I want this all to be done with. I want my health to no longer be a major focus of my life. I want to be able to do the things that make me happy and provide emotional strength. I am tired of the doctor appointments and constantly getting pricked by needles for blood work and the unknown. I am in a space of limbo, trying to remind myself to be grateful for what I do have, but crying a lot and just tired of trying to be positive through all of this. I am currently a Negative Nancy. But, I try to remind myself that it is ok to feel down sometimes too, because it is healthy to feel the lows. It’s what makes you reach for the highs.
So. Health recap? Wednesday was the kidney biopsy. I arrived at the hospital at 6:45am, with the procedure to start at 7:45am. I was an out-patient, which meant that I would have the procedure, recover, and go home that same day. I needed to get blood work done prior to the biopsy, to ensure my blood would clot well and I would not be prone to internal bleeding. My specialist’s office didn’t object when I told them I would get it done with my other routine blood work on Monday. Turns out the hospital needs the blood work to be done within 7 days of the procedure; mine was 9. So we were delayed by needing to redo the blood work. So I waited. All the while, extending my hunger, as I had to stop eating the night before at midnight. Then I got the word that the radiologist was ok with my 9 day old results and we could proceed! I was wheeled up to another waiting area. Where I was then told that we needed to wait for my blood work. Doh. I didn’t even bother trying to object or explain. I had an ultrasound done first to help locate my kidneys. And then waited again. Then I overheard one of the nurses explaining the blood work issue to the doctor and he said to go ahead. Dr. Painless P is who I got! The nurse went through what to expect and assured me how this doctor is great with freezing and I should feel minimal pain. However, I was a bit nervous when the first thing the doc said when he entered the room was, “So! Is this my thyroid biopsy?” Ummmm. Nope.
After we clarified which organ he was to biopsy, he had me lie on my tummy. He explained he would take the sample from my left kidney. If he got a good sample with the first try, he wouldn’t take any more. However, sometimes 2 or 3 samples are needed. I was sterilized in that area and then frozen with a needle. Because the kidneys don’t have any nerves, I wouldn’t be able to feel him taking the sample. But the freezing was needed for the layers before he got to the kidney. Then he used a biopsy gun to do the actual removal. It wasn’t pleasant. But it didn’t take long either. Then that was it. They bandaged me up and I asked to see the sample. It just looked like a teeny pinkish worm, floating in some water. Very unimpressive. Then I was wheeled back downstairs to recovery. The procedure was completed at 10:45am, a bit later than 7:45am, but what can you do? I had to wait an hour before I could eat, be on bed rest for four hours after the procedure, and then they tested my blood and urine as well for any signs of internal bleeding. I passed all my tests and I was good to go after four hours! Except I cannot do anything strenuous for a week. So being unable to work out or dance is definitely adding to my mental low.
I was so ready to go home, BUT, I had more tattoo work done on the weekend, and I was pretty sure it was infected. I asked the out-patient nurse to take a look, and yup, it sure was. She directed me to emergency immediately. Well, emerg was a gong show. Like the busiest I have ever seen it. But the nurse there looked at my arm for me, and suggested that seeing my family doc would be ok. I called my family doc but she couldn’t see me, and the wait time at the walk-in clinic there was over two hours. So off we went to wait. But on our way there, we passed a pharmacist / medicentre, and I hollered out, “Dad! Turn in there!” So he screeched across a lane of traffic and got us to the bright neon sign, welcoming us in. Only one other patient before me! This doc prescribed me both oral and topical antibiotics for my infection. For almost a week I have been in constant pain. Hot, throbbing, prickly, super sensitive pain, throughout my entire arm. I can’t bend it open or closed all the way. My muscles are tense and sore from subconsciously protecting it. I can’t reach my arm above my head. I am a sorry lot. She also gave me a tetanus shot in my other arm, which has now bruised and is sore. Finding a comfortable position to sleep is a challenge.
So, once we got the antibiotics, I called in an order to Royal Pizza and we picked it up on our way home. I was so relieved to finally get home. I got ready for bed at 6:30pm, got into bed with my pizza, ate it all, and settled in to sleep…
I am sore at the biopsy site. It’s not painful, but tender. Like I got kicked in the kidneys. And when I sit too long, it feels like my body is compressing my kidney. So then I want to lay down.
Ok. Now moving on to my rheumatologist appointment that I had this morning. The preliminary kidney biopsy results were in so she shared with me that it doesn’t show any obvious signs of concern, which is encouraging. But the rest of the more detailed test results won’t be in for a couple more weeks. So I will continue getting my weekly blood work done and I see my kidney specialist in early March. Then after a long discussion with her fellow, and then her, we decided to add the next level of drug therapy. I still feel uneasy about this decision, but it’s just because there are still so many questions surrounding me. Our options are to either continue tapering the prednisone until I am off of it and then hope I don’t get sick again, or taper the prednisone while then adding another mediation to help reduce the chance of any symptoms returning. The concern with the added medication are all the negative side effects that go along with it, and that I would need to commit to it for 3 to 4 years. It’s just how the drug works. And reading about the drug made me so scared I cried. But, this was the first time my rheumatologist said with certainty that she wanted to put me on it. And I trust her.
The plan is to get my skin infection cleared before we start the next level of therapy. Which allows me more time to research and ask questions and become mentally ok with this decision. Because I get weepy even just thinking about it now.
Can we be done yet?
And I think I want to order more Royal Pizza for supper.