Its been two whole months since I got my kidney.
This post is for someone who needs it.
I've known for at least a week that my dialysis fistula (otherwise known as an 'access') was clotting - at least now and not before my transplant!
On my Tues appointment @ LifeLink, my transplant doctor wanted me to get an appointment with my regular kidney doctor by Monday to have my arm looked at. The thought was I would probably need to also see my vascular surgeon for minor surgery to either unclog the veins or tie off the fistula all together (my vote is for the latter)
After two days of my arm getting bigger (twice its normal size around the biggest part of the fistula) and swelling, tingling and general un-comfortableness in my lower arm and wrist, I called my doc's office again and talked to the nurse:
"Is it normal to have my arm hurt like this when my access is clotting off?" I asked.
She said she thought it was pretty normal but would mention it to the doctor. A few hours later the office called back and asked me to come in right away instead of wait until Monday. The verdict?
My access is definitely clotting off. The stent placed under my collarbone last year has probably collapsed, therefore impeding blood-flow out of my giant fistula vein. The fistula is still being fed by the artery in my arm, there's just no where for the blood/fluid to go. THEREFORE
The massive arterial blood-flow its stressing out the smaller veins and blowing out the smallest of them and bulging the others to the max. I have visible veins from my elbow, around both sides of my arm, up over my shoulder, up the back of my neck and down and across my chest. And L@@K at those crazy ones on/around my pit!
Oh, and my access might be infected so I'm on 10 days Keflex 3x day.
I hope when I see my surgeon on Monday he can figure out a quick solution for me so I can get this behind me, and maybe just stop having pain in one place or another all the time...
I had this whole article typed in last night, and low and behold my computer ate it or WordPress is hiding it from me *pout* HOWEVER, I think it contains very valuable information that is not only important to others who, like me, live in Florida, but for anyone interested in organ donation. Please take the time to read it and comment on your opinion!
Florida Governor Vetoes Legislation to Simplify Organ & Tissue Donor Registry
Although a recognized and long-term advocate of organ and tissue donation, Florida Governor Charlie Crist recently chose to veto legislation aimed at easing the process for Floridians to decide to become organ and tissue donors.
The bill, which unanimously passed the State's House and Senate in May, planned to allow individuals to sign up as organ and tissue donors from any computer, as opposed to the current process which requires visiting a driver license office or mailing a form to the Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA).
The Florida Organ and Tissue Donor Registry was one of the first of its kind in the nation back in 1995, but has been criticized as outdated and technologically obsolete. The new registry would have been managed and maintained by Donate Life of Florida, a statewide consortium of organ, tissue and eye recovery organizations and others interested in educating the public about the importance of donation. Plans included funding in part by voluntary contributions to the Donor Education Trust Fund; there were no plans to include funds from the state's general revenue.
Prior to the veto, State Senator Steve Oelrich (whos own son was a life-saving donor) championed the legislation along with Representative Larry Cretul. With more than 3,000 Floridians waiting for life-saving transplants, the effort quickly became a bi-partisan priority.
Donate Life of Florida, with the support of AHCA and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, sought to take on registry management in an effort to increase registered donors in Florida from 4,000,000 - about 30% of Florida's driving population - to 7,000,000 within the next year. This goal, part of a national push to increase registered organ donors and save the lives of more than 95,000 Americans currently awaiting transplants, remains a focus for Donate Life Florida while the organization regroups to readdress legislative challenges.