So on Monday I went to clinic. You may see my status tagging myself at The Royal in Liverpool but maybe don’t fully understand the clinic process. I’ll give you a rundown.
The preparation starts at 5am on a Sunday morning for Mondays clinic. From 5am on Sunday – 5am on Monday I collect all my wee. Yup a full 24 hours worth of wee (really does take the piss.) It isn’t the nicest of things to do and is tying as I don’t want to take my jug out in public. I usually block the day off and don’t go far from home.
Monday morning around 9am I head up to The Royal Liverpool (where I had my transplant in 2008) this is about half an hour from my house. I aim to arrive before all the old people get to the blood room off the 9.30am bus!
I take a ticket (like one on a deli counter or Clark’s shoe shop) and wait my turn. I leave my 24 hour urine sample in the blood room and have my bloods taken. It’s usually around 5 vials and my veins aren’t the best so sometimes it’s a struggle. Blood tests are taken to discover my GFR and creatinine are as well as the measure the balance of other things in my blood such as potassium/sodium. My tacrolimus level is also measured (before I take my 10am dose) to ensure this is correct.
Bloods done they get sent off along with my urine to be analysed and looked at by my consultant. The same day they are also accessible to me online via a service called Renal Patient View.
We had enough time to pop over the road to a cafe for breakfast this morning and then headed back to the clinic to see the consultant. There’s always a wait but I can’t complain because more recently I’m the one that’s causing the delays for the other patients.
You check in, give your name at the desk and get called into a little room by the nurse to be weighed. I try and take as many clothes as I can off to get my weight down (although this doesn’t work when you have major fluid retention!) I then have to provide them with a small test tube water sample which is analysed instantly and in my case shows blood and protein, but it is also useful to determine whether there is any sign of a water infection with immediate results.
Then it’s a waiting game for the consultant or registrar to call you in. Luckily today there were a few of my old dialysis buddies that I hadn’t seen in a while so catching up with them soon passed the time.
I got called in by the registrar who I’ve seen a few times. He talked about how I was feeling etc, he took my blood pressure and decided to up my water tablet (furosemide) to 80mg to help with my fluid retention.
We talked about vascular access for dialysis and making a new fistula in the near future, he had a quick look at the veins in my arms and organised a vascular vein mapping scan on both arms to see which would be best. We decided that on first choice left would be ideal as I am right handed, also the prospect of having to put a graft in (artificial plastic fistula) may have to be a possibility.
I also told the registrar about the pains in my back and stomach, he examined me and decided that a scan would be useful as he is concerned it may be gallstones (as the pain is particularly bad on eating).
We are waiting for my results from today particularly my Bicarbonate to see if I can start an ACE-inhibiter.
I am back for more bloods and clinic in two weeks and in the meantime awaiting the two scans (vascular access and ultrasound on stomach).
It was jointly decided that I should cancel the scan on my transplanted kidney as this is unlikely to show anything different from what we already know.
Im still feeling pretty rough in myself and hardly a day goes by that I am not in need of an afternoon nap.