Friday, September 12, 2014

Return to Metro

Last Friday, I FINALLY went back to my original nephrologists at Metropolitan Nephrology.  The last time I made an appearance in their offices was apparently in January, and the last time that I was SUPPOSED to go see them, was actually in April, right as I was checking into the hospital for having no immune system.  

Returning to your original doctors can be pretty significant.  It usually signifies to the patient and to the hospital doctors that things have finally normalized  That the kidney can function without me having to go to the hospital every week to get urine and blood taken.  That I can take a breather from having to digest all the different lab results and adjust to all the changes in my medications.  Returning to my original doctors gave me some peace of mind for once, during a summer that's been hectic as far as doctors visits, lab visits and bouncing levels of white blood cell counts.  

Whenever I'm in my original nephrologist's office, I'm always reminded of one thing:  that I am lucky.  Blessed.  You'd think that over time the "congratulations" and "how are you doings" from the nurses and doctors would die down. Yeah, I had a kidney transplant.  But it was a year ago.  Why all the fuss still? I figure they must see this all the time.  But in reality, they probably don't.  I think it's more likely that they see someone who's much older than 27.  We're talking more like 67, because as soon as I sit down in the lobby at my doctor's office, I get the glances from a few older people, reminding me that I'm the odd woman out.  One of these things is not like the other, you know.  But I'm more like them than they know.  And I'm also unlike them.

As I walk back to the doctor's office before getting my results (everything was normal, minus a 1.9 creatinine level; a tad high), I sit in the "patient's chair" zoning out on my phone.  Sifting through the latest articles on Us Magazine and whatnot.  One of the nurses walking down the hallway stops and yells into the room, "Jewel! So how are you doing?  How's your dad?" And I give her the verbal thumbs up.  "It's just so great, isn't it?" she says when I tell her that I feel good.  I nod and smile and let her know that it really is.


Before I left my appointment, my doctor had to check a urine sample I gave him.  I sat in the waiting room reading through my lab slips and appointment summaries and a new sheet that they're handing out to all of the patients.  It's a sheet about kidney disease, the risks, how to prevent it and how to treat it. The first question on the sheet read "Are you at risk for kidney disease?"  Considering that I was already sitting in a kidney doctor's office, giving me this information seemed like a little too late.   But even upon a first read, I couldn't tell if I was still at risk for kidney disease or not, because I no longer have any of the symptoms they usually assign to a person with kidney disease. 

As the doctor came out to tell me my urine test clean and that everything was OK, I grabbed my stuff to leave.  Before I opened the door, I turned around and yelled "Hey Doc, I was reading this form.  I think I may be at risk for kidney disease."  

We both laughed.