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.

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