Post 1017: Now I know, sort of….

I got the list of appointments I have coming up to get the dialysis fistula. I know when and where I have to be this Wednesday, but both the other appointments I have to wait for a call before I know the when. At any rate, I will have4-23-2016 fist 2

 medical-related work scheduled from Tuesday (dialysis) through Saturday (more dialysis), then Sunday free before Monday, May 2nd, the day I have the fistula created surgically on my upper left arm.

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I think you can see that I will probably be a bit preoccupied this coming week, so I may or may not post new photos of the kitties or anything else. We’ll see.

Stick your tongue out at me, buster....! On the plus side, capturing Andy here to give him medicine is a snap.

Stick your tongue out at me, buster….!
On the plus side, capturing Andy here to give him medicine is a snap.

"Hey! I'm busy! Take your photo and leave me alone!" OK, Dougy. Just this once.

“Hey! I’m busy! Take your photo and leave me alone!”
OK, Dougy. Just this once.

There! Two gratuitous kitty photos to hold you over till I can create new material.

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Post 1002: slowly establishing routines…

Andy and Dougy slept (and crept) nearby all night last night, but I still got a good night’s rest. Good thing, too, because I had dialysis at 6:15 AM.

Dialysis went without a hitch for a change. I got the full four hour treatment, something that has been rare lately. I am impressed with the local dialysis unit for working up a solution the first time I went there and successfully applying it this time. Instead of lots of warning alarms for the session, I had smooth (quiet) sailing.

Speaking of the local dialysis unit, not only are the recliners comfortable and heated, the nurses give you a cup of ice to deal with thirst or being warm (I have no idea which) and headphones to watch the television without disturbing your fellow patients.

Oh!  And everyone has a small locker to keep one’s “blankie” in. Mine is a particularly nice one sent me by Liz of maggie0019 when I was in the care center in Denver. It arrived around the same time as the basket of citrus from Chris of contrafactual. They were the first bloggers to contact me, and their support through my ordeal was well appreciated many times over!

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Today is a pleasant spring day in Western Nebraska. I have doors open for the fresh air and to let the kitties get noses full of exciting outside scents. Dougy especially likes to sniff around and would follow his nose to Fargo if I didn’t stop him at the door.

Andy didn’t get his medicine when I was gone. I talked with his veterinarian yesterday about that. I will make an appointment to get his blood pressure  checked now that I know my dialysis schedule (6:30 AM, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday). He seems normal, like humans with high blood pressure can seem, but we need to verify one way or the other if he needs to have the medication still.

As for Dougy, his eyes got “goopy” again while I was gone because he wasn’t getting a dietary supplement that helps Persian cats with that issue. I bought more of it while at the veterinarian’s yesterday. You can manually remove “eye snot” (as one Persian cat breeder on YouTube calls it), though I prefer to use the supplement that stops the condition in the first place. Nothing’s too good for my kitties!

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Post 1001: Whew! Getting well is exhausting!

I’m catching up with your comments, slowly.

I managed to accidentally delete one because of the quirky way this laptop does tasks if your mouse accidentally strays over a spot to click to do a task. Well, I  accidentally moved over one that said “Trash” while trying to reply to that person. If you are that person, please write back! [NOTE: They did, and I appreciate it because the comment was thoughtful and cheered me up!]

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Dougy and Andy are much more “chatty” than they were before. I guess they realize they need to speak up or I will go away again. Or they just need an overdose of loving to make up for me being away for such a long, long time. Doesn’t matter. I am glad to give them all the loving them need!

Poor little fellows, though. All that attention they want from me is tiring them out, and both are sleeping while I type this blog. The first night, though, they literally kept me up all night. Now, they are a little less needy, but spend the night climbing on my bed to see how I am or, in Dougy’s case, to lie next to me for a little snuggle. He purrs when he does that.

One thing I’ve noticed about them now: When I pick them up, they both purr. Before, they might purr. Now it is every time! Yeah, they are happy to have me home!

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I still am unable to figure out what the problem is with my PC. I hope to work that out so I can get back to posting new photos of the boys. I don’t kid myself. Most of you read this for the kitty pictures and videos, not to learn about me! [Awwwww! Is Doug having a pity party….?! LOL!]

Also, my lame attempts to put kitty pictures [  =(^+^)=  ] in the blog are in recognition of who the Internet minor cat celebrities are, and I am not one of them!

 

 

Post 1000: Oh dear! I violated Dougy’s space!

I just committed a cardinal sin. I set my laptop down on Dougy’s ottoman!

Out of nowhere, Dougy came running. He hopped up on the ottoman and gave a rigorous scratching to the battle scared fabric.

I got your message, Buster: “The ottoman is off limits to everyone but Dougy!!!”

Hard to believe this sweet little Persian guy, usually so full of good will, this pussycat can be so aggressively, obsessively possessive of the ottoman, yet that’s the way it is on Lane 2. Dougy’s ottoman. No trespassing.

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For those who don’t follow me elsewhere, I’ve had problems getting on the Internet on my PC this first day back from hospitalization and rehabilitation. Unfortunately, my laptop is of the stupid variety. It isn’t set up to handle graphics chores.

(“Aw…!He just told us there’d be no new Dougy and Andy photos till he works out the technical glitch in his PC!”)

I did want to resume my blog as soon as possible on getting back, however, because I’ve a lot to tell you. First and foremost, as a weggie (a person diagnosed with Wegener’s granulomatosis, not an underwear waistband puller..!), diagnosed in 2003, I know the disease is for a lifetime: There is no cure.

I also know, as a weggie,that it can go into remission as it did in my case in 2005. Some weggies never know a time when their case is in remission. I was lucky and had several years that were active Wegener’s free.

But! But, it always is there, lurking behind the symptoms of other diseases. That is what the doctors at University Hospital (Denver) feel happened to me.

A couple months leading up to the week I became breathless and weak, I had a nondescript malaise, let’s call it, nothing alarming, just “there”. I didn’t feel really bad, yet I wasn’t 100% OK either.

I wasn’t alarmed.

Perhaps I should have  been. The doctors feel an undiagnosed Wegener’s flare wiped out what kidney function the December 2003-May 2005 didn’t manage to do. Now, I will need dialysis three times a week. It doesn’t hurt. It’s just time-consuming: Four hours at a shot! It can be more or less that, depending on catheter function or need.

I tell you this because it is true. I don’t mean to depress you. I mean, this happened to me yet I am basically a happy, positive person. Let me tell you a little story about how I handled the news I was going to have to go on dialysis.

While at the University Hospital (Denver), several teams of doctors visited me each day, including one who’d been among the doctors who visited me daily in 2004. I was known to be a weggie, so the first thing they had to determine was whether my condition was Wegener’s granulomatosis or not.

No evidence of active Wegener’s showed up, but the signs were my kidneys had failed. (Of course, it was no secret to me because I couldn’t urinate!)

One by one, the doctors and interns, in pairs, came to report their findings to me. Each told a bit more of the story, but I knew where it was leading.

Finally, the nephrologist came by. The young doctor with him was quiet. The older doctor seemed uncomfortable or hesitant to give me the bad news.

“I have good news and I have bad news,” he said finally. The good news was it wasn’t Wegener’s I had, and you already know – just as I did! – what the bad news was: I had end term kidney disease. I would require dialysis in practical terms, many life changes in food eaten, and so on.

I sat on my bed in my hospital gown listening to what the doctor said. When he was finished (and clearly relieved I seemed to be taking it well), I said, “Doctor, you don’t have to worry about scaring the pants off of me because [comedic pause] I’m not wearing any.”

I got them both to laugh!

I tell you that story because I don’t want you to feel sorry for me. I’ve had worse news from doctors after all, like when I learned I was a weggie.

My doctor came to my room and explained that my symptoms suggested one of three possibilities. He ticked off why two seemed less likely than the third, then said I most likely had Wegener’s granulomatosis and that I would be dead within two years.

On the third anniversary of the prediction of a two year life expectancy, I reminded my doctor of what he told me. “That sounds like the sort of thing I’d say,” he said. He actually was a very good doctor, one I still admire and respect immensely.

But when it comes to deadeye predictions, there are many factors that affect the outcome: Efficacy of treatment; patient’s attitude; the course of the disease and what stage it was caught at; faith; who knows?

The short of it (said he ironically), I will thrive and survive. I’m pigheaded that way.