Today was dialysis clinic day, so it’s update day! Keith’s iron was really low last month, which means we’ve been going every week for infusions. I got my appointment cards out of order and thought that this week was another infusion and not a clinic day…I feel horrible that I didn’t have all of his paperwork with me. The Team was non-plussed about it. They are all familiar with the way things have been going for us, and how on top of things I normally am, so they’ve probably been waiting for me to have a major meltdown. Thankfully, the only thing not going our way was my confusion.
Last month, Keith’s protein and iron had been low. His phosphorus was high. And, the levels that show how well the dialysis is working had only come up slightly.
Today we got good news! His numbers have started moving in the good range! Tomorrow I have to take up the paperwork I didn’t have today, so I should be able to get the numbers from today’s blood tests, but everything points to getting good news there too!
For those following along at home, Keith won’t qualify for a kidney transplant until his numbers are stable and he gets stronger. We thought we were almost there late last year, but his numbers dropped way off and we went back to the drawing board with finding the right dialysis and medication combinations. We’ve been trying to get his numbers up to the minimum levels for more than four months. Getting all his numbers into the good column is a huge step! Granted, what we saw today was barely in the good, and one of the numbers didn’t come down enough, but it is positive movement so we are counting it as a big win!
Keith’s cognitive abilities have also been improving. When your blood sugar, blood pressure and kidneys are not under control it has a major impact on your ability to concentrate, as well as comprehend and remember things. If the kidneys cannot remove the toxins from the body, it keeps your brain from working right (for those who know Keith well, I’ll let you put your own joke here). He’s remembering a little more, he was able to think through directions and how to get around construction in town which is a big deal. He is far from doing what he did before and being able to take care of everything himself, but being able to have a conversation with him and having him remember what you talked about is very much appreciated by everyone who’s had to repeat themselves over and over. He’s still very much qualified for the paid caregiving program we’re working to be part of. We would be grateful if you continue to pray and send good vibes for the 2nd home visit later this month.
In other news, I’ve been talking with someone at the clinic about doing some volunteer work with them. The way I look at it, if something we’ve gone through helps someone else, then I’m in. It’s why I started the blog. I can’t say if everything will fall into place (there’s a lot of details that go into working with any kind of medical patients and their families), but I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to help people who are going through an overwhelming amount of information, fear, and anxiety. I’ve been there and would love to support others going through the same thing.
Some other good things have happened recently, like prom, but that will hopefully be part of another update coming in the next few days. For today, I’m just thrilled to let you all know that things are going in the right direction.