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Count Blessings

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The past 30 days have been so busy. Sometimes when so much is wrong it is hard to count blessings. On March 20th my husband had what is called A-V fistula creation surgery. That was done to start developing a means for one type of dialysis. We have known for 10 years that he was in renal failure and has now reached what is called end stage renal failure. Now is the time to begin preparing him for dialysis that he was told could and would someday happen when he reached 20% or less kidney function. It takes at least 6-8 months or longer for the fistula to reach the stage of development that is best, but can be used earlier. This doesn't just effect my husband because there is a lot I have to learn also.

You may wonder about the title of this blog. Well Zack has had 10 years not on dialysis and there have been some advancements in treatment for other things wrong with both of us. We have built a support group in those years to be with us through a lot of stuff.We have a great church family and through CMA (Christian Motorcyclist Association) a worldwide family and more.

Yesterday we went back to where I graduated from High School for what is called the Annual Alumni gathering and banquet for anyone with any connection to the school. The town and the school are getting smaller in number of people now. The 50 year class are the honored class and my sister was this years President and planned the program. My 50 year class was two years ago. Some years ago they started electing someone from the 50 year class to be honored to first serve as vice president and the move up to president. It was a reminder of that even from a very small town of what was a little over 900 when I graduated and now is half of that, can go on to leave a mark that will be remembered for generations to come and people will remember there was such a place as Sparkman, Arkansas. Lots of high school coaches came from theree and the was a girls basketball team from the 1920's that are still talked about and a member in Arkansas' sports Hall of Fame. Lots became educators and member of all kind of medical fields came from there. Mine being in Radiology.

No matter how bad things get most people can remember a blessing at sometime in their life if they will only try. It is amazing how much even a smile can be to someone.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VONBLACKBIRD 4/22/2014 10:54AM

    Praying for you Mary Ann. And you shouldn't have to worry about SP while all this is going on..Take care of yourself too besides your hubby. emoticon

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MSLZZY 4/21/2014 10:24AM

    I know and understand what you are saying. DH had a severe medical event last week Saturday night and it was a doozie. Thankfully I was home when it happened or who knows how it would have turned out. A whole new set of rules and conditions to be met but at least I can still nag at him. Life is what it is so move forward knowing you can do it. HUGS!

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Today was warmer. This morning I was sort of dragging but got some things done, then this afternoon went to the fitness center for an hour and then when I got home I worked 30 minutes outside. I'm getting back to where I want to exercise not make excuses not to go. My husband and I are encouraging each other. His back was really bothering him so cut workout a little short.

Outside I trimmed back the dead stuff in some flower pots that line my front steps and across the small porch. and swept some leaves out of a flower bed. One I need to wait a few more weeks before I do much because I don't want to walk on some plants that are coming up but not quite whre I can see them enough.

Tomorrow supposed to be colder and maybe rainy so nothing outside tomorrow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 2/27/2014 11:42PM

    No way am I going to be going out at this time of year. We still have too much snow to even think about it. But I have hopes it warms up and stays warm so my tulips don't freeze again this year. Enjoy the outdoors as much as you can.

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MNABOY 2/27/2014 10:41PM

    It is freezing here now. My back gives me fits when I don't walk each day. It bothers me all the time but it gets my attention when I lay off walking/hiking or loosening it up. Maybe yoga will work too.

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Preparing for my husband to start dialysis is Scary

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

It is a little scary about what is to come. Seems like the more I read the more real and scary it gets. Yesterday my husband visited the dialysis center that is located here. It is a Di Vita Center. and brought home some literature. There will be meeting at the dialysis center on February 28th that the nurse who is in charge of the in home dialysis is having. Then March 6th the day after meeting with surgeon that will begin the fistula in his arm we will be seeing a 45 minute video about the different types of dialysis. His kidney doctor says that peritoneal dialysis would be great for him if it could be done here. He will probably get prepared for both types of home dialysis. with the center also.

When we first learned of his kidney failure 10 years ago and that someday he would probably be on dialysis it would have been 75-80 miles to the nearest center. Zack's kidney failure is due to a blockage of his urine flow by an enlarged prostate his doctor never checked out any thing but his prostate. I discovered a problem with his urinary tract by accident when I used his a a test person when the Radiology department where I worked got a new ultrasound machine and I was the one doing weekend and call Ultrasound coverage.

Zack has never been on a special diet. He was just to eat healthy, continue with his exercising regularly, keep his weight and blood pressure down, not become a diabetic like his mother and all his aunts..

Due to an injury to his ankle and his back getting reeally bad and developing atrial fib he got out of his regular exercise he gained weight. He has lost 60 pounds in the last year and when he had two emergency surgeries last year he did get down to his goal weight but he has gained back 10 pounds he wants to loose. I want to another 35 pounds that I gained while on steroids for 3 years after I developed a rare disease. I have lost 15 pounds but could kick myself because I had lost another 5 ponds last October-November when he was so sick from his surgeries.

I did register him on Di Vita's website for information. I think the diet and nutrition part is sort of scary and the part I will have to learn as his care partner. We already know that when he actually;y starts dialysis that one of his cardiac medicines will have to be changed probably unless there has been research on it's use with dialysis patients, because when he started it there hadn't been.

Also there is a very expensive medicine that he now has to take for his Ulcerative Colitis that medicare part D (insurance has now denied any part of payment and it is $1438 for 3 months. We thought the $660 our part was high last year. The kidney doctor thinks he needs this one instead of the one he was staking that insurance paid in full. We wonder about the need for the expensive one when he starts dialysis.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDA! 2/21/2014 2:34PM

    Sending prayers. emoticon

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MSLZZY 2/19/2014 10:48AM

    So many unanswered questions. Stay strong and get all the information you need. HUGS!

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TRAVELGRRL 2/18/2014 5:25PM

    Health problems are the worst. HUGS to you, hoping for the best.

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VONBLACKBIRD 2/18/2014 4:32PM

    I am praying for you both.

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ALFBUNDY 2/18/2014 4:24PM


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JUNEBUG4967 2/18/2014 1:42PM

    Wow, that is really scary! I will keep you and DH in my prayers.

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IDLETYME 2/18/2014 12:51PM

    Sending hugs and prayers to you and your DH. I would sure explain to the doctor about the terrible cost of the new medicine not being covered and see how REALLY necessary it is. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Changes in Routine

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Last night was a meeting of A Craft Guild I have been a member of for about 15 years. We had a Craft Shop where we members rented booths and volunteered to get $5. off our booth rent. The numbers of us who would keep the store open has dwindled and expenses and repairs have really been bad. I have volunteered 1-2 days a week for many years. I would use that day to work on my crafts. Last night it was voted to close that shop. The Guild will continue and continue to put money into what is a building fund and look for a newer building where there would be less repairs. Everything we had looked at was too expensive to rent.

Now I have 1-2 days more to work on my own craft rooms. There will still be craft shows and also I have put my name on a list to get a booth in what is called Mena Flea Market but this is a very neat clean place that has really nice stuff and not like a lot of flea markets. There are some booths there that have handmade items but many other items. There is a long waiting list there. The people who own the building also own vacant building next door to expand.

Now I have those days that I can have more days to go with my husband to the fitness center and we want to make a really long trip this late spring or early summer to Arizona, Oregon and Washington state to see my husband's children and grandchildren before he has to start dialysis.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VONBLACKBIRD 2/13/2014 6:06PM

    That is so sad the craft cottage is closing. It is hard to sell handmade things today too. I am not physically able to do the craft shows and got burned trying to do a booth at a shop once so I'm afraid to step into something like that anymore. I am thinking of maybe selling more online on etsy instead. I have sold a little there but just have not worked it like I should to push it more. So maybe this is the year to do that.

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MSLZZY 2/13/2014 12:47PM

    That is kind of sad but opens your days to doing things you love. Enjoy the free time and see where it leads. HUGS!

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Back to fitness routine

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Today and this week I will start back to my full exercise routine with my husband at the fitness center. Also this week I want to finish or work on what I'm setting up as my at home exercise workout area.

As was mentioned in comments to my last blog there are reasons to get regular medical attention. My deciding to exercise with my husband regularly did do more than just try to get fit. By going to the ER because of the severe chest pain while exercising it was discovered that I had another medical condition that could have lead to some very bad things, like a bleeding ulcer. I have to see a doctor regularly ever 3-4 months because of a rare disease I developed in 2007. Sometime in less time than that. Right now I was back to 6 weeks apart because my BUN , creatine and potassium levels were up on my regular lab in December but my next appointment wasn't for 5 weeks. I also wouldn't have been checked for H.palorii as part of that unless I had gotten worse.

So actually exercise has helped both my husband and I. My husband has always tried to be physically fit but due to some medical issues and other things he had gained weight in the last few years. Ten years ago I accidentally discovered what led to his diagnosis of renal failure and now facing dialysis but being physicality fit has helped him' He has now lost most of the weight he gained (60 pounds) , has not become a diabetic when his mother and aunts were all diabetics. I was on steroids for 3 years and got out of the exercise routine I had before I got sick.

Regular exercise is now a must for me. I have high blood pressure but for me it wasn't because of my weigh (hereditary), I have high cholesterol and high triglycerides but can no longer take the medicine to control it. My liver functions started being high and now I have had to quit taking one of my blood pressure Rx that had a diuretic in it because my kidney functions got abnormal (they have been borderline for years) , they started going down after taking the med every other day for 6 weeks and now I am not taking any regularly. I have my next labs in 2 weeks. I did have to start taking another BP Rx because the other two Rx can't be increased.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 2/11/2014 5:15PM

    Sounds complicated but you know what to
do and seem to stay on top of things. Not
everyone pays attention to what their body
is telling them. Hope you get to feeling better
all the time.

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JUSGETTENBY42 2/11/2014 9:48AM


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