Friday, May 24, 2013

Dialysis Five-O

It's hard to believe my last update on Mom was a month ago. I suppose that is a good sign that the issues are getting further and further apart. So what was happening on the April 24 update? Mom had just gotten the results of a biopsy on a lump on her left breast, which turned out to be benign. And the bump on her abdomen, apparently due to a piece of surgical felt that was intentionally left in place after her peritoneal dialysis catheter was removed, appeared to also be benign at this point with no change. So that's good.

This update starts with some good news. On May 1 Mom found out that her hemoglobin was up to 11, which is the highest it has been in about a year. It has been a real struggle to get her hemoglobin up since some time last summer, when it dipped below 8. This is really good news and she will hopefully have more energy as a result. (After all, 11 is one louder than 10.They are still going to give her Epogen during dialysis, which I assume is to make sure it stays above 10. She is obviously in no danger of iron overload at this point.

Mom and Ed went to Hawaii for two weeks in May with several members of Ed's family. She had dialysis a total of six times while in Hawaii, and there were no issues, thank goodness. Well, there were no dialysis issues, anyway . . .

Remember that bump on her abdomen that seemed benign last month? Shortly after they arrived in Hawaii that bump started swelling, eventually to the point where it looked like a pimple with the diameter of a pencil eraser. (That sounds big and gross, doesn't it? Too bad I don't have any pictures.) It ruptured two days before they left Hawaii and it started draining some pus. Mom put a bandage on it which she changed about four times each day. As of today (May 24) they have been back five days and it only has a minor discharge. On the plus side, that bump is pretty much gone and she doesn't feel it any more under her skin. She does have an appointment next week to have it looked at. Hopefully this discharge is just a one-time occurrence and the surgical felt won't cause any more problems.

Naturally, after having two weeks of dialysis in Hawaii with no issues, her very first dialysis session after returning did not go so well. It began fine, but after about two hours she started having intense pain in her arm. She made them stop dialysis at that point because it was hurting so much. One of the techs suggested one of the needles may have been very close to a nerve, and that is what caused the intense pain to begin so suddenly. We don't know if it was that or they infiltrated the fistula. In any case, she only had two hours of dialysis that Monday, but the dialysis sessions on Wednesday and Friday were fine.

That's about it for now. Nothing too exciting going on unless Mom has to have surgery to remove the surgical felt from her abdomen.

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