Friday, January 9, 2009

Kidney news

Ron had his latest appointment with the kidney specialist today. Dr. Wolfe was very pleased with his prognosis and the fact that he seems to have stabilized. His creatinin and his potassium are holding steady at the mid-to-high range of normal, but she's happy with that. He is "only" spilling a small amount (compared to the GRAMS) of protein in his urine, and she's thrilled with that amount.

The Lasix is doing its job and he's not retaining any fluid. In fact, she'd like to see his skin a bit less dried out. She recommended I call the wound care team and ask what I should use to help moisturize his foot so the skin doesn't crack. She doesn't want bacteria to find a way back into his bloodstream. That's all he'd need... I greased his foot up with petroleum jelly this afternoon and put a sock over the toes. Maybe that will help some. I do use lotion several times a week when I change his bandage but it's obviously not enough.

His blood pressure is doing well, in spite of the fact that he's not been on any blood pressure medication for several months. She is concerned about his sugar being out of control. It was over 400 the last time they checked it and it's been running in the high 200 to 300 range. He doesn't overeat - he just likes the wrong things and his body doesn't process it as well. She says his biggest problem is that he's immobile and can't do any exercise. We had physical therapy come out for several weeks to show him things but he hasn't really followed through with them. I know it's hard to do when you're in a lot of pain and you don't really have anyone with you to encourage you. Since I'm gone during the day he mostly sleeps.

He needs another sleep study done. It's been several years since he's had one so Dr. Wolfe is going to recommend it. His machine is old and is probably in need of repair or replacement. Dr. Alvarado's office now has the capability to do sleep study so they'll set up the appointment and let me know when to have him there. Dr. Wolfe also wants Ron to see a new endocrinologist. She said he's a great doctor, has a great bedside manner, and interned under her during his residency program. That's just what Ron needs - someone who will take the time to listen to him and offer constructive suggestions instead of just saying "don't" or all of the other many things that don't take into consideration his overall health and capabilities.

Yesterday was his 61st birthday and we are truly blessed and grateful that he is here and able to celebrate it with us. We went to dinner at Outback Steak House (thank you, Amy!) and enjoyed the company of Amy, Isaiah, Keith, Rex, Aaron, and Karen. Shaun and Jenny called him yesterday to wish him happy birthday and I think that Stacey did also.

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