Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The next phase is about to begin

So I got the call today... only it wasn't the call I wanted to get. When I answered the phone and heard that it was my Nephrologist, I knew what he was going to say before he said it. He suggested that we go ahead and proceed with dialysis.

Since I have already decided to do the Peritoneal Dialysis and toured the facility last week, it was an easier conversation with choices already made. The next step is to have the port inserted into my abdomen which will be done within the next week. On the positive side of things, I will not be starting the exchanges right away.

I am not quite to the point of being really sick and with the healing process around 2 weeks, this will give me the opportunity to ease into the exchanges. The other option is to wait and the possibility of being hospitalized would be greatly increased.

Although I am not looking forward to this procedure, it is much better than the alternative. I am thankful for my support system, family and friends, and especially for my great team of doctors who are aggressively treating me!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

The love of my life!

So I visited the dialysis unit today and have decided that Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) is what I am going to do. The other choice is Hemo Dialysis (Hemo). I am really really glad that Torre was able to go on the visit as well, I think this helped with her worries and concerns.

I have been thinking a lot lately about who this is harder on, me or Torre. For me, things are happening gradually and only have to take care of myself pretty much. For Torre, she has been having to do more and more, but she has been doing so much. She takes care of pretty much everything around the house and with the kids, and has been having to do more for me.

It seems my biggest stress is with feeling well enough to do daily activities. The stress Torre endures is the daily life we live with a 2 and 5 yr old, but she does most everything around the house and also works at our church and has recently started a business. When you add taking care of me into the mix it just seems so much.

I know we all will survive, but wish I was not putting my family through all of this. I do know one thing for sure, and that is I know I would not be able to survive this without a great and wonderful wife like I have in Torre!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Small victories

3 tests later and I am now officially back on the list!! The tests were 1. Upper Endoscopy 2. Colonoscopy and 3. an x-ray of my small intestines. The tests were not bad, but as they say, the preparation for the test is always worse.

For the Upper Endoscopy, there was no preparation, just could not eat or drink anything after midnight, the night before.

The colonoscopy, as many are aware, the prep is to drink a not so pleasant solution that cleans you out. I think I lucked out with this one since my procedure was in the afternoon. I was able to drink half the night before and then the remaining portion the following day. In my opinion, this was a benefit because I did not have to spend all night in the bathroom.

For the x-ray, the prep was to not eat or drink anything the night before, but the worst part was having to drink the Barium Sulfate solution, all I can say is ughhhhhh. If you haven't had to drink this stuff, consider yourself lucky. Think of the thickest milkshake you have ever had. Now think if that were about 10 times thicker, luke warm and a very unpleasant taste - that about sums it up...

The only thing left to do is for the Doctors to look over the results and clear me for the transplant. I am officially on the list but I am on a hold status. The main reason for this, since I am anemic and my guaiac result came back positive for blood they needed to make sure nothing else was going on inside me that would make the transplant more complicated or lead to other infections. I am confident I will be off the hold status in a day or two.

The main difference between the hold status and active status, is that I am on the list and begin to accrue my "time" on the list, but being on hold, is I cannot receive a transplant if one were to come in that would be my match until I am on an active status.

Another small victory for me, is that I have finally gotten the approval from my pharmacy for my procrit. Since I am anemic, my blood count is low, and since it is a specialty medicine, it seems an act of congress is needed to approve the medicine. The medication will help give me more red blood count, which in turn will help me have more energy - right now is a big plus!!

Another day or so and I will be off the hold status and then I just have to wait for the call!!!

I'll keep you updated as things continue to progress - things are looking brighter every day!!