Okay, so I've had a bunch of blog posts rolling around in my head, but the questions I keep getting from everyone are about my dr.'s appointments and my health issues. So I decided to get the update written and out of the way, so I can get back to more fun blogging stuff!
Okay, so I left you all with a brief synopsis of my particular kidney disease and the fact that I was feeling blah and my feet and legs were swollen, and I was basically pretty miserable.... right?
So, I went to my doctor in Dallas to get the results of my kidney function test, and he seemed pretty pleased with most of my test results. He basically has a chart with what my results were when I first came to him, and what they are now and he compares the two. Most everything was holding steady, so he was satisfied with that. My GFR (which is some formula that they use to determine kidney function) had dropped 9%, but it was still 1% higher than it was when I first started going to him. So basically, I'm still considered stage 2 chronic kidney disease and since the goal is to keep me from going into stage 3, he's happy. He did add a vitamin D3 to my list of pills to take because he said I was pretty low on that, and he recommended that I see my local urologist because he suspected that the drop in function and my other symptoms suggested that I had a kidney stone...although he can't seem to understand why I'm still getting them when I'm on this medicine, and this diet. (Because I'm special...that's why!) He also suggested that I see an internist to try to figure out why my blood pressure has been so high...ugh.
I made the appointment with my urologist, but decided to discuss the blood pressure issue with him rather than trying to find an internist. (Seriously, do I need another dr.?) The urologist did a CaT scan and discovered that I did, in fact, have a kidney stone...or three. Uh-huh, he said, "There are at least 3 stones in there that I can see." The good news is that they are "free floating" which means that they are not blocking anything at the moment, so they can be left alone for now....or, in other words, no surgery at this time. And in regard to the whole blood pressure thing...he said I could just go to my regular family doctor rather than an internist. He also suggested that I do so right away...
(Now here, is where we must take a little bunny-path... about 10 years ago, one of my drs. told me that they had started prescribing blood-pressure meds to patients who got multiple kidney stones and it seemed to be helping to prevent them. HOWEVER, for most of my life, my blood pressure has been extremely low and putting me on a medication that would lower it wasn't an option. In fact the only time my blood pressure has ever been even slightly elevated was right before a kidney surgery when I was almost totally blocked. That was when I was told that I needed to check it regularly because a rise in blood pressure could indicate the onset of kidney failure. Okay, we can go back to our regular path now...bunny path has ended.)
....as it turns out, it's a two-way street between the blood pressure and the kidney function. Just as poor kidney function can increase blood pressure, high blood pressure can cause reduced kidney function. Either way about it, my blood pressure was so high that my doctor recommended a very aggressive approach to lowering it....sigh. So, I am now taking ANOTHER pill to regulate my blood pressure, and he told me I needed to beef up my running and to add distance...2 miles wasn't good enough....BIG sigh.(this dude seriously runs MUCH faster than I do!)
I'm still having the kidney pain off and on (but the dr. gave me medicine for that, so it's better) and I am still swollen, though not as bad as before. The good news is that since I got my blood pressure down, I have felt a hundred times better! I'm not sluggish or tired all the time any more and the chest pains are gone. AND hopefully, the blood pressure medicine will also help prevent me from forming stones in the future.
So, does everyone feel all caught up now? Did I answer all of your questions? ....Whew! I'm tired just typing it all out! I think I'll call it a day.
Thanks for checking in on me!