Saturday, January 26, 2013

Chrysanthemum Blossoms

My blood test results are back, and everything seems to be status quo. The doctor ran eight tests and all of my results fell within normal ranges. There were several deviations from September -- some were higher, some were lower -- and that led me to Google and to try and figure out what these fluctuations may mean. I am the poster child for cyberchondria. I am Sheldon Cooper (Big Bang Theory), having abdomen pain and coming to conclusion that I'm dying due to accidental ingestion of chrysanthemum blossoms. (Watch Video)

I have no idea why I obsess and try to research everything, but yet there I was, typing in test names and trying to make sense of test results. And then I thought of Sheldon, and I realized how ridiculous I was being, and I stopped.

My doctor never called, so I'm not worried. :) Sheldon Cooper appendix

Sunday, January 20, 2013


I was told that I'm trending. That would be kind of cool if we were talking about Twitter.

It would also be a miracle, since I have 20 followers and tweet about once every 18 days.

The quote was "you're trending up" and it was from my nephrologist, who called to discuss my latest protein/creatinine urine ratio. She then ordered more labs, and I had blood drawn on Jan. 18. I expect to have those results early in the week.

What does this mean? The goal all along has been to try and slow down the progression of my disease. The increased protein/creatinine urine ratio shows that the current course of action isn't as effective as the doctor and I had hoped it would be. The next treatment step would be something more aggressive, like suppressing my immune system -- and that wouldn't be done without another biopsy.

Looks like biopsy #2 will soon be a reality. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

You've Got Questions

I thought I'd compile a list of some of the questions I've been asked over the past month:

Q. When are you going to update the blog?
A. I’m doing so right now! Follow along!

Q. Does a quiet blog = a busy life?
A. Nope. A quiet blog = a dead home computer. It’s about 1995 in my house right now.

Q. When are your next medical appointments?
A. My next rheumatology appointment is Feb. 4 and I see my nephrologist on March 25. But I'm going to U-M for lab work on Monday, Jan. 14. This is to monitor the amount of protein in my urine and to see if the higher dosage of blood pressure medicine is making a difference. I'm very curious to see the results.

Q. How are you feeling?
A. In a word, encouraged. My energy level is the highest its been in a long time. I think the alternative therapies (acupressure, acupuncture) are contributing to my improved overall health. I am sleeping well and have learned the art of getting enough rest.

Q. Are you running?
A. No. I go for walks every day and have a new pedometer to track how much walking I do at work every day. But that's about all for now.

Q. Do you think you'll try another 5K?
A. Definitely. I haven't chosen one yet but will look for a race in June or July. That will give me enough time to prepare. The hard lesson from my September 5K was that I'm not the athlete I used to be, and running a 5K is fairly taxing on my body. So I want to make sure I train properly. I could use training partners so if anyone wants to run with me this spring, please let me know.

Q. Are there any National Kidney Foundation of Michigan events coming up?
A. There's a Kidney Walk in Grand Rapids on April 28 that I'm thinking about doing. I will be making a decision in the next month or so and, if I'm participating, I'll announce it on the blog.

Q. Why do you park in a driveway and drive in a parkway?
A. Dad? Is that you?