Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Diagnosis...Finally! (BP Update)

Went to the nephrologist today and boy am i ever grateful i did! A very nice man, Dr. B, who doesn't talk down to or assume ignorance in patients very matter-of-factly said i have Stage 3 Chronic Kidney Disease (if i remember correctly, there are 6 stages - the 6th meaning the person is on dialysis).
I can't remember the whole 2 hour appointment but he explained a TON to me solely based on previous lab results taken when i was having breastfeeding issues, the CT results, and the arteriogram. The lab results showed my creatine levels being 1.2 and they should be .5 for my age and size though they showed up as in the normal range (not highlighted by the lab) and i was told they were normal. The part that *was* highlighted by the lab was the part that tells the level of kidney function based on age. It shows a 53 which translates into my kidneys are working at 50% of what they should be (equivalent to someone who has donated a kidney). I was never told this until today. The CT results say "The left kidney is slightly atrophic and the right kidney is much more atrophic." Dr. T said that means small but Dr. B says it means shriveled. So my kidneys are shriveled which means scar tissue caused by something we may never know (assuming either born that way or long-term high blood pressure that was not caught until now). The 10% stenosis found in the arteriogram is not enough to cause high blood pressure.
He ordered lab to check my sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D, and iron. The only mode of treatment (pending the lab results) is maintaining a good blood pressure (110/70 at the highest) which means staying on the BP meds and eating a low sodium diet which i am already doing via the South Beach Diet. We can't reverse this no matter how much weight i lose or how fit i get though i am still focused on both of those. If we maintain things as they are, it wont get worse and i can live a full life so that is the goal.
Though i am angry that i still have to take meds and i am not healthy like i thought and i wouldnt have had to go through the headache, ER visit, or arteriogram if Dr. T. had paid attention to the highlighted part of the labs back in August, i feel so very blessed. Blessed that i was able to have my babies at home with no complications. Blessed that things were caught before it got to a point of having to do dialysis or transplant. Blessed that my husband is such an amazingly strong man that helps me take one day at a time. Blessed that i have wonderful friends and family that have supported me through this time of discovery. Blessed that i have a great nephrologist. Blessed that i have every opportunity to live a long, normal life with the aid of bp meds. Blessed that i will be as healthy as possible once i lose this weight and get fit. Blessed that my kids are/will know the joys of having a healthy mama that feeds them healthy foods and lives a healthy life. Blessed.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

But I wanted to do a "M"!

Aden came to me with his magna doodle and said "I want to sign your name. How do you spell Mommy?" I said, "M. Tell me when you are ready for the next letter." He got up from the floor and said in a very disappointed voice, "I wanted to do a M." I looked down and saw:

I got very excited and really praised him for doing an "A" because he has never done it before. I immediately said "Let's take a picture of it." I totally ignored the fact he was disappointed because he didn't do a "M." I practically ran to get the camera and showed Chet his A - proud Mama that i was. All the while Aden was following me saying "I only know how to do an A" repetitively. Still semi-ignoring his wanting to do an M, i asked him to hold the magna doodle up and smile (then we could work on doing a M). He held it up and smiled but by the time the picture took he had changed to his original feeling:

Then i asked him to really smile and he did but then it was a game in which he started running away:

I followed through on my promise of working on M. I wrote a straight M on the magna doodle and he did a curvy one. Then i did a curvy one and wrote mommy. Of course he wanted to take a pic of his successful M:

If You're Happy and You Know It...

These are the times i wish we had a video camera...
Emma has started clapping (without sound) today. She claps pretty much 'on cue' when we sing "If you're happy and you know it clap your hands" even waiting a bit longer during the phrase "your face will surely show it." And this wasn't a one time deal - she has performed several times today.
A funny thing is this is not one of the songs we sing most often so the fact she is doing it mostly on cue, is pretty neat to me.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Posted too soon (BP update continuation)

I posted my last one too soon. I should have gone on to say that Dr. T. took me off one BP med (Procardia) so now i am only on one. I hope to wean down or even off of Hyzaar eventually. Another good point about my last visit to Dr. T. is that i have lost 12 pounds since Dec. 13th according to her scale.
I have an appointment with a Nephrologist on Tuesday 2/17 to hopefully get answers about my kidney's. If you remember, the CT report said my kidney's are small. I want the word small quantified and the 'what does that mean' and 'what ifs' that go along with that answered. My hope is they will have an ultrasound machine in their office so he can look at my kidney's himself and tell me everything i want to know in this one visit.
Okay, that is all i was going to say. I will update when i know more...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tests, Tests, and more Tests (BP update)

I went a few weeks ago for the "advanced blood work" that Dr. A talks about in his South Beach Diet Heart Program book and made an appointment to review the results with my Dr. (Dr. T). I also discovered (thanks Curt) that Integris Baptist Hospital has an EBT Heart Scan machine and was doing a promo of $50 to get screened so i made an appointment to do that.
Monday 2/2 was my heart scan and i have to tell you i was pretty nervous. I read all i could about it and it said there was nothing to drink or dyes to inject but after my CT of doing both i was not really looking forward to it. I got there and after registration was sent to another office down the hall. The very nice woman behind the desk took me to the heart scan room and told me to put my things on the table. I started to take my keys out of my pocket and she told me i didn't have to - pretty impressive to me for some reason. Then i got on the table thingy and she explained that i would hold my breath twice, one of them for 30 seconds. She left the room to administer the scan which took less than 5 minutes. Then she asked me to wait in a chair outside another room - i sat there about a minute or 2 before she called me in to see my results. I already knew that calcium shows up as white in the pictures so as she was talking and telling me what all the parts of the heart were and what the pictures showed, i was looking for white. She finished explaining and said "calcium shows up as white and as you can see you don't have any calcium in your heart or coronary artery." So in less than 10 minutes i found out that officially my calcium score is zero! I asked how often i should get the scan done and she said "with a score of zero, we recommend every 3 years." I wholeheartedly (no pun intended) recommend everyone with any possible risk factors go get this scan, especially if they are running the promotion of $50 (its normally $100 and ins. wont cover it).

Tuesday 2/3 was my appt with Dr. T to talk about my lab results. They were mostly great. A total cholesterol score of 217 (supposed to be 200 or lower) BUT the reason it was high is that my good cholesterol is higher than it should be and my bad cholesterol was lower than it is supposed to be. We didn't really go over the other results because they were all 'normal'. There was one though that was a bit off. It was the ANA Screen. ANA stands for Antinuclear Antibodies. The result was "positive" which Dr. T said could mean nothing or any number of autoimmune diseases - none of which i am showing any symptoms of at all. She ordered a set of tests to determine if i have one or if it is 'nothing'. I was hoping to have those test results by now (a week later) but called the Dr. office and they haven't received them yet or some such excuse. Of course, as soon as i got home from the initial office visit i looked up info on the ANA screen and found that "certain drugs, including birth control pills, procainamind, and thiazide diurectics, affect the accuracy of this test." The bp med i am on (Hyzaar) has a thiazide diuretic in it. So my suspicion is that the test came back positive because of my bp med and the subsequent tests will be negative. I will let ya'll know when i know...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Emma's First Tooth

Last night Emma was chewing on Chet's finger and he felt something on her gum. He checked and there is a little tooth barely popping up! She's growing too fast, i tell ya! I tried to get a picture but with all the moisture in her mouth it was just too shiney and you wouldn't have been able to tell slober from tooth...lol

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Walking with Dinosaurs

Yesterday afternoon we left for Tulsa, OK for dual purposes. The main purpose was that Aden and Chet were attending the Dinosaur Live: Walking with Dinosaurs show at the BOK center. The other was i was going to my sister's to go through some things from my dad's storage (not quite as exciting). So we arrived in Tulsa, met my sister and her family for dinner at Chili's then I took Chet and Aden to the BOK Center and dropped them off. I wont go into the headache it was to find my way around in the dark...I am so very geographic and directionally challenged (we are getting a GPS as soon as we can afford it)! I went back to my sisters to look through things while Aden and Chet enjoyed the show. They both helped me make a slide show out of the pics Chet took. Enjoy: