Wednesday, August 7, 2013


there are some new changes in my medical status. After closing the book on my last primary care physician the VA was kind enough to assign me a new one. A couple weeks ago I had a hour-long session with him where we sat down and talked about the condition of my health. He is an intelligent knowledgeable man who actually took the time to listen to what was going on with me (something my previous doctor never had time to do).
My creatinine levels have been steadily climbing, the last measure were over 5.1, which means my kidneys are still in the process of shutting down and no one seems to know why. The one thing they are sure of is that back in 2006 there were a couple of incidents (a coma with zero blood pressure for a month and a half, and a highly toxic reaction to an antibiotic) which each caused chronic long-term damage to my kidneys. And this current incident is an acute episode on top of those from which I may or may not recover. So, in the interim after visiting my nephrologist we started making preps in case it became necessary to undergo hemodialysis. And rather than just plug the machine into a main artery and start the filtration process, the VA wants to add some kind of device into the veins in my arm to allow the to be hooked machine directly to me and then disconnected after the session (like some quick connect hose adapter). But they have a rule that precludes them from doing any of those kind of procedures without first doing a cardiac stress test on yours truly! Being a quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair, limits the amount of exercise I can do that would move my heart rate into the stress zone. But just my luck somebody somewhere came up with a chemical that they can inject in your heart to simulate the amount of exercise needed to reach the stress zone.

This chemical, is called Lexi scan and I did this yesterday. They hoisted me out of my wheelchair, and positioned me in a CAT scan machine, injected me with a radioactive dye and took pictures of my heart for 20 minutes. Then they lifted me onto a gurney hooked me to an EKG machine, and injected me with the chemical. There was a period of about six seconds when I felt like a 500 pound man had just jumped on my chest. For another 20 seconds I struggled to catch my breath and then everything was fine as far as I can tell. Their attorney to the CAT scan machine for another 20 minutes of picture taking, thanked me for my time and sent me on my way.

A couple of other things it came to my attention through my new doctor's assessment seemed to indicate I had hyperparathyroidism and he scheduled a consult in general surgery to have those removed. However, the nephrologist said to ignore that as my kidney disease was what was causing the hyperparathyroidism. The current condition shows my left kidney has atrophied to approximately half its normal size and may be nonfunctional. My right kidney sees be doing all the work was only at 12% of normal filtration strength. I am really not feeling any ill effects other than being tired more than usual. But there have been fistfuls of drugs for high blood pressure (something I never had before my life) and to lower my acidic blood levels. And now we're current will!


Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Kurt, I am so sorry that you are going through all this testing. But it does sound like you have a very good doctor who is really interested in your health and explaining every option that is open to you.
I pray that will discover why your kidneys are not operating as they should.
My prayers are with you - that you will receive some positive news.
Kindest reagrds,

Ms. A said...

My son just had a cardiac stress test to see if his heart had regained any function, before they changed his pump.

Karen said...

Well, Kurt, sucks that you have to go through all this, but it seems you have someone who really knows their stuff and is willing to give you the time to figure it all out to get you to a better place. Amen for that.


Bloody Hell,you've had a rough go of it lately.

Stay positive an hope for the best.

You're in my prayers. xo