This morning, just toward the end of all of my one-year tests, I had an assessment appointment with the endocrinologist at MD Anderson. My calcium levels have been a little high for quite a while, even though I was diagnosed with osteopenia some time back. Dr. Shah wanted to see why my calcium wasn’t being absorbed into my bones and only staying in my blood. Then recently my parathyroid level has been slightly elevated, so she wanted them to look into that as well. I did a little research and saw that they could all be related.
So since this seemed like it was going to be a fairly boring appointment, I didn’t see the need for my mom or anyone to come with me. I’m driving much better now, so since it was an early appointment I drove myself. After the normal vitals and paperwork, the first doctor (a “fellow” actually) came in and reviewed for a few minutes and then simply told me, “You have stage 3 kidney disease.”
Yep, I couldn’t think of anything to say either. Why am I always by myself when I get this kind of news?! Of course, I was not by myself…God was there. Thank goodness!
My mind was totally blank. I couldn’t remember anything about anatomy or kidney disease or anything. So I asked, “Are there one or two kidneys? Two, right? And aren’t there kidney transplants? And what comes before that?” The doctor kindly answered that there were indeed two and that dialysis came long before transplants but that wouldn’t start until stage 5…and I was a long way from either. However, in my mind, which was still whirling, 3 did not seem that far from 5!
After a discussion of family history with the second doctor, the culprit seemed to be my Tacro! The immunosuppressant that I have been on since and because of my stem cell transplant has basically destroyed my kidneys…well not completely. Fortunately, I am on my final weaning off of Tacro, so hopefully it will not have a chance to do too much more damage. Unfortunately, the damage does not seem to be reversible. So no more Advil, Ibuprofen, Aleve…ever. Tylenol is ok, as are my migraine meds. If I thought I was drinking a lot of water thus far, we ain’t seen nothin’ yet!
As far as the high calcium, parathyroid, osteopenia and all that, they will do more labs, keep things monitored, do a follow up bone density later in the year, etc. This was the boring stuff I was expecting. :/
Oh, it gets better. I had an MRI last Thursday evening to try to pinpoint the problem with my left shoulder. I was certain that this was where they would find the issue. Wrong. The MRI came back negative. They told me while I was there. Not that I wanted to have surgery on my shoulder or anything. I just wanted an answer! The doctor, however, seeing my frustration, examined my shoulder and promised to email Dr. Shah and continue to pursue the issue until it is resolved. When something really hurts and tests continue to come back negative, it makes you feel like you’re crazy! He didn’t make me feel crazy. I think I like this doctor, even though he was the bearer of the not so happy news.
God has carried us through much more than this. We trust that He will continue to guide us through these occasional cloudy days. This one was down right foggy. That’s why it’s so important to hold on to His Hand.
Not letting go…