Living with CKD

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Post-Op Doctor Apt Update

So I saw the doc today. He said the pain was normal and that it would go away over time. He wants me to exercize my arm and said that it will take 6-9 months to get back to being able to be straightened out completely (right now I can't completely bend my elbow.) He also talked about the squeezy ball and said the squeezing I've been doing has already made an improvement. He said the fistula looked great and better than he originally expected. It's only been 3 weeks but the incision is completely healed and much of the swelling has gone down. He gave me another 30 days of Darvocet to take at night for the pain. He kinda raised his eyebrows at me when I asked for more - which made me feel weird. Its not like I'm going to become addicted to narcotic pain medicine by taking ONE a day every night just so the pain dulls enough for me to sleep. Geeze. Humm... I suppose in this state I could sell them and make some money... LOL just kidding!!!! SO other than that... yeah. Everything is normal. Now to wait for the fistula to mature.

My arm also hurts pretty bad today. My wrist and hand, especially. I'm out of pain medicine (I've only been taking them at night, anyway, so I can sleep and still function during the day) so luckily I go to the post-op appointment tomorrow. I wonder if this is normal... the pain in my forearm, that is. thorngage, any thoughts?

Things on my mind...

I have so many things to write about, but, just haven't found the time to do it. A lot of my life seems all-consuming at the moment, so I'm going to put each topic behind a cut for those of you who care to read... My AV Fistula surgery was nearly 3 weeks ago and my recovery seems to be going as planned. Since my fistula is an upper-arm fistula, I expected that everything from my elbow up would be sore, which hasn't been the case. I've had no pain in my upper arm. The actual surgery site, itself, has never really hurt (except for maybe the first day or two) and it has completely healed. I've been putting Neosporin on it so the scar will be minimal. The "thrill" is strong and I can feel it all the way up into my shoulder now. It gets stronger every day, so I know I'm on the right track to a fully-matured fistula. The one thing I didn't count on, or know about prior to the surgery, is how much pain I would have in my LOWER arm... especially my forearm, wrist and hand. It begins to ache pretty badly by the end of the day from being used at work - typing makes it especially sore. I can't completely straighten out my arm and reaching for things creates a burning sensation. The over-all strength in my arm has also decreased and I've noticed that my grasp isn't as steady (such as when reaching to put away dishes in an overhead cupboard...) Being that my fistula is in my right hand, and I'm right-handed, I can't do much to reduce the amount I'm using my arm. My nephrologist said that the pain is normal due to the lack of blood-flow and oxygen to my lower arm. He said that over time new blood vessels will grow to accommodate what my muscles need that they are now lacking. I go back to see my surgeon this Friday for a post-op follow up. I'm almost out of pain medicine (which I've only been taking right before going to bed so I can sleep) so hopefully he'll give me a little more. In other kidney news: I think I failed to mention that about a month ago my nephrologist decided to switch around my blood pressure medications again. (I forget to write about these things because at this point it happens so often I feel like a walking drug store...) He did this in the hopes that my creatine (measure of kidney loss) would go down a bit. It did. It went from 7.0 to 6.2, quite significant for me at this stage. So, maybe dialysis will be a few more months away, after all. It seems no one knows for sure. I've given up trying to predict...



Thanks to all of you who've been so supportive of me. It really means a lot.... Strange how people you've never met can become so important to you when you start reading about their daily lives. I love all of you *HUGS* Thanks to moobabe for calling last night. Sorry I didn't hear my phone ring. You must've called right as Ken got to my house. He's been gone all week on a business trip so we were cuddling on the couch :) Anyway, I feel much better today.... I think I can get a lot done at work today, too. Oh, and if anyone else ever wants to exchange phone #'s let me know. I'm not really much of a 'talk on the phone a lot' type of person, but I'll give anyone my # who wants it.

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