Zappit's Kidney Thread Part 2: Da Relapse

Zappit

Staff member
Had my pre-transplant meeting today - a 7 hour marathon of meeting everyone on the team, getting tests done, (18 vials of blood taken today) and signing off on a lot of paperwork.

It was...pretty overwhelming. I did not know they leave the original kidneys in and just install the new one next to the bladder. The new one also lasts on average from 12-15 years, so the future isn’t too sure even if it’s a big success.

Pros: The group I’m working with has a higher success rate than the national average by quite a bit.

A transplant gets me back to my normal self more than dialysis ever would. I probably will have to do some dialysis even if we find a donor right away just to clean out the toxins from my blood.

I might get off some of my meds.

Cons: There’s a lot of new meds. The anti-rejection drugs, which I’ll never go off of, might give me diabetes.

In the case of a deceased donor kidney, there’s a very small chance of getting hepatitis. If it’s Hep C and they know it’s carrying Hep C, it’s still a viable kidney because there is a treatment that is 99.9% effective at curing Hep C.

Lots of tubes - there will be a lot of tubes in my urinary system during and after the surgery. I’d rather not discuss that part.

Good note: It also looks like between my insurance and some Medicare I will qualify for, there won’t be many out of pocket costs. This won’t wipe me out - not even close.
 
Had my pre-transplant meeting today - a 7 hour marathon of meeting everyone on the team, getting tests done, (18 vials of blood taken today) and signing off on a lot of paperwork.

It was...pretty overwhelming. I did not know they leave the original kidneys in and just install the new one next to the bladder. The new one also lasts on average from 12-15 years, so the future isn’t too sure even if it’s a big success.

Pros: The group I’m working with has a higher success rate than the national average by quite a bit.

A transplant gets me back to my normal self more than dialysis ever would. I probably will have to do some dialysis even if we find a donor right away just to clean out the toxins from my blood.

I might get off some of my meds.

Cons: There’s a lot of new meds. The anti-rejection drugs, which I’ll never go off of, might give me diabetes.

In the case of a deceased donor kidney, there’s a very small chance of getting hepatitis. If it’s Hep C and they know it’s carrying Hep C, it’s still a viable kidney because there is a treatment that is 99.9% effective at curing Hep C.

Lots of tubes - there will be a lot of tubes in my urinary system during and after the surgery. I’d rather not discuss that part.

Good note: It also looks like between my insurance and some Medicare I will qualify for, there won’t be many out of pocket costs. This won’t wipe me out - not even close.
They leave the old kidney in? Does that mean you've got your previous old kidney in you right now? How many can they fit in there?
 
They leave the old kidney in? Does that mean you've got your previous old kidney in you right now? How many can they fit in there?
They usually add a third. I suppose if/when that fails they could add another to the other side, so...four?

--Patrick
 

Zappit

Staff member
Oh, yeah. They install the new one next to your bladder and hook it up down there. The old ones putter along for a little longer as the new one starts up, and eventually just stop working. You walk out with more kidneys than you started with.

Freakiest thing is that they put in a stent to keep the new hookup tube wide open. Once that’s ready to come out, they numb you up and go up through the bladder to pull it out. Only one access point to do that when they don’t open you up...
 
Oh, yeah. They install the new one next to your bladder and hook it up down there. The old ones putter along for a little longer as the new one starts up, and eventually just stop working. You walk out with more kidneys than you started with.

Freakiest thing is that they put in a stent to keep the new hookup tube wide open. Once that’s ready to come out, they numb you up and go up through the bladder to pull it out. Only one access point to do that when they don’t open you up...
This would be a real good time to develop a sounding fetish.
 

Zappit

Staff member
Things just keep getting better. My family has been going through the tests for compatibility, and it turns out my mom has breast cancer. Fuck.

On the bright side, it looks like it’s localized and can be removed surgically. She might not need to get chemo or radiation therapy. It appears to be one cancerous tumor in one spot. We’ll be hearing from him today about scheduling an appointment with a surgeon.
 
Things just keep getting better. My family has been going through the tests for compatibility, and it turns out my mom has breast cancer. Fuck.

On the bright side, it looks like it’s localized and can be removed surgically. She might not need to get chemo or radiation therapy. It appears to be one cancerous tumor in one spot. We’ll be hearing from him today about scheduling an appointment with a surgeon.
I know it sucks, but it sounds like through happy accident you caught it really early
 

Zappit

Staff member
Update: Not me this time. My mother had a lumpectomy about a week ago. We got the results today. Her margins are good and she appears cancer free. She’ll have to do radiation therapy and be on a drug to prevent the cancer from returning for five years, but the cancer is GONE. We got lucky.
 

Dave

Staff member
Dude, that sucks. But thank goodness we have even that ability, you know.

Let us know if there's anything we can do to help out.
 

Zappit

Staff member
Going to be a loooong week. I’ve got a few pre-op appointments before getting the catheter installed on Wednesday. I had my consultation, so here’s the basics of what they’re going to do:

The catheter will be inserted into my abdomen and the tubing will be threaded (with the assistance of imaging tech) as low as possible into my pelvis. There will be a section that will hold the whole thing in place via scar tissue that will form, preventing the tube from sliding out. I‘ll be under sedation for this - thank goodness - and it should all be done in about an hour or so. I’ll go home the same day.

The dialysis will NOT cycle my blood in and out, but will pump liquid into the catheter to clean me out. Then it will drain/be pumped back out. I don’t know the duration/frequency of the treatments yet, but I’ll get to do them at home. I’ll have to see how I respond to this method as well.

Spent the weekend doing an absolutely MASSIVE clean out of a few rooms of the house. There is a separate group of dialysis nurses that do the training, but they also inspect and approve locations for treatments. If they reject your home, you’re stuck going to a facility multiple times a week. I’m thinking there’s no way they’ll reject anything, though.
 
Going to be a loooong week. I’ve got a few pre-op appointments before getting the catheter installed on Wednesday. I had my consultation, so here’s the basics of what they’re going to do:

The catheter will be inserted into my abdomen and the tubing will be threaded (with the assistance of imaging tech) as low as possible into my pelvis. There will be a section that will hold the whole thing in place via scar tissue that will form, preventing the tube from sliding out. I‘ll be under sedation for this - thank goodness - and it should all be done in about an hour or so. I’ll go home the same day.

The dialysis will NOT cycle my blood in and out, but will pump liquid into the catheter to clean me out. Then it will drain/be pumped back out. I don’t know the duration/frequency of the treatments yet, but I’ll get to do them at home. I’ll have to see how I respond to this method as well.

Spent the weekend doing an absolutely MASSIVE clean out of a few rooms of the house. There is a separate group of dialysis nurses that do the training, but they also inspect and approve locations for treatments. If they reject your home, you’re stuck going to a facility multiple times a week. I’m thinking there’s no way they’ll reject anything, though.
My grandfather had that kind of dialysis for a good long while. It worked really well for him.
 

Zappit

Staff member
Haven’t updated for a while now, but it’s been a rough week.

I started dialysis Wednesday. I spent Monday dealing with violent digestive issues that we found out were related to too many toxins in the bloodstream. My creatinine was almost 15, which is...”how are you still standing ?” territory.

I’m getting PD dialysis, which involves pumping my abdomen full of a solution that draws out toxins through the capillaries, then draining it out. Because I was put on a fast start, I basically had a week to recover from the catheter surgery. Were my innards prepared for that?

No. My tissue is still very sensitive. I suffered quite a bit during the fills and drains cycles yesterday, and walked out feeling like I had been beaten up. Even better, my catheter tube opens up right above a nerve cluster in my taint, which gave me absolute spasms of pain. I actually wrenched my shoulder pretty badly when I spammed.

This morning, it was unbearable. Immediate, intense pain. They ended up switching to a manual method to slow fill/drain me, which was so much more tolerable. They’ll do that for a few more days and hope it trains my insides to accept the new sensations as normal, rather than scream out a pain warning.
 

Zappit

Staff member
Update - GOOD NEWS FOR A FUCKING CHANGE - My latest blood work shows that the toxins in my blood have dropped - some by as much as one third. I’ve gone from “extremely sick” to just “really very sick”.

Im still not using the automatic cycler for my dialysis, since I’m still feeling some “drain pain”. However, they generally don’t put people on ANY type of PD dialysis until at least a month after the catheter is surgically installed. I started one week after my surgery.

That is because I would not have lasted a month.

Anyhoo, I do have an infection at my catheter site, but that might be finally starting to get better. If alol goes well, a concept I just am not that familiar with anymore, I might be able to log in some hours at work before the summer break.
 

Zappit

Staff member
Saw my doctor again yesterday and got some new lab results. They were good: calcium, phosphorous, PTH, etc have all moved to ”normal.” My hemoglobin is nearly there. The dialysis analysis that measures how well things are actually working was good. She did increase my dialysis load to 2 liters, so now I’m going to be carrying that much between my organs 24/7. I feel a bit bloated.

I actually went back to work (for a few half days) to finish up the year. I got to see my students, which was a major spirit lifter. They had been asking about me every day while I was away.

It might have been a little too much - I drained over a liter of extra fluid over the course of the second day - but I think it was worth it. I’m feeling better. My numbers are getting better.
 

Zappit

Staff member
It’s still early, but it looks like I’ve got a match! My mother got more tests done and cleared them, and has an appointment for an MRA (to map blood vessels) and a physical next month, which wouldn’t happen if she wasn’t a match. Jesus, I could have a new kidney in just a couple months.
 

Zappit

Staff member
September 22nd is officially the day. I’m taking care of the details right now - getting signed up for Medicare, (crucial for a kidney transplant) putting in for an extended leave at work, building a comic buffer, and buying some recovery clothes.

I’ve got a few more meetings/appointments, but these are final consultations and bloodwork. I’m looking at - if all goes well - being fully recovered by Christmas. I’d be back at work for the new year.

I’m basically going in to work to greet my students on the first day and then that’s it. I’m going to introduce myself, let them know what’s going on, and let them know I’ll be back. Most of those kids were across the hall from my room last year, and noticed that I was out for over a month. I’m sure they’ll have questions.

Anyway, I’m going to have a lot of time on my hands, and I need some Switch game recommendations. I love action RPGs, and am waiting patiently for Diablo 2 Remastered. What else would scratch that particular itch?
 
There's also Diablo III if you want your action RPG to be more on the "action" side of things, or Divinity: Original Sin 2 if you want to go the other direction.

The Internet seems to think that CrossCode might also be an interesting one to try? It's more SNES-ish but supposedly has an interesting storyline. Also Bastion if you've never played it before (or think you might want to run through it again).

--Patrick
 
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