Monday, January 19, 2009

Questions, Answers, and a Few More Questions...

I know that many of you are wondering why I haven't been around much lately. That is a complicated question with more than one answer. The easiest answer is that I've had writer's block. I look at my days lately, and I can't think of a single thing to share with Blogland.

Which leads to the second question..."Why the block?" I'm not really sure, but I know that I "just don't feel right" and that feeling has been building for awhile. It started sometime last summer when I just couldn't make myself get up and run in the mornings any longer. I didn't necessarily feel bad, I just "didn't feel right".

If you've been around for awhile, you know that I've had one or two or 6 surgeries in my time. Mostly they have been kidney related, but I also suffer from endometriosis. You also know that I'm on a fairly strict diet for chronic kidney disease. One would think that with the number of things I'm not allowed to eat, my weight would not be an issue...sadly, that is not the case. After spending more than half of my life pretty much under-weight, the past 10-15 years have progressed to being the actual correct weight, to being 15-20 pounds over weight...yikes! During those years, I went up and down mainly due to my activity level at the time, or whether or not I was pregnant (I actually LOST weight with all but my last pregnancy...I know! I used to call it my favorite diet plan, 'cause when it was all done, I got a kid as a bonus!). I took up running in between kids 3 and 4, but quit after my first miscarriage because I was afraid the running had caused me to lose my baby. Even after I lost a 2nd baby and discovered that it was endometriosis to blame, I still didn't run, until well after I had safely delivered that 4th baby. I just never felt up to it after he was born.

My latest kidney related surgery was in May of 2007. After I recovered from that one, I felt so much better that I began running again after several years. I felt great, and I lost 18 pounds that year. I was 3-5 pounds away from being back to my college/ideal weight, and my last kidney function test was the best I've ever had, and my specialist thought it would be okay for me to wait a whole year before I needed to be tested again. (I had been testing every 3 to 6 months while my medication levels were being figured out.) I felt like I had finally found the right dosage of medication, the right diet, and a good level of exercise to live a "normal" life.

Then last summer, the old lethargy began to return. I "just didn't feel like it" whenever it was time to run. I have started and stopped again a few times since then. Basically I had some good days, and some bad days. For awhile, it was more good than bad, and I'm always happy for that. But as fall came around, I was feeling more and more tired, and even though I still had more good days than bad, the bad were starting to catch up, my legs were starting to swell significantly again, my osteopenia has spread and I showed two areas of full blown osteoporosis in my spine, and my blood pressure was high, and I've found 12 of those lost pounds...sigh.

In December, the pain started and I figured it was time for another surgery. Hey, I'd made it more than a year since the last one, and that was pretty good! I decided to wait until January to talk to my surgeon for multiple reasons: holidays, kids' activities, insurance, etc. Then, January came along, and the pain was gone. The first week in January was also the scheduled time for my next kidney function test, so I felt it only made sense to get the results of that and have them in hand when I discussed the possibility of another surgery with my local doctor.

So here we are...

Next Wednesday I will drive to Dallas to get the results of my latest tests and make a plan from there. On the one hand, I feel like I'd like the results to be poor. I know that sounds strange, but I'd like there to be a reason that I feel this way. Preferably a fixable reason, but a reason. On the other hand, the idea that I'm losing more of my kidney function is scary. From everything I've read about this disease, the calcification in my kidneys will potentially harm the healthy kidney cells and cause progressive kidney failure. The hope was that with the medication, we could greatly slow it down if not stop it altogether. We determined after the first year on the meds that the damage I had would not reverse or get better. The damage was done, but the two kidneys together were still getting the job done.

Some of the symptoms of chronic kidney failure are muscle weakness, tiredness, and the inability to concentrate. Which is exactly how I feel, and why I have had the writer's block. I just can't seem to get motivated, and when I do try to write, I can't think. (For those of you who know me IRL, I know you're thinking "Um, so what's new?")

I also need to mention here, that my local doctor, who first discovered the calcification of my kidneys told me that just looking at them, he can't believe they function as well as they do. I believe that's a miracle from God, and a direct result of all the prayers that have gone up on my behalf over the years. I know He's taking care of me, and I'm not afraid. I just want to feel better.

I get a lot of questions about my particular kidney disease, which is called Renal Tubular Acidosis, so I am working on gathering what information I can find and posting a link on my sidebar that I can refer people to. After all I've read, I'm a tad confused about exactly what type of this disease I have (there are 4 types), so I plan to talk to my dr. about that when I see him next week. In the meantime, I did find a pretty good "overview" of this disease and have placed a button in the sidebar. As I gather information, and figure out how to save it all in one link, I'll add it to the button.

I hope I have answered some of the questions that you have been asking, and I hope to be back and writing my usual drivel very soon! Yes, I know I write drivel, but it's my drivel, and it's my blog, so I can write whatever I like!


Thanks for the concern, and the prayers. I really appreciate you all!


Mocha with Linda said...

Aww, Melody, I'm sorry you are having such a hard time. I hope the doctor has an easy answer for you. Keep me posted!

Mel said...

i am praying!!! i don't have any words of wisdom or anything but i am thinking of you and i hope you find the answers you seek.

Kelli said...

I hope you know you are in my prayers, as I walk ahead of you in this stupid path. Keep me updated as to what the dr says. Sorry I've been a stranger. Sigh...

(Did I tell you that I saved one of those precious cookies you sent me? It sits in the box you made on my desk, ribbon and all. I think of you all the time)

Lisa @ The Preacher's Wife said...

Your symptoms make me want to run straight to the doc to see if I have the same thing. I'm only a little kidding. :)

Seriously though, Will refresh my prayers in the area of your health. There's nothing worse than having this huge, full life to live and not feeling like living it.

I love you my friend!