Monday, March 4, 2013

A Celebration

On Feb. 21 I got...the call...the call that said my kidney function is lower and I'm continuing down the stairs of doom that you blog readers have come to know as kidney failure.  There really is no turning back now.  I prepared to receive the worst at my next appointment--a dialysis diagnosis. I tried to get myself ready, mentally and emotionally.  I looked for silver linings (feeling better, just temporary, not dying).  I did a teeny bit of research on National Kidney Foundation.  I looked up dialysis centers.  I was beginning to see that maybe this isn't all bad.  You really can conquer anything once you change your outlook and your attitude.  Some people are way ahead of me in that department:

See what I mean about changing your outlook and your attitude?  Only Jocelyn would link dialysis and financial wealth together.  

After building up all these good vibes, I was feeling pretty good about my Feb. 26 appointment with the nephrologist.  God came through for me and gave me that peace that I was praying for. So I woke up the morning of the appointment ready to go, and feeling surprisingly good.  I almost vomited again after eating breakfast but that's the life of a kidney failure patient!  Luckily, Ben was there to help me calm down.  He suggested I lay in bed for a little bit before the appointment. I was so happy to have him going to the appointment with me this time.  Usually, I go by myself.  But I figured this late in the game, with me feeling this bad, and getting all kinds of sucky news, I might as well just bring him along.  He didn't miss a beat.  He got the time off work and drove with me.  Love him!

We arrived at the appointment a little late.  For some reason I wasn't crazy nervous (Thanks God!), until I remembered that during the few minutes I took to calm myself down from feeling nauseated, I forgot to take my blood pressure medicine.  Oops, not that it matters, I thought. It's been high for a while now. And it will probably be high until I get the transplant.  Another thing I forgot---deodorant.  

The nurse walked me to the back of the offices and took my blood pressure.  "120 over 80" she said.  

Ummm, ok.  I'll take that!  Waaaaay better than 150 over 100!  

Then it was time to see the doctor.  I see Dr. Howard and the rest of the team at Metro Nephrology.  And one thing I really like about my doctors there is that they seem really really smart.  I've had some bad doctors and I've had some great doctors, and let me tell you, having an intelligent doctor and a doctor who's NICE to you, really makes a difference.  I actually don't mind going to see my nephrologists.  

Dr. Howard informed me that yes, my kidney function did go down, but that [surprise] I actually don't need to go on dialysis unless I want to.  AMEN!!!!

Whew, I've avoided the dialysis diagnosis...for now. My doctor seems hopeful that I'll be able to hold out for just a little longer until we find out if Jocelyn is a donor match which we should know after March 7.  Just around the corner.  Come on little kidneys!  Just hang on!  Just hang on for a few more weeks then you can be rid of this life and go on to dead organ heaven.  You can do it! I believe in you.  

While at the doctor's office I also got two new prescriptions:  sodium bicarbonate (or baking soda) to help with the rising acid levels in my blood and possibly the nausea, and pretty soon I should be hearing about whether my insurance will pay for me to get a shot that gives me more blood or something?  Because basically, I have like no blood.  Well...not true.  I think I only have half the amount of blood in my system that you're supposed to have.  Which makes me feel crappy and cold.  So hopefully I can get a shot that gives me a little more blood/energy.  

After the appointment, Ben and I both rejoiced, because it wasn't bad news!  At this point in my life, hearing that I have to take extra medicine isn't really bad news to me.  I'm just thankful there's a solution.

The night before the appointment, I relaxed on Ben's lap while he played Plants vs. Zombies on his phone.  Romantic, right?  "What do you think of dialysis?" I asked, looking up at the underside of his iPhone.  "Do you think it's a bad thing or a good thing."  Without pausing to look down from his game to answer this thought provoking question, Ben simply said "I think that I'm...we're...very fortunate to live in a world where we have the technology like dialysis to keep us going and allow us to live comfortably."  

That's why I love Ben.  He always reminds me to be thankful for the little things. 

Change your attitude and outlook, and you really can conquer anything.