Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Dr. Koble's office called Monday to follow up on Digit's eye. It's certainly better than Tuesday when Chris took her to The Cat Doctor, but she's still winking and is clearly still irritated. (Chris has taken to calling her Babe-raham Winkin'. Nice.) We picked up new medicine {Erythromycin ointment} for her yesterday and are administering it 3x/day.

Speaking of phone calls from the doctor's office, Chris heard from Valerie late last week. Apparently, upon further examination of his labs, Chris is leeching Calcium. I think it may just be that he's no longer drinking 3 gallons of milk per week. But Valerie thinks he needs a prescription-strength calcium supplement. So yesterday we picked up Calcitriol 0.25 mcg capsules which he'll take every other day. Hopefully this will help.

I did call the cardiologist today for the echo appointment. The receptionist saw Chris' chart but it didn't say he needed an echo.... just a doctor visit. So she'll call me back and we'll figure that out too.

Edited to Add: Glad I asked her to check because he DOES need the echo. That's scheduled for Tuesday, April 21st at 9am with a follow-up with Dr. U at 10am. [I seriously wonder what happens with patients who don't have someone keeping track of everything like this.]

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Doctor Days

We see lots of medical professionals, and this week's no different!!

First, Chris took Digit to The Cat Doctor this morning. Her eye was bothering her. We got an eyewash solution last night at the drugstore, but it turned out to be more than just a little irritating thing in her eye... it was an eye infection. So we've now got medicine to apply to her eyeball three times a day for the next 7 days.

Digit was sneezing a bit, so her bedding is in the washing machine now... this time with dye-free and fragrance-free detergent. (I thought I was doing her a favor by adding extra pretty-smelling fabric softener, but it turns out she may not have liked it so much.) Sorry, Widge!

Chris is nearly 100 pounds lighter than the last time we went to see our vet, Dr. Koble. I'm sure it was cool for Chris to have someone be so amazed by his weight loss. I bet it'll be similar when he sees Dr. Undesser (as soon as I call to make the appointment... note to self!).

Then Chris saw Valerie @ Idaho Nephrology this afternoon. She scared us six weeks ago with her poster and questions, but today was different. Chris' labs were EXACTLY the same as the last visit, which means his kidney function is very stable. But his these labs have been nearly identical since mid-2001. So, while we are armed with some information now about dialysis & transplantation, the stated goal is to not have the kidneys deteriorate further. His blood pressure was a little high at the beginning of the appointment, but taken later it was well under the 130/80 point. (This 130/80 point is where we need to keep his BP -- if it isn't done with diet/hydration/exercise/relaxation, it'll have to be done with medication.) Oh, and he was at 211 today. This is 10 pounds less than his weigh-in only 6 weeks ago!

His next follow-up is in late June, this time with Dr. Mallea. And the week after that is his 1-year follow-up with Dr. Oakley. Still need to call Dr. Undesser, though, for the annual echo & heart stuff.

Speaking of doctors... we're taking the CR-V to the car doctor tomorrow for a water pump, timing belt and oil change. I'll probably stop by Pep Boys for an air filter and then over to Les Schwab for a tire rotation and pressure check early next week. Whew!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Kidney Meeting

So this afternoon was the much-anticipated kidney meeting at the DaVita location in Boise. There was a video (which Chris & I watched alone in a room... and during which I got up and changed the calendar on the wall) and then a technician came in and read us a printed-out PowerPoint presentation.

Basically, there are choices with pros and cons to each. We probably would have done better by just reading the Wikipedia articles on Peritoneal Dialysis and Hemodialysis. We asked a few questions (like whether the length of each treatment varies on a patient's size and how one goes about preparing for a transplant), but they weren't answered. She did give responses, but not any sort of answer specifically related to the question asked.

After the sales pitch, we went to St. Luke's for Chris' labs. We'll be back on the 17th with Valerie's interpretation. Oh yes, and it's time to call and schedule an annual echocardiogram & cardiologist appointment! :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

New Clothes (and Pizza!)

Chris doesn't eat much in the way of carbs anymore, but there were some he just couldn't resist. There's a terrific pizza place nearby that has something called "Your Day". When it's Your Day, you get to come in and make your own pizza with any toppings you want... and it's free. Chris took me when it was My Day and on March 4th, it was His Day. I tried to get the turkey hat on My Day, but it was already taken. Chris got lucky and wore the turkey hat, as you can see. From what you know about Chris, it should be no surprise that his pizza was full of meat, cheese, and meat. He even skipped the mushrooms so this would be an all-animal pizza. Good grief.

Frank was his assistant in the pizza-making venture... and he introduced Chris to their oven (called Dante) and all the other pizza equipment. Even the vat of flour had a name. Frank was hilarious and very well-cast.

Then for his monthly (eight months!) post-op picture, here he is! He's all decked out in new button-down shirt and slacks that fit nicely. He got a 2nd shirt today, too. Thanks to Mom, who sent the gift card! He spent only about half of it today and I'm sure he'll find more nice clothes there soon.

We've got our meeting with the kidneyfolk on Thursday the 12th along with bloodwork and then a follow-up with the doctors on the 17th. It's a busy 2 weeks coming up!