Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Name That Ailment

It's been awhile since I've posted, but there's a reason. 

My nephrology appointment was March 25, and it was sobering. My doctor reminded me that there still isn't a clear picture of what's going on with me. I left that day with a sheet of paper that listed six diagnoses related to my visit. (I added the definitions below for clarity. All are from the Free Medical Dictionary.) The sheet read:

Diagnoses Associated With This Visit:

1. Glomerulonephritis - Primary (Renal disease characterized by the inflammation of the glomeruli)
NOTE: IgA is a form of glomerulonephritis

2. Proteinuria (The presence of excessive amounts of protein in the urine)

3. Hypertension - Chronic (Abnormally elevated blood pressure)

4. Gammopathy (A disturbance in the synthesis of immunoglobulins; proteins having antibody activity increase greatly in the blood)

5. Fatigue (Physical or mental weariness)

6. NASH - Nonalcoholic Steateohepatitis (Fat deposits in the liver and inflammation not due to excessive alcohol abuse)

There was also a list at the bottom of the sheet called "Problem List" that had the above plus:

1. Undifferentiated Connective Disease Disease (An early stage of a connective disease disease, in which the predominant organ of involvement is not yet manifest)

It was enough to make my head spin.

The doctor ordered 22 tests that day, and soon it was time to play the waiting game again.

I hate waiting for test results. And yet this seems to be the new rhythm of my life. Take some tests, wait anxiously, get confused by the results, and then undergo more tests. Test. Wait. Repeat. The tests always seem to lead to more questions -- and more questions = more tests. And it's really getting old.

So I think I needed to be away from the blog for a bit. I just couldn't bring myself to give this update and then have people ask questions that I couldn't answer, no matter how badly I wanted to provide answers.

What have I been up to since my last post? There's been a robot diversion out east. I watched a lot of basketball games (Go Blue!). There was a field trip to The D with a dear friend. And about two weeks of a serious bug/illness that I can't seem to shake.

But now I'm back. Next up is a kidney biopsy (my second) that has yet to be scheduled.

Let the journey continue. 

Monday, April 22, 2013