Hi all, I have been lurking on here and reading all of the great questions and advice for a long time, but am just about to enter the "adventure" of dialysis so thought it was about time to do a formal intro! I live in San Francisco Bay Area.
I have failing kidneys due to high blood pressure. My grandmother had high blood pressure and died as a result of complications due to kidney failure, so I think this might be a hereditary trait? Poor skinny, little British veins!
I had high blood pressure for a few years, I was on meds, but my primary care physician did not communicate to me that blood pressure can affect kidneys OR that my labs showed progression to kidney failure (they had labs over 3 years clearly showing decline, but no one at my doc's office ever told me!).
Anyway, one day, when my doctor's office started an online patient portal, I had access to my lab #'s and Googled flagged things I had never heard of; creatinine and GFR? Much to my surprise, I discovered I was in Stage 4 kidney failure (29 GFR at that point) --what!?? At that point, it was too little too late. Now I am at 7-8 GFR and about to have PD catheter surgery. I am a frequent biz traveler (and I mean VERY frequent - running through airports on back to back days after a 14 hour work day), and self-employed, so my biggest challenge will be how to survive financially.
My mission in life is to make lemonade out of lemnons. I tell everyone I meet (cab drivers, airport personnel, wait staff, friends, strangers on the bus - everyone!) to CHECK THEIR BLOOD PRESSURE AND ASK FOR RENAL LABS!! If I can save one life, then there is a silver lining to all of this! I am also on a crusade to get every person I know to register as a donor!
I look forward to conversing with others here on the board!