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Showing posts from 2018

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…

What is IgA Nephropathy?

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When my kidney biopsy results came back positive for IgA Nephropathy I, as many people are prone to do, Googled it! I wanted to know all about this disease. What is it? How did I get it? How is this going to effect me? Will it ever go away? I searched and searched and read as much as I could. It was all so complex to me. I was encouraged to read that it could be a slow progressing disease, but discouraged when I read that there was no cure for it. One of the best and easiest explanations I have found was on the University of North Carolina's Kidney Center web page. Here is an excerpt of their definition:

IgA Nephropathy is named for the deposits of IgA that can be seen stuck in the kidney filters when viewed under a microscope. IgA is an immunoglobulin– a normal component of a healthy immune system. These components normally attach themselves to infection in the body and trigger the immune response. This works to eliminate the infection. In this disease, a defective form…

The Kidney Biopsy

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So after a few months of testing from my Primary Care doctor and handing me off to a Nephrologist, I was finally sent for a Kidney Ultrasound and a Kidney Biopsy in April 2016.  The ultrasound was just used for getting a measurement of the kidneys and to rule out anything foreign on the kidneys such as tumors or disease.  I am happy to say my kidney ultrasound results were good.

My kidney biopsy was pretty much a breeze.  I arrived at the hospital and was sent to the Cath Lab.  The specialized doctors would be using a CT scan to guide them through the biopsy process.  Here are the steps of a kidney biopsy:

Percutaneous biopsy Percutaneous means through the skin. Most kidney biopsies are done this way. The procedure is usually done in the following way: You may receive medicine to make you drowsy.You lie on your stomach. If you have a transplanted kidney, you lie on your back.The doctor marks the spot on the skin where the biopsy needle is inserted.The skin is cleaned.Numbing medicine (an…

The Diagnosis

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Typically a kidney disease does not just alert you that it has started.  There weren't any sudden changes that I noticed except I was really tired all the time, but I had been for several months, so it did not alarm me.  I went to my family practice doctor for my annual check up in January 2016 and told my doctor I was feeling a little more tired than usual.  She checked my heart and heard a murmur that she had never heard before and I told her I sometimes hear my pulse beating so loud in my ears it was nerve racking!   She ordered a blood test to check my hemoglobin levels for possible anemia.  Bingo! Blood tests showed I was very anemic.  Seems my blood volume was so low that my heart was beating extra hard to push what blood I had where it needed to go.  Thus hearing my murmur, because with less blood and more pressure the murmur was louder.  And that explained the pulse thumping in my ears night and day too.  My doctor was concerned and wanted to find out the source of the ane…

Welcome

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Hello, welcome to my blog.  My name is Jodie, I am 48 years old and I live in central Indiana.  Most days I am a home maker, one day a week I am a book keeper for my dads custom home building business and some days I'm a photographer, a web designer or a graphic artist.  As you can tell, I wear many hats, but my favorite hats of all are my wife and mom hats.  I have 3 grown boys, 2 of them are in their 20's and the youngest is 19.  As I write this blog intro they are all living out on their own, thriving productive members of society.  One is married to a wonderful girl and they have 2 children, a daughter and a son.  I thank God every day for my kids and grandkids and for my very caring and devoted husband whom I could not live with a chronic kidney disease without.

Those things I spoke of above are, as Martha Stewart would say, my Good Things.  Unfortunately life handed me 2 chronic diseases.  I have an auto immune disease that at different times in the past 5 years have cr…