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!

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