OK, so here's my very good excuse for not updating for a week!
I had noticed some ever-increasing swelling in my legs and feet last week. It was as bad as it ever was while I was pregnant and got to where I could only squeeze my feet into my ballet-style Crocs. So I made an appointment with a doctor on Thursday afternoon… he took one look at my feet and my blood pressure (way high) and said “I can't help you, go to Emergency”
I went to the Emergency Room at 5pm on Thursday… my blood pressure registered at about 260/140 (almost twice what is considered healthy!) so they started medicating me and wanted to admit me.
I refused admission and instead spent the night in the ER and had Jamie bring me new clothes in the morning so I could go to work on Friday. (We were closing a mailer; there are about 3 days every 2 months I CANNOT miss, and this was one of them. So I very dramatically left AMA (against medical advice) and went off to work with the promise that I'd be back at the hospital after work, at which point I'd give them the weekend to fix me.
I got back to the ER about 6pm on Friday… they again medicated me for my BP and admitted me and (finally!) gave me a few doses of Lasix to get the swelling down. (I lost 13 lbs. over the weekend; all water weight that was in my legs, feet and face)
So I'm loaded up with meds, in the hospital, getting ready to make a stink to go home (this is Sunday morning) I get out of bed to go pee, and I nearly pass out… the nurse comes in to check my blood pressure, and it's plummeted to 60/40! Barely enough to keep me conscious.
Because my pressures all weekend had been taken with me lying in bed, my standing pressure got way too low on the meds I'd been given.
As I'm realizing that this means more time in the hospital to get that straightened out, they drop the bomb.
The staff at Kaiser is afraid I'm rejecting my transplanted kidney and I need to be transferred to UCSF's Transplant Center to have the kidney biopsied and figure out exactly what's going on. I'm transported by ambulance on Sunday afternoon back to the site of my transplant, where I'm told that I'm scheduled for a biopsy and 9am Monday morning.
The results of the biopsy come back Monday afternoon; there's good news and there's bad news. The good news is that there's no rejection. The bad news is that the pregnancy and pre-eclampsia took a major toll on my kidney. A significant percentage (close to 50%) of the tiny blood vessels and capillaries have been damaged to the point that they no longer function, and they aren't something that can grow back or heal. Add that to the (harmless) cyst in the kidney, and I'm working at about 30% kidney function overall. Best case scenario is that I'll need a new transplant or dialysis in about 4 years… worst case, it's got less than a year.
Hopefully with careful management of my blood pressure meds and anti-rejection meds, we can stave it off for as long as possible…
So that's where I'm at; it's a tough bit of news to get, but we'll get through it. And, as always, prayers and the like are always, always welcome!