Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Kidney Saga part 98

A very quiet Sunday was followed by a somewhat busy Monday.

I had both a blood draw and a doctor appointment yesterday, and both went well. Hubby-Eric drove me to the Prosser Hospital for the blood draw as soon as he finished teaching. It was really busy, with people all over the place. The lab was slightly backed up because of the number of patients.

I sat in the waiting room and a woman came in who clearly had never dealt with a blood draw before. She had her paperwork but didn't know what to do, so I helpfully told her she could set it on the counter and the nurse would grab it. The woman gave me a look that I interpreted as grateful, since she was masked, and then did as I suggested. She sat when the nurse told her it would be a few minutes, then the woman turned to me and said, "I'm a little nervous." I said it would be okay, and told her I'd never had a bad blood draw here. She asked if it would hurt, and I said yes, a little, as being stuck by a needle almost always hurts just a little. She asked how much blood they would take, and I held up my hands to show the usual size of the vial they get from me. I said it only takes half a minute or so.

Her eyes were anxious, but I think I helped calm her a little. I mentioned that I never actually look when they stick the needle in, but I'm fine after that. I went in first, and when I came out I showed her my bandage and said, "See, no problem." I hope she was fine. Lab tests can be scary the first time.

I was able to walk across the parking lot to the car instead of waiting for Eric to drive around a pick me up. I know I'm getting better.

While we were driving in, I also saw four large birds flying near a canal. I thought at first they were small birds close up, but then they went behind a tree that was far away. I think they might have been storks of some sort. I wish I'd been able to see them better.

After we got home and Eric got me a good lunch, I read and did some gaming while waiting for my doctor appointment. The nephrologist was a bit late to the virtual meeting, but we eventually connected. He was once again pleased that I'd sent my blood pressure and weight logs ahead of time, and he already had the blood test results from Prosser.

The doctor asked a lot of questions about my current condition, but said my tests indicated that almost everything was going in the right direction. My only problem is a lack of potassium, which is slightly amusing to me for various reasons, not the least of which is that kidney patients are supposed to avoid potassium. But my potassium levels are low enough to be a concern, and possibly the reason I'm so tired, so I'm going to pop more potassium pills. Yay.

He was also concerned that I'm still losing weight, but I mentioned I've been overweight for years and now that I'm on a restricted diet, I'm losing more than just water weight. I'm losing fat as well. In fact, I can feel the fat going away. It's scary and pleasing at the same time. I feel some days like I'm the incredible shrinking woman.

In any case, my prognosis is still positive, and there's still a decent chance of full remission after the chemo is through. At which point I will need to stay on a kidney-friendly diet, but will be allowed to have other stuff within reason. I'm far more concerned about the diabetes, which is linked to the Prednisone, which I won't be off of until the end of August at the soonest due to the need to taper carefully. There is a tiny chance the diabetes will leave with the Prednisone, but I'm not counting on it. On the other hand, with the weight loss, who knows? I can certainly hope.

Hubby-Eric and Inkwell continue to care for me the best they can. Inkwell is still demanding I put down electronics and have a lap cat certain times during the day. This is certainly a good thing. As I sat down to write this, in fact, Inkwell pushed the laptop off my lap and demanded scritches and cuddles. He took only about five minutes, but it was good purr therapy.

Inkwell was cuddly this morning.

Today is an off day, but tomorrow is the penultimate chemo infusion. I'm oddly anxious about it again, just like last time. I know I shouldn't be, but I am. I'll just have to persist and get through it.

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