Monday, December 02, 2019

Setback

This is exactly the view I had tonight when I went part way up Signal Hill in St. John's, just to comtemplate, to think, to accept.


I had some health episodes at the weekend and had seen my doctor this afternoon, thinking I had heart failure happening or at least some terrible growth in my lungs.

I had difficult breathing even after about 10 steps and had to rest. I'd been thinking it was the end. Maybe not of my life but of freedom. I got quite down and depressed and incommunicado. One friend that I had called in distress on Friday night (we had a coffee date, the only reason I called her) and she mentioned everything it could be (but not what it is, interestingly) as she's a home care worker when she is able.

We take oxygen for granted, don't we? Like water. Like health.

My doctor did a battery of tests in his office (I am consistently shocked now about what can be done in offices) and ruled out lungs and heart. I sat in disbelief. Until he said I do suspect further deterioration in your kidneys. He then proceeded to explain how this has a detrimental effect on the heart and lungs as they try to compensate for the lack of kidney co-operation.

I have been in complete denial about my kidneys. Seriously. Even though I see a nephrologist (kidney specialist)twice a year and have for many years. Things had sort of flattened out with my ks in the last few tests, they don't function well (only at about 50%) but hey, why worry. I had kidney "trouble" as a child, I remember getting extra doses of pearl barley (the cure-all for kidneys then) along with hot water bottles on my back for infections.

He arranged all sorts of tests coming up, EKG, lung X-ray and kidney function tests but he's laying money on the kidneys, "Renal failure," he said,"is written all over my report to the technicians but don't be alarmed, it's just med. terminology." Hello?

I'm better off alone when things go south with my health. I have a little cry on my pity pot. And take myself to a beauty spot, I drove along the harbour and looked at the boats and then drove up the hill to look down and realize how tiny I and my troubles are in the overall scheme of things.

25 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Dear Jean, if I rest at all I am delighted with myself!

      XO
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  2. What a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful picture.
    I have Stage III kidney failure. No big deal, said my PC, as she turned me over to a nephrologist, years ago.
    So why am I not short of breath, I asked myself, as I read your post. Of course! It's because I cannot walk, even a city block. Pardon my gallows humor, but, one dust speck to another, it's all pretty damn funny.
    I hope you get together enough strength to meet your commitments to, hopes for the old age project. Breathe in, breathe out.
    With love from Joanne

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    1. Oh you have heartened me dear Joanne and stopped me picking out a cheap no frills casket. No big deal, LOL. I haven't been offered a Stage anything yet. My nephrologist has no bedside manner or any kind of manner really, just a numbers guy. Lecturing type. Talks into a dictaphone (I know!) totes around with a trail of duckling wannabe nephrologists.

      It's all very funny indeed and you made me laugh out loud.

      XO
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    2. Oh, I wish you had mine! He's built like Humpty Dumpty. "Why has Dr. J sent you?" he asked, all those years ago. I said I suspected it was the matter of the heirs and assigns, and he laughed so hard he put his head down on the exam table. Stage III is half way to the end. Even if I have pretty well traversed III and am finally ready for IV, I'll be 77 very soon. I've got a lot of years out of I, II and III. Your grumpy old fellow will tell you what to do to keep on keeping on, I just know.

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  3. I do love Calvin. And yes, I am also (a sometimes screaming) dust speck.
    Heartfelt hugs and oceans of caring are flowing your way.

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    1. Screaming dust speck, yeah dat me, tho feeling emotionally a little better today.

      XO
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    2. Glad to hear that you are a tad better emotionally today.

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  4. I'm sorry to hear that. Hopefully there we be a non invasive way to treat the problem. And what a beaut photo.

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    1. I hope so too, more news tomorrow or this week I expect, thank you.

      XO
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  5. That first photo looks like a Christmas card with all the gold in it. So Beautiful.
    I hope there is something beneficial to be done about your kidneys. Are you on the donor register as a recipient-to-be? Just in case it comes to that.

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    1. No it hasn't come to that and let's face it I'm old and I don't think I'd come into that picture at all.

      XO
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  6. Beautiful place you live in. I can offer no word of consolation, only a big does of commiserations, and a small dose of happiness that you now know what ails you (I'm off for my umpteenth batch of tests today with no answers forthcoming). I hope your nephrologist can tell you the exactly whats, whys and hows.

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    1. Ah just the sharing along Uglemor helps a lot, especially on the blog for some reason. F2F I'd be a mess at the moment.

      XO
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  7. I can relate to your breathing problems but, what followed stumps me. I am sorry that you have to undergo this experience but, you have handled bigger problems before and will do this too. My best wishes.

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    1. Thank you Ramana, I was shocked also but of course everything in the body is connected and we should be surprised I suppose.

      XO
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  8. I do miss not being able to drive at night. Many is the time I held the moon's counsel, sitting in my car or on a rock gazing up and out, making silent treatise to Orion, returning home calmer and with renewed resolve.

    I hope it's not your kidneys. I thought of something else, but if you've had kidney problems before it makes sense to suspect this is it again. When in doubt, look for horses not Zebras. Emma

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    1. I'd say the kidneys, he checked my ankles and they are swollen a typical sign apparently. I haven't started bargaining with God yet as I'd have to rescue my faith in a superpower from where I buried it years ago when I woke up. LOL.

      Thanks Emma.
      XO
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    2. I have no religion WWW. Nor do I celebrate Christmas, or Samhain. And I don't remember the last time I cried. But if Gods or tears help others, more power to them. EMMA

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  9. Oh, that's so sad. I am sorry that your kidney function is abnormal. I hope something good can be done about it.

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    1. Thank you Gigi, I do have good care here so hoping that continues and we can do something about this.

      XO
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  10. I, too, am so sorry to read your health-related news, WWW, but glad that writing of it brings some relief to you.

    I know nothing of kidney issues, but it appears there's lots that can be done about 'em these days. As with cancer, and as I'm often reminded, things have changed so much treatment-wise, even in the past ten years or so. What would once have been a death sentence is that no longer, we just need to trust. I hope you are feeling better today, in mind and body both.

    I loved your description of the specialist wandering around with his little duckling parade - I remember similar sights from my time in hospital in the 1980s (hysterectomy) when the boss man visited my bed- I used to chuckle about it then. Oddly, I haven't yet come across it in the USA.

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    1. Thank you T, yes I am cheered by many recounting kidney challenges and not lying (a) prone on a dialysis machine moaning or (b) prone in a casket bloated from poison.

      I guess what haunts me was a visit to my mother in hospital in her first amputation for cancer and she shared a room with a Kathleen Cashin who was in her twenties. A lovely young woman. A couple of nights later I was into visit Mum and Kathleen was gone and Mum was very upset and told me Kathleen had died from her failed kidneys.

      I remember being so shaken. And only now has this memory surfaced. We embed so much, don't we.

      But as you say, so much has improved in treatments now. And you are so fortunate also in what you have overcome in the past year.

      XO
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  11. Yes, you are significant.
    Thanks for sharing , keeping you in my good thoughts.
    Knowing what is going on should help, I hope.

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    1. Yes GP, the unknown is the very scariest thing. Thank you!

      XO
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