Sunday, February 3, 2013

December 9 through December 16, 2012 - First Fistula Foible

This post covers December 9 through December 16, 2012, followed by the monthly blog stats. 

December 9, 2012 (Sunday): As previously mentioned in the January 27 post, TUD (The Unknown Donor) was sent a blood pressure monitor to periodically measure blood pressure for 24 hours. TUD put it on yesterday, and circumstances led to Mom going to TUD's house today, not once but twice. TUD was not there the first time Mom came by, so no problem there. But we knew TUD would be there for Mom's second visit because she was invited there for dinner. TUD knew Mom might see it when she came for dinner and was prepared to tell her what was going on if Mom noticed it and asked what it was for. TUD did wear a long sleeve shirt such that it was partially or completely covered. (It goes on the wrist.) Mom didn't stay long for dinner and had a lot on her mind due to some unrelated stuff going on that day, so she didn't notice it.

December 11: Today Mom had a minor surgery done on her fistula, where a balloon-like device was inserted temporarily to expand part of the loop. It was done with a local anesthetic and there were no complications. Supposedly tomorrow at dialysis they’ll use both the fistula and the permacath.

Mom was sick the morning of Wednesday, December 12, so her dialysis was rescheduled for Thursday. They did start using the fistula on Thursday. [And there was much rejoicing.] We learned there are different needle sizes used in fistulas, each a different color. They are starting with the orange needles for her, which I think are the smallest. They also need to reduce the flow rate from 350 to 275 ml/min while using her fistula for now, then gradually increase it.

December 15: I found out TUD received a voicemail from the transplant office informing him that he did not pass the blood pressure test. (Now you know TUD is a male.) The bottom number (diastolic) was always ok, but the top number (systolic) was over 140 too many times during that 24-hour period. We don't know if that rules him out for good as a transplant candidate, or if he can lower it with medication or lifestyle changes and try again. TUD will call them next week to find out.

Mom noticed a little bruising on her right arm on Thursday, which was the first day her fistula was used for dialysis. The bruising continued to get worse on Friday and Saturday. It looks to me like the fistula may be bleeding under the skin. It does get better when she puts ice on it and keeps it elevated. She’s driving to Austin on Sunday and then flying back Sunday night. Hopefully nothing too serious happens before the dialysis clinic sees it on Monday.

December 16 (Sunday): My sister Laura picked Mom up from the airport tonight after Mom flew back from Austin. Laura called me after dropping Mom off and said Mom’s arm looks worse tonight than it did Saturday night. Laura said the bruising is now halfway up her upper arm and halfway down her lower arm. Mom is planning on going to the dialysis clinic first thing Monday morning instead of waiting until her appointment time. She is expecting she’ll be hospitalized. She can still feel the “thrill” on her fistula, which is a good sign since it indicates there is still good blood flow through it.

So they finally start using the fistula for dialysis and appear to have created a major bleeding complication. Will Mom need to be hospitalized right before Christmas to get this taken care of? There never is a dull moment with this dialysis.


Monthly Blog Status Update

Months behind as of January 2013: 3

Months behind as of February 2013: 2

Total posts: 56 (11 in January)

Email subscribers: 3 (Don't worry. I can't see the email addresses used to subscribe, only the count.)

Number of countries that have viewed the blog: 23

New countries that viewed the blog in January:


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