Sunday, April 19, 2009


Just to keep people up to date on what's going on:

Just as we were ready to move forward with the transplant, it was determined that, in order for Medicare to cover me for both the nephrectomy and the transplant, I have to do three months of dialysis first. This was not what the doctors preferred, but it's just the way it has to be.

Dialysis has, so far, been a mixed bag. On the first session, I immediately felt an improvement. I was more energetic and less nauseated than I've been in quite a while. However, it did cause a sever headache that last for about 7 hours. When that cleared up, however, I felt better than I have in a year and a half for the next day or so. I was able to do a lot of things without getting tired or sick that I haven't been.

The second session was headache free, and seemed to be going great until about half an hour to the end. Dialysis involves cleaning blood and removing fluid. They are still figuring out exactly how much excess fluid there is to remove every time. Too much fluid was removed, and the result was a very nasty spell of nausea, vomiting, cramps, dizziness, and missing the best part of "Spider-Man 2" on TV. Once some of the fluid was put back and my blood pressure was stabilized, I felt quite a bit better, but it was very unpleasant there for a while.

I will continue to receive dialysis treatments 3 times a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) until July, when I will have my kidneys removed. Then, it's back to the 3 dialysis treatments a week for about 4 weeks, then the transplant will take place.

The way I've felt during the up times in the past few days actually has me much more enthusiastic and confident than I was before that real recovery is going to happen. People have told me, "you don't realize how bad you felt until you start feeling better." That's not quite it: I definitely have realized how bad I felt (and still feel much of the time), but I'd forgotten how much better BETTER feels. I can't wait until after the recovery when I can start feeling that on a regular basis again, without the grueling dialysis process preceding it.

Thanks again, and love to you all, for your support.


Miriam Latour said...

*Hugs and more hugs* I'm sorry you have to go through this!

Leisl said...

"I'd forgotten how much better BETTER feels."

And BETTER will feel so good. You are an amazing man and the strength you show - even during the weak moments - is inspiring.

So much love for you ...

Kidney4Paul said...

I wish I were as strong as you think I am.

Thanks for the kind words, both of you.

Jami said...

I am so glad you are starting to feel better. I'm sorry you have to go through this, and wanted you to know that you are constantly in my prayers.