I thought my kidneys were working just fine. According to my rheumatologist, not so much. Like many people who have had lupus for a long time, I assumed that if after 18+ years of living with this disease, whatever bad stuff would happen would have already happened. Assuming is never a really smart idea. When my lab tests came back abnormal, I had to pee in a jug for 24 hours and send it off for testing. Ick.
So now I’m going to a nephrologist later this week to learn more about lupus nephritis, which is possibly the culprit that has decreased my kidney function and thrown my laboratory studies out of whack.
I hate it when that happens.
The thing is, I know absolutely NOTHING about kidney disease. I’m well versed about skin disorders, gastrointestinal disease, heart conditions, and a bunch of other stuff, but understand zero, zip, nada when it comes to those bean-shaped filters. That will all change by the end of this week.
One of my brothers will be going with me to see this doctor. I’m very grateful for his support and medical knowledge, as he is a nurse. Otherwise, I would probably be sitting through the appointment in a fugue state, hearing the doctor say “Blah, blah, blah kidney. Blah, blah, blah ultrasound. Blah, blah, blah biopsy. Blah, blah, blah come back in 6 weeks.” That’s pretty much how I’m currently coping with the situation.
Symptoms of kidney dysfunction are pretty nondescript and vague. Frequently urinating? Check. Blood in urine? Nope. Froth or bubbles in urine? Check. Swollen hands and feet at the end of the day? Of course. I’m female in my mid 50’s … it happens.
For now, the most effective way for me to deal with this new wrinkle in my journey with lupus is to watch the Olympics, go to work, tune in to American Idol this week, get my IVIG infusions every three weeks and continue playing Farmville. In other words, carry on as usual and don’t think about it too much.
I can’t wish this away, so I might as well live my life. Right?
Good thing I’ve met my deductible this year.