Wednesday, March 10, 2010

World Kidney Day

I've been quiet...I've been busy. It takes a LOT of energy to keep up with Matthew now. :) And we've been getting over a tummy bug. And who knew that a 24 hr bug could last 5 days in someone that was immunosuppressed? Now I know! Man, that was a LOT of puke. blech! Thursday will be a big day for us. We have clinic and Matthew's prograf levels and creatinine will be tested - with big hopes of lower values on each. (With dehydration and a 10% loss of body weight, the very medicines that help him to keep his kidney can kill his's a fine line). Thursday is also a big day in other regards: World Kidney Day!! does this affect you? Well, have you checked in with YOUR kidneys recently? I didn't think so. The goal of World Kidney Day (as stated on
# Raise awareness about our "amazing kidneys"
# Highlight that diabetes and high blood pressure are key risk factors for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
# Encourage systematic screening of all patients with diabetes and hypertension for CKD
# Encourage preventive behaviors
# Educate all medical professionals about their key role in detecting and reducing the risk of CKD, particularly in high risk populations.
# Stress the important role of local and national health authorities in controlling the CKD epidemic. Health authorities worldwide will have to deal with high and escalating costs if no action is taken to treat the growing number of people with CKD. On World Kidney Day all governments are encouraged to take action and invest in further kidney screening.
Oh you don't have diabetes or high blood pressure? GREAT! Neither do I! Guess what? I have stage two kidney disease. I've had ONE UTI, that caused ONE kidney infection. One NASTY kidney infection that I kept explaining the fever due to sinus infections, the back pain to my college bookbag and working 12 hour shifts at the hospital on my feet, the fatigue due to getting 4-5 hrs of sleep nightly trying to get all of my classwork done while staying up on the phone with my boyfriend. Yeah, I still don't have high blood pressure; I still don't have diabetes. I've passed glucose tolerance tests in pregnancy; I've never passed protein in my urine. Technically...I should have healthy kidneys. I don't. All due to an infection from when I was 19 years old, and passed twin kidney stones. That was a fun day!
So just for the fun of's not fun but it will lead to MORE fun in your future if you find out...make an appointment with the doc. Pee in a cup, expose a vein, and put a cuff around your upper arm. Just to check.
I thank God for Matthew. I never would have known. Now I take supplements and follow a better diet to preserve kidney function. Mine are working at 82% and I've got a long way and a long time before they get bad...if they ever do. But it is peace of mind knowing. It helps me plan for the future. It makes me do research and gain knowledge. It allows me to spread the word about how awesome kidneys are and how often they are taken for granted.
Have you checked your kidneys lately? Maybe its time.
Happy World Kidney Day to all of my kidney friends and family!!

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