Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Introduction To Kidney Disease

I had answered an interesting question earlier today. Not once, but twice.

"Why don't doctors clean out a person's kidney with special instruments? Get in all the nooks and crannies so that the kidney will work"?

Well, I wish it was that simple.

Kidneys that are failing have scars. Irreversible scars. Once a kidney is damaged you can not get that kidney function back. Kidneys do much more than filter urine. They get rid of the toxins in our blood that we build up in our body such as CO2. They help produce red blood cells so we can have oxygen flow through our body. If it wasn't for our kidneys the rest of the organs in our body would die from being poisoned. This is just the icing on the cake.

Chronic kidney failure is not caused by an obstruction. Acute renal failure can be caused by a kidney stone blocking the ureter into the bladder. That can be reversed by surgery or lithotripsy. Chronic Renal Failure is usuaslly caused by an underlying disease such as diabetes, hypertension, PKD, or autoimmune diseases to name a few. Mine was caused by Sjogren's Syndrome with a heavy impact of renal tubular acidosis.

Renal tubular acidosis (RTA) is a medical condition that involves an accumulation of acid in the body due to a failure of the kidneys to appropriately acidify the urine.[1] When blood is filtered by the kidney, the filtrate passes through the tubules of the nephron, allowing for exchange of salts, acid equivalents, and other solutes before it drains into the bladder as urine. The metabolic acidosis that results from RTA may be caused either by failure to recover sufficient (alkaline) bicarbonate ions from the filtrate in the early portion of the nephron (proximal tubule) or by insufficient secretion of (acid) hydrogen ions into the latter portions of the nephron (distal tubule). Although a metabolic acidosis also occurs in those with renal insufficiency, the term RTA is reserved for individuals with poor urinary acidification in otherwise well-functioning kidneys. Several different types of RTA exist, which all have different syndromes and different causes.

That concludes your class to Introduction to Kidney Disease. :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Can Transplant Recipients Take Characteristics From Their Donors???

Hmmmm.....very strange, but fascinating. Seems to happen with heart transplant survivors. Check out this link. What do you think?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Why I Do What I Do....

These are my 2 lil pumpkins about 2 years ago. Unknown to me at this time my kidneys were really going down hill. I knew I had sjogrens, but I didn't know it was attacking my kidneys to the point I would need a kidney transplant.

I will be starting 1000 units of vitamin D a day as soon as I get myself to the drugstore. My procrit injections are back to every 2 weeks for the time being. My husband wants me to ask if we can do it every 10 days. It seems every 2 weeks is too long and every week is too soon. No iron supplements right now.

I had a 12th person come forward to be tested as a donor for me. :) I think maybe 1/2 of the 12 that came forward will get past the initial strict health questionaire. Thank you to all 12 that have come forward!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


This is me...well it would be me if I was a man....Ohhhh you get the picture!

I feel like I have had an 8 week cold. Just when I think I am better....my nose starts feeling funny and my throat gets scratchy. Shheesh! Will it ever end? No fever.....just that annoying raw nose.

I have my follow up tomorrow with the nephrologist. I will see about my iron and vitamin D. Apparently, they are not too concerned about it since they received my labs nearly 2 weeks ago.

Any remedies out there to get rid of a cold? Thanks!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Light At The End Of The Tunnel??

Well.....I received some pretty good news from MUSC yesterday. It is official....I respond well to cellcept for my Sjogrens Syndrome. Of course this is used in larger doses after transplant and not exactly FDA approved for autoimmune diseases. I will go from being "inactive" to being "active" on the kidney transplant list. Long story short...I was accumulating points, but was overlooked for a possible kidney if a match was to come up. Also, on a side note....I really believe if I started taking cellcept a 2 or 3 years ago I wouldn't be facing kidney transplant...at least not this soon....just my opinion.

My living donor coordinator will be moving more aggressively getting the work ups on my "heroes" that have come forward. I could have a new kidney next month if I have a match!!

Speaking of heroes....My friend Kelly at Boodas Business is getting her campaign underway to raise money for medical costs not covered by my insurance. She is my good friend who will shave her head if $2000.00 is raised by April 15, 2009. I will keep you updated....should be interesting!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Vampire Results Are In...

I had bloodwork done last week and here are the latest set of numbers. (Sorry, I like to put them on here because it helps me have a place that I write them down and not lose them).

Sjogren's numbers...
RA 127.8 (still high, but better than last month and definitely better than the over 2000 a couple months ago) ANA TITER 1:320 (same as last month)
SSA 453 (High, but improving over last month)
SSB 578 (Again high, but slightly better than last month)

Kidney numbers...
Creatinine 3.1 (Woo-hoo, a little better)
BUN 38 (same as always)
GFR 17 (isty bitsy better than last month)
My Potassium, sodium, and phosphorus are all in normal ranges thanks to the renal diet!!! No Fluid restrictions...thank goodness.

Hemoglobin 11.6 (MUCH better than last month)
Hemacrit 34.6 (MUCH better than last month)

Now for the interesting numbers....
Iron 35 (LOW)
Iron Saturation 9 (Very LOW)
Vitamin D-Hydroxy 17.8 (Very Low)

I am researching why these are low and I know it has something to do with my kidney function. The procrit is making red blood cells for me, but if my iron is low the procrit won't work properly....HENCE WHY I AM STILL SO TIRED!!! Not sure what's up with the vitamiin D...I just know it is common in ESRD. I guess I'll do some research, talk to my doctors about it and have some new material to write about on here.