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Still Dialysis Free

I am happy to report that my kidneys are still functioning and I have not had to start dialysis yet!  My goal is still to continue moving toward transplant and avoiding dialysis.  I think paying close attention to my diet, taking all of my medications and remaining positive everyday are some of the key factors of these kidneys of mine holding on.

My kidneys have been having some trouble processing phosphorus so my doctor has me taking a phosphorus binder.

The American Kidney Fund explains Phosphorus this way:
Phosphorus is a mineral found in many foods. It works with calcium and vitamin D in your body to keep your bones healthy and strong. Healthy kidneys keep the right amount of phosphorus in your body, but when your kidneys are not working well, phosphorus can build up to dangerous levels in your blood.

When you have too much phosphorus in the blood, your body will pull calcium from the bones in an attempt to match the amount of phosphorus in the blood, causing bones to become weak…

Tool Boxes and Drain Pans

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Living the last 6 years with a chronic disease, first, an unexplained auto immune disease and now chronic kidney disease, has certainly been a trial and has helped me grow closer to God as I learn to lean on Him in the hard times, wait patiently for answers and trust him for my healing. I have gathered many coping tools along the way and have a big "toolbox" full of beautiful words that encourage me when I am down, or when I am weak.  I find strength in scripture and the promises of God when life takes twists and turns that I can not control.    Here are just a few:





But, being strong all of the time is hard (and it sucks). Sometimes I just need a "drain pan" and not a "tool box". Unfortunately many of those near and dear to us see us struggle and reach into their tool box and pull out cheer up words, be strong scripture and motivational memes to help fix us, when all we need is a drain pan to catch our words, our tears, our grief, our anxiety and struggles.…

Transplant : Not As Seen On TV

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Hello!!  Sorry it's been a minute since I have posted anything new on my blog.  Winter is coming to a close here in central Indiana, but the cold weather still lingers making me want to stay inside and work on a few projects.  Dennis and I have been unpacking the garage, building shelving and organizing everything so that maybe by summer I can park my car in the garage again!  Our unfinished basement is full of boxes of stuff we've been sorting through.  We hope to get the majority of it into a garage sale and the memories and holiday decor neatly stored away on the shelving system Dennis built.  Our goal is to finish the basement soon, drywall, carpet, theater room, bar, extra bedroom, the works!  We are taking it one step at a time.

On a positive note, January 22nd, we welcomed our new grandson Grey Joseph Minniear into our family.  I have spent a lot of time down in southern Indiana with my son and his wife helping and snuggling baby Grey.

An update on me, I want to take a m…

Got A Kidney to Spare?

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It's been a week since Kidney Education Day at IU Hospital. A week to let the realness of everything sink in.  A week to wrap my brain around the truth of how badly I need a new kidney to live.  We learned that the life expectancy of living on dialysis and not ever having a transplant is 5-10 years.  We learned receiving a live donor kidney transplant could last 20 years!  I don't know about you, but 20 years sounds a lot better to me!  You see I'm only 48 years old, I'm the mom of three great sons, Evan is 25, Logan is 23 and Isaiah is 19 and wife to a wonderful, devoted husband.  I need them and they need me.  I am also very blessed to be Mimi to a beautiful little girl who is 6 and a little boy who I expect to meet on January 22nd ~ in just a few days!  I need them and they need me.  I recently moved back to Indiana to live near family, my parents, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews and my grandmother.  I need them and they need me.  I need a kidney and I need one s…

The 3 D's

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Doctors, Dialysis and Donors

We'll start with dialysis.  So far my kidneys are holding their own.  I have not had to start dialysis yet.  My labs have been pretty stable.  My creatinine level is still climbing, but slowly.  It is 3.72 right now and my GFR is still 14.

Before dialysis could begin, I would need to get the fistula put in my arm and that takes about 3 months to heal before it can be used.  If for some reason my kidneys take a turn for the worse before my fistula surgery or while the fistula is healing, I will need a surgery to place a catheter in my neck straight into my heart.  This catheter will have two ports that the dialysis machine will hook up to.  We are really trying to avoid the neck/heart catheter as it has a higher risk of infection, and who wants an infection in their heart?  Not this girl!
For more information about Hemodialysis Catheters you can read about them HERE.


Doctors.  I have been to several in the last month.  In order to qualify for a transpla…

Dialysis Q&A

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Davita dialysis center has a class called Kidney Smart.  Once your doctor sees dialysis in your near future you should go to a class and learn all of the different options out there for dialysis.  There are 2 main options available to you Hemodialysis and Peritoneal Dialysis.

Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) starts with having a catheter surgically inserted into the abdomen.  Bags of dialysate fluid are infused into the abdomen (peritoneal cavity) through the catheter (takes about 30 minutes) and left to capture toxins and waste products that leach out of the blood vessels in your abdomen over a period of time, called dwell time, usually 4-6 hours.  After your dwell time, the fluid is then drained and disposed of.  This procedure, called an exchange is done 3-4 times a day, every day.

There is a second option called Nocturnal Peritoneal Dialysis.  NPD is done while you sleep and takes about 9 hours to complete.  You get a machine called a Cycler that fills your abdomen with dialysate fluid sl…

A New Doctor, A New Plan of Action

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After moving to Indiana in August of 2017 I immediately called to make an appointment with a local Nephrologist.  With a specialist you typically can't just make your own appointment, you have to have a referral from another doctor.  In this case they wanted a referral from my local family practitioner. That was going to be a problem because my family practitioner was back in Georgia and I had not set one up in Indiana yet.  So I got the scoop on what they needed to verify that I indeed did qualify for Nephrology and wasted no time getting all the information to them.  I am so thankful that they took the time to listen to me and let me provide the documents they needed.  We were off to a good start, however, I had to wait until December before I could get my first appointment with my new doctor.

Meeting my new Nephrologist was good.  My mom came with me as she had previously worked in the dental field and my new dr had been one of her patients.  They exchanged greetings and I told…