Friday, February 29, 2008

Update - Gluten Free Blood Tests that I Did!

Today was a ridiculously busy day for me.

Yesterday was my final class for my Intro to Cake Decorating Class. It was design your own cake day. I was quite pleased with my cake and will post pictures from that day tomorrow. Before that as I had mentioned, I had people in my house all day doing what needs to be done in order to get my dialysis machine in here.

When I got home from cake decorating, I went to bed and got up again at 6:15am so I could go to dialysis. Since I had an appointment after dialysis, I had asked Rose (my trainer) to help me set up my machine, which she did. Since I had an appointment after dialysis (a hair braiding appointment to be exact), I planned on just falling asleep during dialysis so that I could be all nice and rested by the time I got to Kim (my hair braider)'s house. Not so.

Just prior to the Rachel Ray show finishing (about 10 minutes to 10am), Fabien, one of the dialysis techs, came to teach me about the water treatment system I'll be getting in my house. It's important to have a water treatment system because there's a lot of stuff in our water that definitely doesn't need to be in a dialysis machine shooting through my system (chlorine, minerals, bacteria, etc). Oh my freakin' goodness....this guy spoke from 9:50 - 11:45 STRAIGHT! I was literally fighting to pay attention/keep my eyes open. It's not like Fabien is unpleasant to listen to, but geez, when you're already exhausted AND on dialysis....it gets tricky! I managed to pay attention enough to be able to answer Fabien's questions, and even to correct him once when he said something wrong! He even said "I guess you're not as tired as you look!"

Yeah he was right. I was WAY tired-er.

Anyhow, when I first got to dialysis and saw Rose setting up my machine, I did a couple of things that she hadn't done yet so that they'd be ready for her, such as drawing the heparin into the syringe, getting my saline syringes ready for cannulation, etc. (Oh, I'm a cannulation PRO now! Yay!) As we set up, she told me that she had spoken to my doctor, Dr. Richardson (he's been away for about 3 weeks.)

There was some talk about me getting IV gravol to take home because I always seem to get nauseated while on dialysis. He didn't like the idea of sending me home with IV gravol. He said it was dangerous, it's never been done (with a home hemo patient is what I assume he means by 'never been done') and would rather I take oral gravol and possibly sleeping pills if the stomach cramps aren't allowing me to sleep. The pills don't work very well for me, and I also don't want to rely on "sleeping pills". I guess that's the way it is and I trust Dr. Richardson's judgement, but I hope he's just saying that because that's how it is and not because he doesn't trust me or something. On top of that, Doc Richardson is also confident that my stomach aches will subside after I start doing home hemo.

In the end though, drugging myself up with gravol everytime I'm on dialysis in the meantime isn't gonna solve the problem. Another doctor that helped me out and answered my questions in Dr. Richardson's absence suggested I do a test to see how my stomach/gastric system was working. Dr. Chan described the test and I told him I was interested. Basically the way this test works is this. I go in for the test, and before the test, they give me breakfast (eggs, toast, etc). The either put something in my eggs (as Dr. Chan said) or they give me something to drink (what another doctor said), then they view my stomach. That liquid which is either in my eggs or the liquid I drink directly has the ability to see how my digestive system is working as viewed by some kind of machine. It is said that some people who are on dialysis have a "lazy bowel/digestive system". This test will help determine if that is the case for me. If so, I'm not sure what the next step is. We'll just have to wait and see.

This test is the best way to go, especially since 4 of my gluten tests have come back and all are negative for a gluten allergy. Bah! There are still a few more left so I'll have to wait and see. Having a gluten allergy would definitely stink, but it would also be nice to get some answers!

Before the "eat some eggs and toast" test, I have to fill out a stomach pain log for 7 days. I have to rate the following questions, 0 being none and 5 being extremely severe:

1. Nausea (feeling sick to your stomach as if you were going to vomit or throw up)
2. Retching (heaving as if to vomit, but nothing comes up
3. Vomiting
4. Stomach fullness
5. Not being able to finish a normal-sized meal
6. Feeling excessively full after meals
7. Loss of appetite
8. Bloating (feeling like you need to loosen your clothes)
9. Stomach or belly visibly larger.


This is gonna be fun! :\

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