It's not all good. It's not all bad.
Just trying to make some sense from it all.
Most of Rick's blood count numbers are better than they were in January and February. Thanking God!!!
At the doctor's office yesterday, his blood pressure was 132/82!!! And he has "white coat syndrome"!!!
His blood sugar is running lower - at least for him. His average was around 200 for a long time. And it didn't seem to matter what medications he took, nor what he ate, not even exercise ... averaging 200. But now - his average is around 140. Still not "perfect" - but certainly better than before!!!
I will be posting a complete update to his numbers later today.
The doctors have requested a diet lower in protein, lower in sugar, and a little lower in fats. Increase his water intake. Increase his exercise - such as walking.
He is to return to Dr. Tobin in 2 months. And return to Dr. Arneke in 3 months.
And now ...
The toxin levels of his kidneys is worse. Those numbers show more toxins in his body, less being flushed out thru the kidneys. Showing greater damage to the kidneys, less kidney function.
Dr. Tobin said that in January, Rick had about 21% kidney function. He now puts it around 16%. (Dr. Arneke only disagreed to say that he would put now around 18%.)
The discussions have turned more serious towards dialysis.
Both doctors have suggested a transplant - but Rick's convictions are saying "NO". I love my husband enough to respect his convictions. To just shut up and pray. Sigh.
We were told that the life expectancy of dialysis is from 3 - 18 years.
Without either a transplant (not even considered at this time) or dialysis ... we are told that it is a painful process of dying from kidney disease. Not so long, but painful.
Rick is considering the option of dialysis. PD ... the kind that he can do at home. There is much to be learned ... and we have just put a small toe into the waters of all this!
Dr. Tobin told us that at this time there is not a decision to be made ... he has given us 2 months to think about it all, learn what we can, come up with all our questions.
In 2 months, Rick goes in for more labs - and another visit with Dr. Tobin.
At that time???
Dr. Tobin did tell us that in order to do the PD - there is first a day surgery of putting the "shunt" into Rick's belly area. And it will take about 2 weeks for that to "cement" enough for dialysis. Then, there is 6 - 8 weeks of training on how to do dialysis. So, 2 months after the decision is made before dialysis actually starts.
And federally limited to waiting until the kidney function is at 15% or below before even the "shunt" can be put into Rick.
We are in contact with the National Kidney Foundation ... they have a lot of good information about diet/nutrition and exercise. Rick and I have talked about the diet and exercise program that they recommend.
If he tries it for 2 months and it makes no difference, then what has he lost?
But if he doesn't try it and it could have made a difference, then what has he lost?
So, deep breath ... we begin a "new" diet/nutrition and exercise program today.
He has gained about 30 pounds since January - which the doctors both agree, is not helping any health situation within his body.
One thing that still has the doctors "bumfuzzled"?
If you take a sheet of paper and on the left side you write out Rick's lab results ... and on the right side, you list all the should be symptoms ... NO MATCHING.
Rick has the lab results on the toxin levels of the kidneys ... but few if any of the symptoms for kidney failure.
*Same as in January and February when all this started.
When we were in Dr. Tobin's office, he kept looking at me.
At one point, he stood up and came towards Rick to examine him. But he came to me. He looked at my eyes, and said very directly -
"You are not well. If I had been told to come back here and see the kidney patient, and I did not know Rick was my patient - just to walk into the room, I would have thought the patient was YOU. I want you to come to my office in Paris and have blood work done ASAP."
So, yesterday morning, we went to Paris. Blood was drawn. And we are supposed to hear this morning what Dr. Tobin has to say.