3 Doctors are discussing if i do or don't and if so when to operate. We agreed yesterday just to do a few cat scans to determine for certain and make a plan.
  • Work- We've had a reorganization and I've inherited several new job duties - so this is kinda stressful when i am trying to deal with all the new health stuff - I am learning a new job set... it will be great once the transition is over
  • Travel - very nervous for Thursday
    • I travel for the first time with my Dialysis Machine. Delta hasnt' exactly been helping the anxiety- they had to have machine dimensions, a doctor's note and said they will see if they let me bring in on board.  According to Baxter, we can't check it since they throw luggage and it may break and that will be very detrimental to my health, so pray that Thursday goes well so i can get to work on time and not end up being arrested at LaGuardia or Atlanta for trying to bring a Dialysis Machine on board and they mistake it for a bomb.
  • Donors - I have a couple of people with my blood type being tested right now, so lets keep our fingers crossed that they are good possible matches and if so that they are willing to schedule a surgery for me to get well... I am grateful that folks are willing to get all the tests run - believe me its nerve wracking.
Main things now to focus on for me is to try and control my blood pressure , its too high and they are worried, we all agree its stress of me trying to keep up with a normal work load and life and sleep deprivation.

I am still not sleeping well since I hurt each night on Dialysis from either Drain Pain or Hernia's - that developed due to the Catheter and Dialysis- luckily we will know for sure in  2 weeks and can try to fix it and the doctor gave me Valium to help me sleep since its been 6 weeks of maybe 2 hours a night and he thinks that is causing more problems.

I am in good spirits, a little stressed, and taking it day by day.

I am lucky that i have great friends and even strangers offering their kind support and that especially its football season to keep me occupied so lets hope the LSU Tigers try to learn clock management and offense and that the Saints get a better kicker.

Happy Tuesday.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Checking In- Update

Its been an interesting week or so -
  • Met my surgeon at Columbia - Love him! Dr. Guarrera is great.
  • Have a major infection in my left arm from my Iron IV permeating the vein- on antibiotics for that one
  • Dialysis still hurts and is getting worse, but atleast we know the cause of it
    • I have a new Hernia on both sides of my pelvis
    • They said premie babies are more prone to these and they formed due to the dialysis - stretching my abdominal area and causing the weak points to blow out
    • The longer i do dialysis the worse it will get and the more pain it will cause since we are upping the fluid
    • Even if we remove the Catheter when I get a transplant, this hernia will not go away
  • Next Steps-
    • My Catheter surgeon, Nephrologist, OBGYN are all trying to get in touch with my Transplant surgeon to see which one of the following we will do
      • Repair the Hernia at the Same time as transplant
      • If we repair it first, will the transplant tear up the mesh repair
      • If we wait to repair until after transplant, will the anti-rejection drugs cause a problem
So its never boring and I am just trying to take it in stride.

I've had some very good friends get tested at Columbia (so here's to hope) and I am thankful for everyone who got tested last year at Yale,  I don't think folks really realize how much it means to me or anyone in this situation for folks just to try even if it doesn't work out... its the most unselfish gift someone can give- life and i wished I was healthy enough to pay it forward.

Hope you all have a nice weekend.



Wednesday, September 8, 2010

keep on trucking

It was a rough weekend for Labor Day - Labor is the correct word for it, I felt like i was in labor and I don't even know what that feels like, but for all you mothers out there, god bless you!

Seriously, i need this pelvic pain to go away.  I know they are worried when they told me to take some advil to help since i haven't been allowed to take Motrin/Advil for 5 years. ( its bad for Kidney patients).

We are just going to keep watching it and hopefully it will go away, if it doesn't let up, we will open me back up to see if there is a hernia forming or if the end of the catheter needs to be moved around. Either way, the end is near my bladder and uteris so its not very comfortable.

I made flight reservations for Christmas and for OKC/Dallas work trip this week, so it will be interesting for me to learn to get on and off a  plane with my dialysis machine- The case is large and heavy so I may go buy a cloth suitcase to carry since i have to take it on board and its 30lbs without the case. As for the fluids etc, i will just need to ship those with exception of one bad that needs to be put in my checked suitcase... i think its going to be an adventure.

- I will go check in at the Dialysis center tomororw - I still get Iron in the IV each week and Epo shots to help try to make new red blood cells. Plus they are increasing my fluid each week to stretch my tummy - i feel full 24/7 and my tummy is so tight- so kudos once again to all the mothers out there.

- I also go to Columbia again on Friday. I meet with a Social Worker and the actual Transplant Surgeon this go around since i didn't get to meet them when i was in last week.

_ I also go to the Dentist again next week to finish my implants and veneers from all the dental work i had to do to keep on the Transplant list - plus i need to get another mamagram to stay on the list.

It keeps me busy with work, but i know i can do this and just keep on trucking- ready to relax on Saturday with a dose of College Football - so I am still the same no matter what.

Hope everyone else is doing well.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

checking in

I know I am bad at this and sometimes forget to write, but i am trying to catch up now

1. Went to Columbia Prespyterian Hospital last week - I am now registered on the NYC Donor list and I love the hospital.
     Its in the Bronx/Washinton Heights area of NYC which is an older area, but the people were nice and I love the doctors and the coorinators which is a huge leap from the coodinators that I dealt with over the past year at Yale.  I felt stressed every day at Yale and uncertain if they were doing more damage than good.

2.  FundRaiser
      Jimmy Booth and the Norwalk Jaycees held a small fundraiser last Saturday night, I was happy to get $750 out of it and i am putting that away to help pay for Hotel rooms in NYC for when I do find a live donor so their family can stay. I know that is a day and 1/2 but its a start

3. Dialysis
      this is still going pretty rough- i am getting better at hooking up to the machine nightly but i am still not getting more than 2 to 3 hours of interrupted sleep nightly. I am exhausted!!!!
    The machine is noisy and I still hurt. The good news is that I only hurt now on 2 to 3 of the 5 sessions so hopefully that is a good sign. If it doesnt improve in 2 weeks, they may discuss opening me back up to look to see if a Hernia is tearing or if something else is going on. Please pray that they don't have to re-open me.

4. The Scare
     Yesterday at work when I was in the restroom, my cap on my catheter came off and hit the floor.  This is a bad sign when your steril cap is now on a dirty company floor and your catheter is exposed to the air which is a direct line into your insides. i didnt' have a choice but to put the old dirty cap back on and hope that i didn't contaminate my entire body.   I called the Dialysis center and they told me to get home immediately, scrub my cath and add a new iodine cap. Then 5 minutes later, put on a new cap and don't plug up that night.

So this morning I was at the Dialysis center bright and early where they removed the half of my catheter that wasn't surgically implanted and replaced it then hooked me up to an IV of antibiotics to be safe.

Lesson learned keep caps and alcohol wipes in my purse just incase it happens again.  The good thing that came out of it was i got a full 8 hours of sleep for the first time in 2 1/2 weeks!

So that's what's going on in my world other than working full time and missing sleep.

Talk soon, M