Friday, April 18, 2008

Blood Pressure

I have been worried about Gail's mood. I know that she is only 3 1/2 weeks out from surgery, but she is very low energy and not her usual cheerful self. We have adjusted one of her meds to counteract a drug interaction we know about, and that has been a little bit helpful.

Then I thought maybe her energy was low because she red blood cell count was low. Often when she was on dialysis she would start getting very low energy when her blood count was low. They would put her on ProCrit, and she would perk up again. So we went in to see one of her very nice nephrologists to get her set up for ProCrit in case her blood count was low. But when we were there, her latest blood work showed that her blood count was in the low/normal range. So that doesn't appear to be a problem right now.

But the doctor was just checking her over before we left, and her blood pressure was only 70 over 40! She was fine, not dizzy or anything, but the blood pressure needs to be high enough to ensure that the pancreas is getting good blood flow. The doctor recommended that she be admitted to the hospital overnight to get a saline drip. Gail did NOT want to do this, and I could see she was getting ready to dig her heels in. So I suggested that we go out to the waiting room, get her a big ol' bag of Cheetos and a lot of fluids and let her tank up. Then we could check her pressure in an hour or so.

Fortunately, this worked, and we were able to go home. We went back in to check it this morning, and it was OK.

It looks like her new kidney is doing its job really well, and she may not need so much blood pressure medication. Anything we can do to reduce the amount of medications she is on would be a very good thing.

And maybe low blood pressure has been contributing to her low energy level.

It is hard for me to gauge whether I am just impatient for her to get well, or if her energy level and affect really are being negatively affected by something. We are going back to UCSF for transplant clinic on Tuesday, so we will discuss all these things with them then.

As for me, I am very tired. Work is overwhelming, and it is very hard to spend an entire unplanned morning at the doctor's office when I needed to be at work.

If I can just make it through June....

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