Friday, June 27, 2014

Procedure today

This morning we are off to St. Francis Hospital for a temporary catheter placement.  John starts dialysis on Monday, and the fistula is not yet mature enough to use.  Not expecting a hospital stay this time.

Next week is busy with appointments:  dialysis treatments and training everyday for 5-6 hours, and one appointment in Boston for liver issues.

The dialysis should give some relief from the extreme fatigue and edema John is experiencing.  He is still at his job full time, we are working out the details on short-term disability and/or working part time.  In one sense, the timing is good because I am able to do the dialysis training along with him--I am on summer vacation from teaching. This will be a crash course of aversion therapy for me... I typically faint when having blood drawn.  Since this is basically a 2.5 hour daily blood draw, I can only assume I will get used to it.  Right?

As always, thanks for the positive thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Potassium and a hospital stay

John is back in the hospital, docs are working on getting his potassium levels within range.  Too much or too little potassium is problematic. We got a call at 6:30 this morning from the nephrologist on call who checked his bloodwork, urging him to check in right away, as his level was very low at 2.9.  Low potassium is rare for end stage renal failure, typically patients have to severely restrict their intake.  John took full advantage of the situation and asked for a banana and chocolate covered almonds--high in potassium snacks--as he received potassium in an IV drip.

I love his local kidney doc.  I called him (on his personal cell) this morning, to let him know about the treatment plan and get his input.  He came right down to the ER and checked on John himself.  He has a lot of experience, and the best part of the medical experience today was when he said "I treat patients, not numbers." All of the bloodwork numbers used to measure kidney function are off.  Way off.  Either the kidney is shutting down completely, or the potassium issue has caused a domino effect in many systems.  More bloodwork being done as we left this evening.

He is finally out of  the ER and in a private room.

Surgery is scheduled for Tuesday to put a graft in his arm for dialysis.  We'll know tomorrow if this hospitalization will affect the timing of the surgery.

Many thanks to friends and family helping out in so many ways!