Wednesday, October 5, 2011

There Has Been A Revolt-An Update

When I left y'all yesterday I had no idea what was going on. That much hasn't changed. What has changed is that we've been able to narrow it down some-hooray!

We went to the doctor yesterday afternoon for the echo cardiogram. The tech lady was so sweet and explained every step of the way. It was so neat to see my heart pumping away on the screen. About 15 minutes into it she saw that one part of my heart (not a clue what it is called) is a little thinner than it should be. To err on the side of caution she decided to do a bubble echo. This required yet another IV. Oof.

Apparently I have very elusive veins that don't like to be poked and prodded very much. The nurse inserted the IV into my right arm only to discover it wasn't flushing and we'd have to try another spot. Awesome. She then decided my hand was the only place she could get a good vein. For those of you who don't know much about IVs, the hand is the most painful place to insert an IV. After inserting it and determining it would flush the bubbles they attempted the bubble echo. Yes, I said attempted, because my lovely veins would not allow the bubbles to flush at the necessary rate. After many tries we finally saw bubbles enter my heart, but not with the strength necessary to complete the test. The cardiologist ended up determining that the thinness was nothing to worry about now and would be assessed again at a later date. Summary of the story: it was a big, fat waste of time. No, no, no I'm not bitter at all!

After we waited for those results we met with my primary physician who filled us in on as much as he could. Turns out the 5cm long cyst on my spleen had nothing to do with any of my symptoms, neither did the irregularity in my heart. What was causing all these bizarre symptoms has to do with my kidneys. Huh?

The MRI showed nothing to be wrong with my organs other than some fluid in my lungs (from my kidneys causing my body to retain water).  My blood tests showed normal functions in my kidneys as well. Which means that all of this is likely some autoimmune condition. I really shouldn't be surprised, we Wardlets have a tendency to end up with the strangest of conditions. The water retention, nausea, weight gain, etc is all due to my lovely kidneys deciding to revolt. He then referred us to a nephrologist (kidney specialist).

Fast forward to this morning. I woke up with my hands puffier than ever and my feet so swollen it hurt to walk. I got out of bed and was short of breath. After looking in the mirror I noticed that my face was joining the ranks of the rest of my body with puffiness (side note: my husband has kindly started referred to me as a Mutant Ninja Turtle thanks to my fat face). I called the Momma and she had me pack a bag for the hospital just in case (spoiler alert: I was not admitted to the hospital) and had me come in to the doctor.

They did more chest x-rays to check on the shortness of breath and saw there was still fluid there. The doctor attributed this to my body retaining water and the fluid entering the "third compartments". He said the shortness of breath is likely due to the rapid weight gain (all the extra fluid). My body just isn't used to carry this much extra around. He then sent us straight to the nephrologist.

The nephrologist was wonderful, or as wonderful as she could be all things considered. As soon as she examined me and heard all my symptoms she ordered more blood work and a kidney biopsy. She also prescribed some diuretics to reduce the swelling. If they don't help me lose some of this extra weight, running back and forth to the bathroom will! Her guess for all this was nephrotic syndrome. A fancy name which just means my kidneys are not happy and have decided to revolt. Pretty exciting, right?

So, where are we now? Well, I have a kidney biopsy scheduled for Friday afternoon to determine what is causing the nephrotic syndrome and what the possible treatment will be. She's mentioned a long list of meds for treatment, one of which is a steroid. Now, I remember when my dear sweet sister turned into a raging bacon-thirsty tyrant on steroids, and I am SO not excited for those. I can only imagine what my level of patience is going to be with my kind husband and sweet children!

Continued thanks for the kind thoughts and prayers! We'll keep you posted as things arise!

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