Sunday, June 17, 2012

Back in hospital... Again

Well, here I am back at the regional hospital. I came back last evening not being able to pass urine properly again. Actually let's go back one day. On Friday I had a 450ml fluid sack drained. This fluid sack was pushing my bladder to the left and obstructing the ureter even with a stent in place. After this was drained I was urinating like a champ again. Then yesterday afternoon I started having the same problem again.

I went back to the ER and explained the issue. It was decided to have a CT scan done to take a look at whats going on. The fluid had reaccumalated over the time that it was drained and yesterday. On the CT scan it was pushing on my bladder and making it look like a banana.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I spent the last week in Hospital, and then back today...

Last Sunday evening I ended up at the ER because I hadn't urinated all day, and something just felt wrong, I'm not going to go into details because I'm certain I have already written on this, but the problem was that my ureter from my kidney to my bladder (which is generally where the ureter is unless there are some serious problems) had collapsed and urine was backing up into the kidney. My creatinine had sky rocketed, so I was fitted with a nephrostomy tube and bag to drain the urine from the kidney, and later a new stent was installed.

Fast forward to after the stent was put back in and the drain bag clamped off. I was now able to urinate on my own, but there was an issue, it was hurting to do so, at first it wasn't all that bad and I let my doctors know, I guess this would have been Friday, 5 days after being admitted to hospital. I was started on an antibiotic called ciprofloxacin on the Saturday with two doses per day, things seemed to be improving. Monday though I was told what I had would not be resolved with the cipro and I was taken off it. That was yesterday.

This morning when I woke up I was in a tremendous amount of pain in my urethra area, and was almost keeled over, it was very, very bad. I had blood work this morning so while there I went to the transplant clinic. I arrived at the hospital at about 8am, and I was there until about 3pm. It made for a very long day. Why was I there so long? I ended up need an ultrasound. During the stent insertion a sack of fluid was found to be in the general area of the kidney pushing up against my bladder and moving it to the left. It is thought that this may have been what caused the ureter to close up after the stent was removed, the ureter was squished/stretched against the bladder.

Most times these sacks of fluid will just be absorbed back into the body, if it doesn't it will need to be drained.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tentatively scheduled for stent de-removal tomorrow

I'm currently tentatively scheduled for stent de-removal tomorrow sometime, no time was given and I haven't seen the urologist today yet to confirm or ask any questions I may have. Such as will this stent be a perminant stent this time? If it's only a temp what are the chances of this happening again? How soon can I leave after having the stent put in? Will I need a catheter right after to make sure urine isn't still backing up into the kidney? Things like that. I guess if worse comes to worse I will be able to ask these things right before the procedure. I'm not sure if I will be under general anesthesia or local, my bet is on local since they mentioned it being done in X-ray interventional.

The other option besides a new stent would have to be done in Halifax from what I understand, and that would involve surgically increasing the size of the ureter.

I'm not sure which I would prefer.


Monday, June 4, 2012

I have a new hole!

I now have a tube going to a drainage bag to my kidney to drain any produced urine. The good news is that I still seem to be creating all kinds of urine. So it doesn't appear as if the kidney has been damaged all that much in the last 24 hours. I will be in hospital for a few days while my creatinine goes down, it's already gone down about 100 points from a peak of over 550 this morning.

The current plan is the urologist doesn't think he will be able to get a new stent in via the bladder, that their best bet is to enter the new hole they made to drain the kidney and enter the ureter from the top to open it back up and insert a new stent. There have been rumblings that they may send me back to halifax to have this done since the surgeons there are more familiar with the inside workings of the kidney and ureter.

Right now, just like most other things when in hospital it is a wait and see. The good news though is that it's really a mechanical problem that can be fixed mechanically and not infection or rejection of the kidney.


And so it begins

Well, it finally happened, after just over 4 weeks of fantastic results I'm having my first issue. This issue isn't specifically with the kidney however, the problems seems to be an obstruction in the ureter going from the kidney to my bladder and any urine the kidney makes is just stuck at the kidney. This is not good, I haven't urinated since about 10am this morning, and I'm shaking, my creatinine has sky rocketed to 450 when just this Friday it was 121.

I've been in the emergency department since about 7pm, I waited in the waiting room for about an hour, as of writing this (but not posting since the Internet is blocked in the ER) it is 2pm, so I've been here for 7 hours. In those 7 hours I've had multiple ultrasounds and not one, but two catheters.

The plan I have been told is that I'm going to be admitted, and then in the morning I will be sent down to x-ray interventional to have a drain bag attached directly to my kidney to remove the fluid that has built up.

The next step after that is to figure what is causing the blockage, my guess is that I will need a new stent put in. None of the above sounds like it will be fun, but it's what I have in store in the next day or so.


PS: The student doctors name is Thor.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Stent removal - Verdict: Not so terrible

Today at 3pm I had my stent removed. Since I found out that I was going to need to have this removed I have been searching the net for what to expect. I have read horror stories of it being very painful to others saying that it really wasn't all that bad.

I have to say other than some discomfort and tense nerves it really wasn't all that bad. Just like every other removal (I though the central line was the last) I built it up to be more than it actually was. At the moment it is hurting to urinate a little, but that is to be expected. After the procedure was completed I walked out right away, go dressed and I was on my way. The whole procedure didn't take more than 10 minutes at the most.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Stent removal tomorrow...

During a transplant the doctors at the Victoria General always insert what is called a stent in the ureter between the transplanted kidney and the bladder. Tomorrow I will be having that removed at 1pm. It's apparently a simple procedure, the don't make any new holes or anything to remove it, they use a hole I already have.

What they do is insert a camera and grasper into my bladder via the urethra. Picture below is a picture of director of fine movies Christopher Nolan using the same camera they use to shoot The Dark Knight Rises.

Of course the screen isn't attached, that would just be silly, its left outside so that the doctor can see what is going on inside me. Well they insert the camera along with a grasper (this is pictured below) through my urethra and then simply pull the Stent. I won't be put to sleep for this, but I do get some numbing cream from what I have read, maybe an IV with pain killers

Well that is my day for tomorrow, I can't say that I'm really looking forward to it. Yay me!


PS: Tomorrow marks 4 weeks post transplant, last creatinine level was 123!

Friday, May 18, 2012

2 weeks post transplant

Today marks 2 weeks since I had my kidney transplant. So far everything is peachy. I was discharged on Monday, and after some back and forth I'm now at the Point Pleasant Lodge in a single double bed room, so I can have the privacy I was hoping for.

I've had 2 clinic visits so far, one on Wednesday and one today. On Wednesday I had half the staples removed and today the rest were removed and Steri-Strips put in their place just to make sure I don't split open. There were 18 staples in all, and today's kind of hurt coming out, where as the ones on Wednesday did not.

I found out today that I do have a stent going from the new ureter to my bladder, and this will require a small 2nd procedure to be completed 4-6 weeks after the transplant was done. This will be done back home and I will not have to come here for it.

I've been walking a lot, actually probably more than I was before I had the transplant. Between Wednesday and Thursday I'm sure I came close to 6km total. My legs are sore from it, so I'm going to rest today and over the weekend and not walk all over the place. I also walked up to the hospital today. As I was leaving the shuttle to take other patients up was just arriving, I actually arrived to the hospital before the shuttle patients did, so unless it's raining (and maybe even if it is, I have an umbrella) I will probably continue to walk there rather than taking the shuttle.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's day in the hospital

As I'm sure many people are aware, today is mother's day. I'm in the hospital though just like many other mothers days in my youth, my mom is here with. She says that her mother's day gift is that I got a kidney transplant. I'm certain that she is 100% truthful in that, but with all the time she has spent here the last week and the help she has provided, running around the city for me when I couldn't leave. Plus for the last 29 years of always being here at the hospital for me. I just feel I need to say...

Thank you mom. You're the best.

Love you, Owen

Friday, May 11, 2012

One week ago at 2:45pm I went under for my Kidney transplant

It was one week ago today at 2:45pm that I was put under for my Kidney transplant. Before going in I was obviously nervous, the doctors I think may have even noticed and told me everything was going to be fine and to be calm. I calmed down, but it was major surgery, so I was still nervous. My imagination has turned out to be much worse than what the actual results were. It seems at every point durring this last week what I was expecting to be either a painful or unpleasant expereince has turned out to not be so.

Going in obviously I was nervous about maybe not even waking up. That is a possible outcome, or the kidney not working or something else going wrong, something being nicked causing other problems. Right after surgery the one thing I was nervous about was the feeling of a breathing tube down my throat. I don't even remember that, so there was no need to worry.

After surgery and durring the recovery process the first thing to be removed was the catherter, I remembered these hurting coming out, and while there was some discomfort, it wasn't nearly as bad as my over active imagination or the nurse had made it out that it was going to be.

The next foreign object to be removed was the drain bag. Again, I was remembering when I was twelve having this removed and it had grown in. When the surgeon removed this one I barely even felt it. He even joked asking me to lay on my side to take it out when it was already out, and like I said, I hardly felt a thing.

So far everything has gone really well, the surgeon that did the job ironiclly was the same surgeon that also did my transplant in 1995, and he even remembered me after talking for a bit. After surgery he told my parents that the kidney is "robust"


Tired of being told different things...

When I first got here for my transplant the plan was to spend the time at the hospital that was needed and after everything was good I would be sent to a hotel called "The Point pleasant lodge" that would be paid for. I was told that there would be private rooms and I checked out the website, which it looks ok for something that I wasn't paying for.

I was really looking forward to the private room since I've been stuck in a ward room with 4 other people all week with only curtains for privacy. It was ok, because it's a hospital and there are lots of other people around, nurses in and out, not much expectation of privacy. Having been told of private rooms at the lodge though I have been looking forward to having time to myself without strangers around and being able to have some of my gear with me (Camera and lenses, laptop).

Being stuck in a hotel room with a complete stranger for 2 weeks though, I'm simply not at all comfortable with that. Even at the hospital I've been ok leaving my camera in the bag and iPad stashed, but I'm in the room almost all the time. When I'm out I didn't plan on staying in the room, and would have to be at clinic at the hospital 3 days a week, I am not in good enough shape to lug both my camera and laptop around with me whenever I leave, and I can't leave them in a room with a stranger...

Health wise I'm good, and will post later about that, mental health wise, right now I'm really angry and stressed.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

WARNING: This post deals with the (im)mature subject matter of my twig and berries (My Penis) and is graphic.


Well, the catheter has been removed. For the last 5 days this thing has been the bane of my existence, it has hindered my every movement. It has been like a rubber hand cuff pushed up my penis hole tying me to a bag full of golden yellow urine. Every movement it would make would hurt. Getting out of bed would hurt because each inch to the side would push the thing in, getting into bed would be just the opposite, every time I would slide back it would yank and pull on my most sensitive of areas.

It turns out that the size of catherter they used is the largest size they have. If it hadn't been such a pain these last 5 days I'd say that it almost a compliment (I asked the nurse if it was, was that too pervy?. Anyway it has now been removed, and my piss comes from all over the place.

This thing has ravaged my manly bits so bad that it looks like they are inside out. My testies are the size of apples and the same colour too. (not granny smith apples, dark red Macintosh apples). I can't even explain what the twig of the twig and berries looks like, it's some indescribable horror straight out of the Alien chest burtster scene, but far worse that even HR Gieger could imagine.

Everything is swollen, I can only think that the horrid Canadian rap band "Swollen Members" must have experienced something like this before deciding to take out their pain on the world by making the worst Canadian music ever.

I think I found where my extra 13kg of weight is coming from.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I'm FAT, and not PHAT fat. Just fat.

When I checked into the hospital I was 94kg, which lets e upfront and honest here, that's not small. After surgery I've put on a massive 13 kg I fluid as I've been being pumped full of fluid at a rate of 150ml/h. For the first few days after the surgery I was only putting out about 30ml/h of urine so I wasn't expelling as much as I was taking in.

Over the last 4 days I've packed on fluid weight all over. So I'm fat. Now though I'm expelling over 200ml/h and am off the IV so hopefully the extra will be coming off over the next few weeks. I also have to exercise, the doc says my best hope for this being a long lasting kidney is to get in shape, which now that I don't have to do dialysis in the evenings will have 6 extra hours to fill in durring the day, so that's my plan.

Everything is going good, the doctors are very happy with my progress and my creatinine is now down to 335, down from 535 the day before and over 700 the previous day. Creatinine is a measurement of kidney function, in a normal adult it should be between around 90 and 110, so they are happy with the gradual decrease in it.

Owen 3.0

Monday, May 7, 2012

This is my Saigon

Stuck in a 4 person ward room with barely enough room to breath. It's like a mash unit has been combined with a Vietcong penis Torture camp with a catheter the width of a lip balm being minipulated without thought of what it is attached to. This is my Nam, this is my April 30th 1975. The fall of Saigon.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sometime tomorrow

Sometime tomorrow I will be having a Kidney transplant. This is a good thing. I have to keep telling myself that once the surgery. Is done, and the 6 weeks or more of recovery, I will have my normal 29 year old life back. This is not the only thing going through my head though.

Tomorrow I will be having major surery, in fact I will be one of 3 people having organ transplants done tomorrow, 2 kidneys and a liver. I can't stop thinking about what if something goes wrong while I'm on the table. I'm having moments of panic where I almost start to cry, because if something did go wrong tomorrow, that could be it. I have to think positive though, the ods are stacked in my favour. The doctors are the best, and have done this procedure many times before.

I'm scared, but his is something I need to do. No scratch that, this is something I want to do.

There are two time slots tomorrow, 8:30am and 12noon. I think I would rather the early one so that I can stop thinking about this and just get it over with.


I'm here, and I'm waiting.

I've been admitted to the VG to have my transplant. The current plan is to do some testing today, and do the transplant tomorrow morning.

Waiting is the hardest part, but I've waiting over 3 years already, another night is nothing.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Last Friday's Emergency blood work

I'm just sitting here waiting to finish my hopefully last dialysis session thinking just this past Friday I had to have emergency blood work to say up to date on the transplant list.

If I hadn't done that I may not be going to Halifax tomorrow. This just illustrates how important it is to make sure all your ducks are in a row.


Called for a transplant

I was just called for a transplant. This is the 2nd time I have been called, the last time was in November of 2010, and when I got down there I was told the kidney wasn't a good match and I had to turn around and go home. Right now I'm shaking, I'm almost crying, I'm nervous and I'm excited, and I don't know what else I'm experiencing. I'm scared of th surgery, but excited about after the surgery. I'm sweating.

 More to come.


Monday, April 30, 2012

Diet and fluids are my kryptonite

The last two days I've had way to much salt and as a result I've drank way too much. Diet and fluid are my two biggest issues. They are my kryptonite. I like salty food and while working or really doing anything I like to sip away at coffee or tea, or anything. It just feels right.

 I like salty foods like all meat pizza, or wings, ribs, breaded chicken, even potato chips (double whammy of salt and potassium there). Potassium, that's the other thing, I love French fries, but I actually like them more without salt, I think this probably comes from my 12 years before a transplant of never having any added salt, and I still don't add salt to my foods.

I would much rather not be able to eat if it meant I didn't need to restrict my fluids. I love drinks, coffee, tea, pop, even water. Before going on dialysis I would always be drinking something. Now I don't urinate at all anymore so I really need to watch what I drink, because whatever I drink is going to have to be removed with dialysis. Salty foods just make it worse because they make me (like everybody else) thirsty and I drink more. I am well aware of this, but sometimes I guess I'm just a glutton for punishment.

Some days even though I know it's not good for me and I am going to make my dialysis harder and I'm just hurting myself, I will sometimes over do the salty foods and fluids. I try to only do this on days that I will be doing dialysis in the evening, but it didn't work that way over the last 2 days. I think everything I ate had lots of salt in it. Wings, Pizza, Caesar salad with bacon bits and croutons. Salt salt salt, and as such I drank and drank. I was feeling bloated yesterday afternoon (the night before was a night off dialysis). It was one of those days that I was actually looking forward to my dialysis treatment because I knew I would feel less bloated after.

I didn't get it all off, I was 0.5 off from my goal weight, but I'm on again tonight and will be good today, so the rest will come off.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Emergency Blood work!

I was called to go into the hospital on Friday while on the way to work to have some "emergency" blood work. It turns out that one of my biannual tests that needs to be done to keep me on the transplant list was missed last month so if I didn't have this done right away my name may have lapsed from the list.

I was able to get there pretty quickly and only ended up needing 45 minutes off work. Actually I was in and out so fast that I didn't even need to pay for parking, since I didn't have my parking pass it was public parking for me.

It all worked out I guess.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I sprung a leak!

My dialysis machine has sprung a leak last night. During my cleaning process there was water everywhere, I used almost all the towels in the house to soak up all the water. I was awake until close to 4:30-5am cleaning up the mess. When I woke up at 10:30am I called the hospital and they sent out a biomed tech to repair the machine.

Luckily the fix was easy, a plastic shunt had broken and needed to be replaced. It has now been replaced and the machine isn't leaking anymore. Easy Peasy.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Week

We are at the beginning of the National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Week which runs from April 22nd to April 28th.

The above link includes information for each province, all I ask is that you take a look and inform yourself.


Friday, April 20, 2012

So I'm 29 now

Today is my birthday, I turned 29 today, I've now been on dialysis for 3 birthdays, it's strange everything just sort of blends together, It seems like I have been doing this for so long now.

In July of this year it will have been 3 years since I started. Realistically I have a minimum of 1 more year, but that is just the average, it could be 20 more years waiting, or I could get a call tomorrow, there really is no way of knowing. I was told by one of the nurses at the unit that there were very few transplants in NB last year, I forget the number but it was shockingly low.

It really is hard, just the day to day. On days that I do dialysis I'm tired and drained because of it, on days I don't do dialysis I feel bloated from extra fluid. I feel like as of late I haven't been as focused, maybe that is just because for about a month I was having needling problems off and on.

Currently an average day for me is I wake up between 8:30-9:30 to be to work by 10:30, I work until 19:00, and am normally home by 19:30. I start setting up my Machine at around 19:45 and am done and starting to stick my needles in by 21:00, yes it takes about an hour of setup. Depending on how the needling goes I could be on as early as 21:15, or as late at 22:00, I do that for 6 hours. That puts me at around 3am that I'm going to sleep, because I don't sleep while on anymore.

Connecting isn't the point that I'm the most tired, it's disconnecting at 3am that I'm the most sick of. Still better than having to go to the hospital every day though, but not better than having a new kidney.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Everything went well

Everything went well at the hospital the yesterday. I was able to just have an ultrasound done and not requires anything more invasive, which is always a good thing. It was nice to get home at a reasonable time.

Ironically my pressures for my needles were a little off last night. Nothing crazy I was still able to do a full treatment at my normal speed, 250 ml/min or 1l of my blood being circulated out of my body and back in every 4 minutes. Tonight the pressures are back down to what they normally are, so think my needle was just pushed against the wall of the veign.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fistulagram tomorrow

First off, lets just get this out there, yes it has been a while since an update. What can I say, I just wasn't in the mood.

I'm scheduled for my quarterly fistulagram, and no these are not nearly as fun as a singing telegram, although maybe I can convince the doctor to sing while he jabs me with even bigger needles than I'm used too. Actually I hoping to make out like a bandit tomorrow and get off easy with just a ultrasound of my arm.

Truthfully though I suspect that I will be having the full fledged procedure tomorrow. I've had some issues in the last 2 months. My venous needling hole has changed some, and it caused a couple of weeks of problems needling until I got used to it. I even had a fistulagram back in late Feb early March where they found that there was nothing wrong, it was just I needed to change the way I was needling.

With all that taken into consideration the Docs probably want a fresh picture to see what is going on. I will probably still try to convince them otherwise though because I rather my trip in be a quick in and out instead of an all day affair.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Those bastards

I just noticed that blogger seams to have lowered the resolution of my masthead (the image at the top) those fraking toasters!

It's been a long time

I haven't written anything in a while, not sure why, I guess I didn't really feel like it. It is harder to write any amount with the needles in my arm, it's just sort of awkward.

It's sort of funny the things that we mark the passage of time by. While in school I would mark it by the grades I was in. University would be how long I was in university. Now I mark the time by significant events in terms of my dialysis. This July will mark the 3rd year that I have been on dialysis for. I know that's not long for some people but it does seem like a long time for me. Also this April will mark the 2nd year that I have been doing dialysis at home, and this past December marked the 1st year of giving myself needles at home.

I'm not really sleeping while doing the dialysis anymore, in all honesty the needles sort of make me nervous. So nights that I am on I'm normally awake until about 4am or so, and then up for work at 9am. It does get exhausting. I cherish every night that I don't need to stick needles into my arm. Putting them in doesn't really hurt a lot, but removing my arterial needle hurts a lot every time. I'm told it could be because the button hole might be close to a nerve that it rubs up against on the way out. Whatever it is, is sucks just like everything else.