Monday, March 18, 2013

It's Not Just a River ...

Ignorance is bliss.  Before I tell you what's going on today ... I'm going to tell you a story ...

I was diagnosed with PKD when I was twenty.   At the time, they gave me all sorts of information ... but, to be honest, I didn't absorb most of it.   Telling a twenty year old that she'll be on dialysis when she's fifty doesn't convey urgency ... it basically says ... "Relax!  You've got years before you have to deal with this. Have some more tequilla!"

And so I spent the next fifteen years going to various kidney doctors.  I was told to have yearly check-ups and I tried to comply.   They always said the same thing ... your kidneys are doing fine.   That was it.   I saw a dozen different doctors and they all said ... your kidneys are doing fine.

Then one day I was sent to a young doctor.  My old nephrologist had retired and they assigned me the new kid in town.  He read over my yearly blood test results and casually said ... "Your function is around 60%."  I was stunned ... 60%?   Where had the other 40% gone?  I started crying a little ... and he looked shocked.  "Why are you upset?  60% is good!" he assured me.   I told him that no one had ever told me an actual number ... and he gave me the best advice a doctor has ever given me ... ask questions.

Ignorance was bliss ... I'd gone 15 years with doctors telling me "your kidneys are doing fine" and for all those years I was happy as a clam.  It's true ... knowing a specific number did force me to take my condition more seriously ... but it certainly didn't make me any happier.

I told you that story ... to tell you this story ...

Springfield Clinic has been on my ass to sign up for FollowMyHealth™.  Every couple months I get an e-mail reminding me that I could see all my medical information in the comfort of my own home if I would just sign the hell up.   So ... today I did.  Ugh ... I should've left well enough alone.

Several months ago, I had an ultrasound done to look at my renal arteries.  While they were checking blood flow, they also measured my kidneys.  A normal, healthy kidney is about 10 cm.   My right kidney is 19.8 cm ... and my left kidney is 18.6 cm.   So basically ... from boobs to hips ... I'm all kidney.   Ugh ...

Let's not say I'm short ... let's say I'm ... fun sized.  And being fun sized, I don't have a lot of room for excess organs.   It's disheartening to learn I've got nearly 20 cm of kidney on both sides.   I knew they were big, don't get me wrong ... but with an actual number, you can get out a ruler and see just how big they are. And before you ask ... yes ... that's exactly what I did.

Ignorance is bliss ... and from now on, I'm going to assume that I'm probably better off not knowing ...

You're fooling yourself if you don't believe it
You're kidding yourself if you don't believe it
Get up, get back on your feet
You're the one they can't beat and you know it
Come on, let's see what you've got
Just take your best shot and don't blow it

Styx - Fooling Yourself

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