Friday, June 28, 2013

Thoughts from the Exam Table--Another Ultrasound

On Thursday, I had to get an ultrasound at the hospital.  Yep!  Ultrasound!  Two weeks after the wedding.  You know what THAT means!  No...Ben and I did not create a honeymoon baby.  It means that I'm still recovering from my kidney transplant and need close monitoring.

Ever since Torture Tuesday, and the removal of the stent, I told my doctors that I'd noticed a change in my urination.   I probably sounded really stupid trying to explain how my pee had changed after the stent was removed, but only because I couldn't find the words to explain it.  It's just different, OK!  I pee differently now!  The doctors, seeing my frustration, scheduled me for an ultrasound to look at the new kidney.  I had an ultrasound about six or seven months ago when I was being evaluated for a transplant.  This appointment was a little quieter, because my sister wasn't in the room with me, and there was no yelping because the gel wasn't cold, or at least it didn't feel like it.  It's appointments where I'm lying on my back, staring at the ceiling, with my feet NOT in stirrups, that I do my best thinking.  Top ten things that crossed my mind:

  • Hmm, the ultrasound gel isn't as cold this time.
  • Oh, that's because the nerves around my incision are healing, and the area around my kidney is semi-numb.
  • I wonder if they'll find something, or if they'll see something wrong with my new kidney;
  • OK so the ultrasound gel isn't cold, but this room is FREEZING!
  • They sure are taking a lot of pictures of my guts.  How can they even tell what anything is?
  • I can't decide if this procedure is hurting me or not.
  • Maybe I shouldn't have worn my nice work clothes to this appointment.  Now they're going to have ultrasound gel stuck to them.
  • I bet the cat pouncing on my stomach in the middle of the night because I was moving my hands under the covers did not help at all.  
  • Why is it not Friday yet.  
  • I should have peed before doing this.  

About six hours later, my transplant coordinator called me and said the doctor had reviewed my ultrasound results.  There is fluid around my new kidney.  I didn't ask too many questions over the phone but I think this is what I have: either a lymphocele or a urine leak. Both involve the collection of liquid around the transplanted kidney, and both can obstruct the function of the ureter (which helps urine flow out of the kidney to the bladder). Lymphocele can produce edema, swelling of the legs or ankles, which I discovered about two days ago.  

This all means that I get to return to my home away from home, Inova Fairfax, to have a procedure done to drain the fluid from around my kidney.  This just wouldn't be my life if I wasn't driving to or from the hospital to have some blood drawn or some fluid drained.  I really hope everything is OK after this, but my transplant coordinator did tell me that there will be a few bumps in the road following transplantation.  And I guess this is just a little bump which is OK.  I've been through enough speed bumps on this journey now to know things could always get worseBut once you get over the hump and get going again, a lot of times, things get a hell of a lot better.  

So come June 28, channel Sarah Palin, prepare your best Alaska/Canada-eh voice, and do a "DRAIN, BABY, DRAIN!" for me, and all the transplanted kidneys swimming in slime. 

UPDATE:  This whole experience has put Ben on edge.  While I was editing this blog post, our cat straight up VOMITED on the carpet.  Ben thought it was me and rushed into the living room asking if I was OK and if I needed to be taken to the hospital.