In which I get a little TMI and may (will) overshare.
We got a new cleaning person at work and he is a cleaning machine. Like, you walk into work and your eyes tear from the smell of product. There a little vacuum lines on the floor! The door handle gleams! If I were a bird I would probably bang into the windows because they are oh so clear.
So when I would use the facilities at work, I was duly impressed at the amount of bubbles following my deposit. This dude is cleaning BAE! But then at home, where my family and I are not quite cleaning BAEs, I would notice that after I used the loo, the result would look like foam from the ocean.
During this time I was having some stomach issues…feeling sick, not able to keep food down, hungry but no appetite and decided that I should probably make, and keep, an appointment for a physical.
I kept my appointment – self care yo – and went on with life thinking Dr. B would call me, tell me to lose weight, watch my diet, we would gossip about our kids and make plans to get together (knowing full well that that we know we were not even going to pretend to keep said plans. But Dr. B KEPT calling and messaging me through the online medial advisor and I *knew* something was afoot. After an epic round of phone tag she gave me the news.
Guess what has two thumbs, locs and kidney disease…this gal here!
The familial diagnosis of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis is now mine.
What the heck does THIS mean?
“Focal” means that some of the glomeruli in the kidneys become scarred. Others remain normal. “Segmental” means that only part of an individual glomerulus is damaged. Glomerulosclerosis refers to scarring or hardening of the glomeruli — blood vessels located in the kidneys. The glomeruli filter the blood as it passes through the kidneys. They remove waste fluids that then leave the body as urine. Which is why my pee was all foamy…large amounts of protein from my blood leak into the urine rather than remaining in the bloodstream.
I went from being able to arrogantly check off “healthy-ish” on forms to having high blood pressure (grr!), high cholesterol (double grr cause cheese!), and taking way more medication daily than this woman feels she should.
Meeting with the specialist was a curious affair. I can remember going to a few appointments with my mom and hearing the words that were then being applied to her now referring to me.
- High Blood Pressure.
- Low sodium diet.
- Loss of kidney function.
It’s been a whirlwind of appointments, blood draws and poking and prodding. I have been more intimate with medical professionals in the last few weeks and let’s just say that I can consider why people just decide “Nuts to it!” when they are repeat visitors to medical centers.
This diagnosis is raw. So far the new normal is a regiment of drugs that make me cringe when I set it up in the AM. And then there is the change in diet: no added salt and REALLY reading labels. With The Bee’s dairy allergy we would always take time to read labels but now it’s like a whole new mission to find the perfect storm of great taste, low sodium and dairy free.
Other things: Being tired way more than I realized. Naps at 5pm are my jam.
The bathroom is still my friend. Just allow this statement and move on.
I am swollen! I retain water like it’s my job!
This is not the end.
With my mom and aunt, they worked so hard to hide their illness at times and why? My family loves a secret but this is not anything that has to be steeped in shame or whispered. I am not asking for your pity (although I may ask you to lift things for me because sick) and I don’t mind talking about it.
And yes. It’s now ALL about me so you will be hearing all of the kidney talk as I learn and come to understand this life.
So from foamy deposits to less salt intake. Lots of education ane learning, some tears and I am sure adjusting to a new norm.