FAQ About Kidney Transplant

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”

Choose Happy

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”

On Work, School, and Generally Being a BAMF

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”

Mother’s Little Helper, Pt. 2: Moving the Elephant

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”

Suck-a-versary

This week is a milestone for me, and it’s kind of hitting me hard. On June 12, 2017, I spent the entire day at Barnes Jewish Hospital knocking out all of the testing and meetings for my pre-transplant evaluation. They usually do it over two separate days, but then I still worked full time, so they agreed to do it in one day to minimize time taken off.

Continue reading “Suck-a-versary”

Making it “Normal”

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve had some great conversations in person and online with other spoonies about illness, particularly invisible illness, and interacting in public. What’s normal?

I’ve noticed the reactions when I go out since I’ve had the broken foot. I feel like I take up a considerable amount of space and time Continue reading “Making it “Normal””