Friday, January 20, 2012

More Tests & Shots

This week's appointment required Chris to come in right at the time he would normally drain out his dialysis fluid.   Nurse Jennifer did his drain, instead, and they sent the fluid out for testing.   They took blood, too, for the test.   We're hoping Chris can go on the nighttime machine.

Another test they took blood for is the Thyroid test.  Luckily, Chris remembered that that the nutritionist wanted that.

He got iron and EPO shots.   He also got his least favorite thing:  urine collection jugs.   He hates those!   At the next appointment, on Feb 1, they're going to have Chris bring a full day of urine and a full day of drained abdomen fluid.   They'll test both (probably along with more blood) and see how he's doing.

We're also scheduled to get a supply delivery on the 24th.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Lab Results & Some Upcoming Tests

Went to DaVita today and met with nurse Jennifer and Dr. Mallea.  The highlights:
  • Test results from blood taken last week are in.  Chris is doing much better with phosphorus (thanks, at least in part to Renvela medication).  White blood cells are down a bit, but not enough to cause concern.  His EPO and iron shots seem to be working.  His body has made one unit of blood.   He did not have EPO or Iron shots today, but will get them every other week instead.
  • The nutritionist wants to test thyroid hormone the next time he gets blood drawn.  His protein is a little low, so he should try to eat more.
  • Chris can start taking his daily aspirin again.  It thins the blood and he had to discontinue it due to the surgery.
  • Chris is going to have a peritoneal equilibration test (PET) next Tuesday (1/17) to determine whether he's a good candidate for the nightly automatic peritoneal dialysis machine.   Dr. Mallea did some calculations based on the numbers Chris presented on his spreadsheet (fluid in/out, etc.) and thought Chris would be on the high to high average range and would probably be a good candidate.   For this test, Chris will use the highest concentration dialysis fluid in the morning and then the nurse will drain and test it to see how quickly he is expelling waste.
  • Jennifer told us that there are different immunization guidelines for people with kidney failure.  Chris has had 2 of a series of 3 Hepatitis B immunizations, but Jennifer said that Chris will need 4.  She's going to do his 3rd at our next visit (1/17) and then the 4th in 6 months.
I spoke to Heidi, our transplant coordinator at U of Utah.  She said that their heart folks said Chris needs to have an echocardiogram done after he's been on dialysis for 6 to 7 weeks.  That brings us to mid-February.  I scheduled that appointment with Dr. Undesser for 2/21.  Heidi said she'd fax an order to his office for this, since Chris has had one within the past year.

Chris spoke to the people at Baxter to order more supplies.  He wasn't sure what to expect since it's our first time ordering and because he'll hopefully be using the cycler machine by this time next month.  Jennifer advised Chris to only order about half a month's worth.  The rep. on the phone was very helpful and we'll be getting our Baxter order in the beginning of next week.  They bring us boxes & boxes of the dialysis solution, plus all kinds of dialysis supplies like gauze, caps, masks, cleaning fluids, etc.  Their delivery people bring everything right downstairs into his dialysis room and even rotate the stock to keep everything fresh.  Love that!

Friday, January 06, 2012

Goodbye, Glasses!

It's been about 2 weeks since Chris started asking me to schedule an appointment to get his prescription updated so he can get some new glasses.

His appointment was this afternoon.  Guess what?   Instead of getting new glasses, the doctor suggested that Chris no longer wear any glasses.   If he doesn't wear the glasses for a week and doesn't get any headaches, the glasses are gone.  Wow!

Is it possible that the lower blood pressure or the dialysis was causing Chris' eyesight to improve?!