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Walking Wounded, the sequel!



Wow! I guess I haven't been on the boards for 2 weeks or so :( I see that I have dozens of PMs to read, many emails to check/answer and I missed at least one person who had ordered an Awareness Bracelet that I never sent :(


My Monday appointment with the surgeon went ok. He took blood/urine and was going to send me for CT scans. That day, as I recall was very cold here with a wind chill of something like -7o


I came home and taught my piano students, as usual.


Tuesday morning I woke up and my back hurt. I assumed it was from the cold combined with my arthritis. That got worse throughout the day so I called my PCP. Naturally, he was away until the 19th but had a substitute I could see Wed. I didn't want to wait because the pain was excruciating by now and I couldn't get out of chairs or sofa without using the walker I had from surgery to help pull me up.


So I called my husband at work and he said he'd come home and take me to the ER. I had been supposed to have handbell rehearsal that night so I called my director and let her know I wouldn't make it. She assumed that Tom (husband) would be home sooner than he was, so she got the associate pastor from my church and they headed to the ER to wait with us.


They asked about me at the front desk and were assured that I was there although they didn't see me. I guess they thought I was with the triage nurse or something. So they waited. Then a Melissa O'Connor was called... My people realized it wasn't me and left.


Finally, Tom got home - he had really important work to do (sarcastically said!) and I got to the ER about 6:00PM. Last time I was there, they told me I had kidney cancer, so I was hoping that there was no rerun of that experience!


The triage nurse let me wait on a gurney instead of one of the hard plastic chairs in the waiting room.


Unfortunately, they also wanted blood and urine. My only good arm had been used by the neurosurgeon the day before :( Luckily the nurse finally got the IV in to my other arm. I guess my veins are a bit better post-Cushing's. No collapses this time.


They did CT scans (so I don't have to do my surgeon's ones - YEA!) and XRays and found basically nothing except lung nodules that hadn't grown much since my last scan - say what? I didn't know I HAD lung nodules.


I got some percocet and they sent me home with orders to see the sub PCP in 2 days. The percocet didn't do much except make me sleepy/groggy. My days were spent watching TV and sleeping. Even sitting at the computer or the table was too painful.


Tom took me to the sub PCP on that Friday and she's sending me to physical therapy.


Until yesterday, I didn't drive at all, and the weather has been awful, so I haven't even called about the PT yet.


There is still a little pain, and I need the walker to get out of bed, but I'm doing much better.


A weird side thing - Tom was driving my car since it's a van and much heavier than his midlife crisis sports car. The van does much better with snow and ice that we had the last couple weeks.


One day he got it home, slammed the door - and the window slid down into the door. Somehow it got off the tracks. Luckily the glass didn't break. So that was a bit of a problem and $. No one had ever even heard of this problem before.


Anyway, I hope to get to your PMs, emails and whatever ASAP!


It feels a bit weird being here - like my baby has grown up, left home and doesn't need me anymore. Can you have Empty Nest Syndrome for message boards? LOL


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  • Member of the 1000 Post Club



Wow these boards look different and spiffy-- every time I come around sth is diff lol. All good!


It's been what August since your nephrectomy MaryO? It took me a year until the pain was enough to get through the day without pain pills [not much as i was SO YOUNG] and it reallllly hurt. I dont know if you had the lap or the 9 inch scar-- I had to 9 incher and all those muscles cut through. Either way they treat it like its sooo easy to recover from and indeed it isnt.


I had the right kidney and adrenal removed, and immediately the left kidney which was fine hurt. A lot. Had me in the ER about 6 times that first year. I believe it was the adjustment it went through as well as my body. I have renal colic now, unexplained pain really. Its poss i could have a nephotic syndrome something going on but only a biopsy would show it and they wont do it with only one kidney nope. So i stay away from foods with too high nitrates in them thats a killer one sausage and im doubled over. Tooo much protein could mean it has to work too hard. As in big protein meals, three times a day every day, that would be too much for me, but one meal of protein a day is fine.


Anwyays you dont find many people MaryO who have kidneys removed too so thought I might share a few things that are pretty much unwritten about. My surgery was in 89 so much has changed i am sure but back then it was treated like it was no big deal and you know what it is. Add to that the cancer... and i hope hope hope you are okay there. Youve been through so much so you give yourself a hand and watch ANY ANY ANY NSAIDS as in Tylenol 3 & 4, Aleve or Naprosyn, Acetaminophen even altho it isnt a strict one. These drugs are poisonous to the kidneys and i wasnt told of this until 15 years after my surgery! Once i cut out all those pain relievers [for cushings AND needing new hips and severe back pain] THE PAIN I WAS having sooo often completely went away! I am on Methadone and Dilaudin for the pain now and yes these are both very strong medications but my pain is well really bad. I am able to think on them tho... codeine not so. Just be careful of that kid[ney] in your own way and take a HUG from me. Im so glad to see your blog post! GO MARY GO!


Adrienne (the one who only posts when she thinks ya might forget her ha ha no not really not online hurts to sit too much swelling)


PS: Adrenal woke up. After 13 years of steroids! Down to only 10mgs prednisone. Trick? .50mg taperings. At a time. Works.

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  • Chief Cushie

Thanks, Adrienne!


Yes, I have the big scar and the numb abdomen.


I was told by doctors not to take the NSAIDs anymore - I've been taking arthritis meds for about 30 years or so and my arthritis is really killing me.


I can't take the GH anymore, and I'm supposed to "cut down" on vitamin C but no one has ever told me what to cut down to.


Sometimes, I get so down about this. Friends, family, everyone thinks that since there was no chemo or radiation, I'm homefree and this isn't the case at all. I didn't have chemo or radiation because there is nothing yet that will kill kidney cancer :) There's some stuff still in clinical trials, but nothing standard yet.


I can feel myself on the way down again and I hate knowing that the depression is coming :)


Thanks for responding - it's nice to know that others are living just fine with only one kidney :)

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