Archive for September, 2010

Nutrition Report – Mid-Month

September 20, 2010 5 comments

Well, the weekend is over. Mark felt pretty good through out! It is always a good day when Mark is feeling good. The weekend was busy, and relaxing all at the same time. I love those kinds of days. We did get a nap in too!! <grin?

So we got the mid-month nutrition report. It was a mini-report, but the numbers were good. The major report will come in two weeks but the mini report is a good indication of how things are going.

DaVita did tests as follows:

Hemoglobin: 11.3 (This is a good result! The ideal range is 10 – 12).

Calcium Corrected: 9.8 (Again, another good result. The goal is 8.4 – 10.2). Calcium is important for healthy bones and heart

Phosphorus: 5.4 (A little on the high end of normal since the range is 3.0 – 5.5, but we will take it. He has been as high as 6.9 so this is definitely a better reading. He does need to watch his intake, but as long as it is normal, I will keep all comments to myself

Potassium: 4.5 (Definitely right in the middle of the scale of 3.5 – 5.5. Potassium has never been a problem for him. He even eats the occasional banana — which is high in potassium. He has always had good potassium readings.

A different test done earlier in the week also showed that his PT/INR was also very good. They monitor this for his coumadin levels. So, things are holding steady.

On a different note, his graft is healing. He still has some swelling under his arm. The surgical site has healed. However, the graft removal site is still a small open wound. It is now about the size of a pencil eraser. Hopefully that too will close up soon.

On to another work day for me…

Categories: kidney disease

Busy Weekend….

September 12, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s been a busy weekend for us. Both days started early for us. Yesterday we had to get up before 8AM so we could call Dr. Ciervo. He wanted to do a post surgical follow-up. He was free to meet up at Bayshore Hospital at 8:30AM. We rushed like crazy people to get ready to leave. I don’t like rushing to get out of the house. I prefer to have some time, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. I showered, pulled my hair up into a clip, let Belle out, fed Belle, and by that time, we were ready to leave. Luckily, it only takes us about 5 minutes to get to the hospital. We got there a few minutes before Dr. Ciervo did.

He looked at Mark’s surgical site. He said it looked good. He said that the pain should subside slowly, which it has been doing. He looked at the other site where the graft was removed. It is still open, but part of the tissue is mushrooming upward instead of closing. He said that he would like to “burn it” so that it could heal a bit better. We were going to have it burned next week, but he said he would be able to fit him in during the afternoon (he had two surgical procedures to do but would be going back to his office afterwards).  We figured that since it was so nice out (the perfect day to drive to Eatontown in Lil Red), we might as well take advantage of it.

So at 2ish, we took the ride to Eatontown. We even brought Belle with us so she would not have to be left alone! The weather was so beautiful! In the 70s, absolutely sunny, low humidity….. the perfect day. I loved the ride!!! Belle and I waited in the car while Mark went to see the doctor. We parked in the sun, leaving the top down. I read on my Kindle (still reading Breaking Dawn… the 4th book in the Twilight series) while I listened to Bruce Springsteen on Sirius Radio!

Mark was not in the office too long. The doctor took another look at his incision site. He told him that he could leave the bandage off of it starting on Sunday. He also burned the old graft site and covered it with a bandage.

He probably was not in the office more than 10 minutes! Then we drove home… again, the day was gorgeous, and I think I could have driven around forever!!!

Today, which is Sunday, was another early morning for us. We got up at 6:30 so we could get Belle to the groomer by 8AM. I always question what would make me decide to make her appointment so darn early, but once we are up and moving, I feel much better having not wasted the day!!

We took Belle for her appointment, and then we went to the Red Oak Diner for breakfast. We ran a few errands such as Walgreens and gas. There was not enough time for us to go home and relax, so we went to dollar store.  While on our way, we got the call the Belle was done. Perfect timing!

I had plans to cook Belle’s chickens, do laundry, and do some writing, but those plans were squashed when we had no power when we got home!!  We waited for a bit, then called JCP&L to get a status on the outage. We were told it would be about 12:30… Ugh!! We had nearly 2 hours… not a good thing… so we napped!!!

I did manage to get the chicken cooked and the laundry done… as I always do.

Overall, it was a good weekend…

Back to a Routine…

September 10, 2010 Leave a comment

With school having started on Tuesday, Mark and I are trying to get to back to some sort of normal routine. The summer always throws a monkey wrench into our schedules. This summer was even more crazy than others because of the hospital stay, the doctor visits, the stress, etc.

Mark made it through his first two days of school, and currently is trudging through Day Three! He found out yesterday that the weekly staff meetings are now going to be held on Tuesday. They were being held on Monday, but he was not able to attend because he needed to leave to go to dialysis.

Now that the meetings will be on Tuesday, he has to work until 4 P.M. He was not really happy about that since Tuesdays and Thursdays are the only day that he gets home at a decent hour. Now he will be getting home close to 5 P.M. (like the rest of the world!!!)

I look at it this way, he got out of the meetings last year. They are mandatory and are part of his contract. So he needs to just deal with it, and go to the meetings!!!

He says he’s feeling pretty good which is nice to hear. I figured he would be tired and worn out from getting up early and working (instead of watching True Blood and westerns on the couch). But he is a trooper, and he is holding up better than I would have thought.

He has a short week because Monday was Labor Day, and tomorrow is Eid ul-Fitr (marking the end of Ramadan) so school is closed. In our town, the schools have off today and tomorrow because of the Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year). At least that will give him time to get acclimated to his schedule!

He also went back to his “after school” dialysis time. He was going at 6:15 in the morning during the summer so that he could be home in the evenings with me. That was nice, but I got spoiled!! I got used to having him home, and last night was pretty weird to come home to an empty house! I did get a lot of stuff done though! It’s been difficult to get chores and projects done when he would be home. For some reason, he always seems to enjoy talking while I am on the phone or trying to concentrate! I think that’s a guy thing!

It was also difficult to get the house chores done while he was home because he can be quite distracting! Last night I was able to get a lot done, and I felt really productive.

We are supposed to see the vascular surgeon, Dr. Ciervo on Saturday. Mark needs his post surgery  follow up appointment for his graft insertion. He says he still has some pain under his arm where the majority of the incision is made, but he says it is getting better each day. We were not supposed to change the dressing, so all I have been doing is re-taping the bandage so that it stays on! We are hoping that we will be able to see the surgeon at Bayshore Hospital so we can avoid the trip to the Eatontown office. But we will see how that works out!

All in all, it’s been a quiet week at home. Work has been a whole other issue though!! No one said that life was easy!! LOL

It’s back to work for Mark….

September 7, 2010 Leave a comment

Well, the long holiday weekend is over. It was a nice one for us – or as nice it can be!!! We didn’t do anything exciting, but we did go see my in-laws for a dinner. It is always so nice to see them because they are truly decent people.

Mark started work again today. He is a teacher so today was the first day. There are no students today as it is just for the faculty, but he was excited anyway. I think he was just looking forward to some normalcy after his long sickly summer. I really do admire his tenacity to get up and go to work. I am not so sure that I would have it in me to be normal. I wonder if I would just go out on disability and become a recluse?

I admire the fact that he wants to be normal and go to work. I wonder if I would want to work? Or would I just collect disability and call it a day?

His arm is feeling a little better each day. It will be a week today since he had the surgery, so I can see why he would still have pain. I had surgery on my shoulder to repair torn cartilage, and I was the worlds biggest wuss that ever walked! I cried, whined, and became a couch potato. I am thinking that I would not do well with dialysis every other day.

He goes back to the surgeon next week for a follow up. The surgeon said it would be about three weeks before Mark would be able to use that graft. It will be nice for him to use the graft and get that darn catheter out of his chest. He HATES that thing. The only thing that likes is that he doesn’t have to have needle sticks!!!

I am holding up surprisingly well, I know I don’t have too many choices in the matter. I have found a new (well not new, but a renewal of an old outlet for my stress). I started writing again. I started another blog that has nothing at all to do with kidney disease and dialysis. It is more about stuff that I write from my heart. It is just ramblings and reflections of my life. I call it… “In a Purple World: Life, Love, Laughter, and (sometimes) logic… written from my heart. It’s a great outlet for me, and it keeps me from dwelling on all the kidney stuff that floats around our world!!