Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The New Base Line

It's a clear wintry afternoon. The warmth of the sun has given way to shade. Another round of ice and snow is predicted for tomorrow. But it's almost mid-February, and in Dallas, spring is just a few weeks away, though with all the ice we might not have daffodils for Valentine's Day.

And I am ready to be over being depressed by the bout with BK Virus, because I think that depression has been my recent base line. Looking back at my BK experience I can see that I've gone through a classic sequence of the stages of grief.

What are the stages of grief? The Kubler-Ross model was outlined by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross in her 1969 book On Death and Dying. (It's great to know that some of the great visions of 1969 had some validity!)

     Denial:  lasted through diagnosis and early stages of treatment
     Anger:  when treatments didn't work and blood pressure started fluctuating
     Bargaining:  through the end stages of treatment, eradicating the last bit of virus
     Depression:  when I realized that the kidney was not going to heal itself.
     Acceptance: when I accepted the fact that the kidney is not going get better and that I am back to living with Chronic Kidney Disease. Fatigue, swelling, shortness of breath, water retention. All of which leads back to cycles of Anger and Depression.

Which is where I am on this winter day. My last labs were two weeks ago. Creatinine clearance was 3.6, better than the 3.9 of Jan 4. Other numbers corroborated the creatinine clearance. Still a touch anemic, but that's been consistent for the last six months. The good news is that the kidney function seems to be stable. Some variation is to be expected. The suspicion of rejection has been cleared and they don't see the need for a biopsy. That's good news. And my visits are now four weeks apart which is also good news. 

All of the antiviral treatments were expensive and the copays are going to take time to pay off. The deductibles for insurance more than doubled with the new year, so the less I  see the inside of a hospital the easier life will be.

Here's to Stability!!!

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