Over the last several weeks, I’ve been asked certain questions about my upcoming kidney transplant. I thought I’d answer some of the more frequently asked ones here. As a person with kidney failure, I see it as my responsibility to share the knowledge I’ve acquired.
Q: What caused your kidney failure?
A: According to the kidney biopsy I had in 2012, I have Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis, or FSGS. Due to the widespread damage the doctors saw (14 of the 16 glomeruli taken were completely scarred as to be rendered useless) they’re unsure if it’s primary or secondary FSGS. A year later I was diagnosed with lupus. My rheumatologist wondered if I have lupus nephritis, but my regular nephrologist doesn’t think I do. I do know that when the lupus is under control, my kidney function stabilizes, and when I flare, my kidney function tanks. Continue reading “FAQ About Kidney Transplant”
When I worked, I dropped the kids off at the school’s before care. I noticed by the sign in sheet is a small metal bucket filled with mints. A note on the front reads “CHOOSE HAPPY.”
Every time I’d pop a mint after signing in the kids and head to my car, a smile on my face.
It really is a choice, isn’t it?
Every day I wake up I have a choice.
- I can be pissy that I hurt and that it takes a good 20 minutes for all my joints to warm up.
- I can be glad that I woke up to another day.
Either way, I still have the pain and stiffness. The only thing I can change is my attitude and my outlook. I’ve done the “pissy” bit. Not fun. It’s also exhausting, and I really couldn’t stand myself that way.
From now on I’m choosing happy. Continue reading “Choose Happy”
I was fortunate enough to grab an appointment with my awesome rheumatologist this week. When she saw me she was both amazed and concerned about the intensity of my swelling and general puffiness. She acknowledged how miserable I am and we decided to increase the prednisone drastically for 15 days, in order to break my hideous flare. Once we get confirmation of a negative tuberculosis test, I can start Benlysta . She also agreed to fill out whatever paperwork I need to start disability proceedings. That’s a relief, since I can no longer work. Continue reading “On Fat Pants and Caftans”
Last week I finally made a tough decision: I gave notice at work.
Lately my pain and exhaustion have both gotten out of hand. Despite changing jobs yet again, all my diagnoses caught up with me. While I could give it my all at work at the vet clinic (cats are a hell of a lot easier on a broken bodied vet tech) for a little over half of a shift, but then I had nothing left for my family. Continue reading “On Work, School, and Generally Being a BAMF”
For years I had a skewed idea of the path I should follow in life. I thought I had to accomplish big things and make monumental changes to the world around me in order for my life to matter.
This was a recipe for massive discontent and frustration. As my health situation changed and my ability to make the kind of contributions I wanted waned, I grew increasingly anxious and depressed. When my self worth is tied into my perceived output and career goals, I feel like a failure when I “underachieve.”
Why so much pressure? Continue reading “Finding and Cultivating Joy”
A couple of months ago, I asked my doctor for a prescription to help the awful anxiety that began to crush me. The Xanax helps immensely, but it’s not a good long term option.
Last month I had my yearly well woman exam. After talking with my therapist and nephrologist about safe options, I ran it past my gynecologist. All of them agreed Effexor would be a safe option for me to try with the fewest side effects. My fantastic gyno called in the prescription for the generic extended release version. Due to my poor kidney function and slow med clearance, I wanted to try the lowest dose possible. 37.5 mg capsules, here I come. Continue reading “Mother’s Little Helper, Pt. 2: Moving the Elephant”
I had three extremely powerful moments in healthcare this week, moments where I was seen a human being and not just a medical puzzle with too many parts. Continue reading “When They Really See You”