Christian's Monthly Appointments
If you follow me on my social media, you know I am always at Kaiser doing blood tests and having monthly meetings with my Peritoneal Dialysis team. Each month, I need to take a blood test. They usually take 6-8 vials of blood from me. This is to check my A1C1, glucose, phosphorus, calcium, kidney function, sodium, and a few other things. Then a few days after my test, I meet with my PD team.
My PD consists of a meeting with my nephrologist, my PD nurse, a dietitian, and my social worker. When I get there, they take my weight, temp, blood pressure to see if I am retaining water. The nurse checks more of my vitals and reviews some important dialysis training. We usually go over how to travel while on dialysis, how to avoid infections, reordering my supplies, how to identify when to add heparin to solutions, etc.
The next person to come visit is my nephrologist. They usually go over my lab work with me and talk about how I can improve my treatment. During my last appointment, we had to discuss adjusting my insulin to have some lower A1C1 numbers. My doctor usually checks in with me to also find out how I am dealing with my dialysis.
The dietitian is the next person to visit me for my meeting. They also review my labs with me and figure out ways to improve my diet. Being on dialysis, I often either lose too many nutrients or have too much in my blood. So my diet is very strict. I have to reduce my phosphorus, which is found in dairy, nuts, legumes, chocolate, soy. Having a high phosphorus can lead to bone deterioration and muscle weakness. I also need to control my calcium intake because it can damage my heart.
The last person I usually speak with is my social worker. The social worker talks to me about how I’m dealing with my dialysis and my relationships with people. This is very helpful because it’s very therapeutic. She helps me deal with all my issues that arise and even suggested writing all my thoughts down (one of the reasons for this blog). She also helps with any paper work that I need to deal with like disability and insurance.
I made many friends at the PD department and they all have been very supportive about my situation. They cheer me on and really encourage me to keep fighting and keep positive thoughts.
As much help as the team has been with me on this journey, it will be a bittersweet moment when I visit one last time to give them an update post kidney transplant surgery. Their help has been so impactful and I will forever be thankful in making sure I’m as healthy as I can be dealing with ESRD.
”Your illness doesn’t define you. Your strength and courage does.” - unknown