National Kidney Month

Happy National Kidney Month! I encourage you to think about your kidneys, and so does the National Kidney Foundation. If you haven't done so recently, please get your kidney function checked out.


I saw my nephrologist Dr. Taiwo yesterday and asked if there was anything I could to to prevent my IgA from acting up again. She advised that I think about staying on my 5mg dose of prednisone, since it's an anti-inflammatory and could help keep the IgA at bay. They tend to taper it off since it's a steroid and has potential side effects, but I will give it a try and take it for as long as possible.

I also mentioned to Dr. Taiwo that my friends have been noticing how my face has been looking rosier than before. She reminded me I had been slightly anemic before the transplant, because my failing kidneys were not producing enough of the hormone erythropoietin (EPO), which bring about red blood cells in bone marrow. These red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body, and contain hemoglobin, a red protein with iron. My hemoglobin level on increased from 9.8 on December 20 to 14.3 today. The standard range is 13.5-17.7.

In short, I was looking and feeling better because of the red blood cell rising to normal levels thanks to my new kidney.

After my appointment, I waited for my car to return from valet, I noticed my surgeon Dr. Melcher on his cellphone, walking down the hall. As I smiled and waved at him, an older white man sitting nearby did the same.

After Dr. Melcher passed, I said, "He was your surgeon, too?"  

"Yeah, I got a new kidney in December."

"Congratulations! I got mine December 20."

As we continued chatting, I learned that he too, was immensely grateful for the benefits of our transplants.

"Did you do PD or in-center?" I asked.

"I did PD for seven years." 

 "Ah, I see you're also a Satellite Wellbound patient," I said, pointing at his tote bag. "How are you feeling?"

"I'm feeling good! And it's great to look for your PD catheter at night and realize, 'It's not there!'"

I laughed and said, "Yeah,  I thought I might miss it or the cycler! But I really didn't."

He frowned and shook his head. "Nope!"