Wednesday, February 11, 2009

7 Months Post-Op

I find this picture of Chris to be rather amazing. Last summer, this shirt languished in his closet because it was too small. Now it's too big! He's down to 220.

He needs new pants and at least one new belt. Things are falling down. He's almost done weeding out his super-sized clothing from the closet. Thanks, Mel, for the shirts from Penney's! He wears those almost every day now. We're planning a big yard sale in the spring, and 4XL men's clothing will definitely be up for grabs!

We did finally hear from the dialysis place today as a follow-up to our appointment on February 4th (read about it here). They only do these meetings on certain Thursdays at 2:00. (We hope they're more flexible about other things!) We're scheduled for the 12th of March.

His next kidney doctor appointment is March 17th, and he has to have labs done a few days prior to that. We save some time and take him on Thursday after the meeting if we're up for it. In the meantime, he's supposed to be checking his blood pressure at various times during the day and keeping a log. And keeping hydrated. And all the other things on the list.

One important thing on his list is not to get sick -- so much so that he even has to take antibiotics when he gets his teeth cleaned {which reminds me...}. By midday today, I wasn't feeling so hot. I really hope I'm not coming down with something.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Nephrology News

We met with a new Kidney specialist today. Chris had been weighed (221... woohoo!) and had his blood pressure checked by the nurse. Normal range. No problem. Typical rubber-stamped follow-up. We thought.

Then she came in, toting a big poster. Stages of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and Renal Failure. Grrrreeaaaattttt. Chris is in the middle of stage 4. She started talking fast. Are you itching? Are you nauseous? How's your energy level? You're anemic. Your bones are losing calcium because your kidneys aren't making enough Erythropoietin. You'll need injections. You've got some edema here in your legs. Keep checking your blood pressure. Let's take it now. 130/70, we need to watch that. Do you take iron? You'll need more Vitamin D. There's a presentation on options for dialysis vs. transplantation. Their office will call you. We may have to medicate for blood pressure. Check it often. Let's do blood work. Come back in 6 weeks. We should check for Phosphorus.

(Seriously, checking his blood pressure in the middle of all that? It was probably 180/100 by the end there! I know mine was.)

We interjected a few questions we thought might be helpful. Can he eat more protein in an attempt to counteract the anemia? No. He's taking Calcium with Vitamin D already, will that work? No, not a high enough concentration. He's got an iron supplement in his bariatric vitamins. He'll need more.

I left the office deflated. I thought losing all this weight and being off the medications was a terrific thing. He was finally going to be OK... like before all this craziness. And now he's not. I haven't cried yet. I think I'm still in shock. Feeling lethargic, defeated, frustrated, sad.

So my plan is to get as much rest as I can tonight (come to mama, Klonopin!) and try to hop back on the horse tomorrow.