Today was supposed to be an easy day, with a urine test in the morning and plasmapheresis. I had planned to be home by noon. I got home at 4.
Lots of things went wrong, particularly overnight. I had the worst chills overnight...like physically wrecking my body chills. I always sleep with a heating pad now, but that wasn't even making a dent in my coldness. And every time I had to get up to use the restroom I was overcome with chills. Sometime around 2 or 3 am, I started to get very hot. I was pretty sure I had a fever, but didn't confirm it until around 6:00am when I finally dragged myself out of bed because I knew I was never going to go back to sleep.
My stomach hurt, I was nauseous and getting a migraine, so I medicated and laid on my bathroom floor in front of my space heater for a half-hour or so. I'm pretty sure it was the most pathetic site, but I honestly didn't know what to do. I knew that my urine output was drastically reduced, and combine that with the fever I had made me absolutely terrified.
Somehow, and I have no idea how other than sheer willpower, I made the drive to Mayo. When I did my urinalysis, I got REALLY scared. I had easily had over 40 ounces of water by that time, but I only peed about 3 or 4 ounces in the urine sample cup, and it was a strange orange color, like Tang. I went up to plasmapheresis and told the nurses what was going on. They took my vitals and showed that my fever had gone away (I had taken 2 Tylenol on the way to Mayo) but my blood pressure was really low and my heart rate was really high. I just felt so out of it....so totally and completely awful. We decided to proceed with the plasmapheresis, where I was able to get a decent nap in. I also called the kidney transplant team on call to let then know what was going on.
I made it through plasmapheresis without any ill effects, which was a little surprising since I hadn't eaten anything since around 4:00pm the previous day. The nurses up there are pretty familiar with me by now, and they're wonderful. They let me stay in the bed an extra hour after my session was over so I could rest before I went home. In the meantime, the transplant team called and sent downstairs for more blood and urine tests. Then the on-call nephrologist got a hold of the nurses in the lab and had me go up to the 10th floor for a physical examination. It was all such a hassle, but I'm so glad that the doctor took the time to check me out. She determined that I was dehydrated, and contemplated admitting me for fluids (which I totally didn't want to do). Once she got the lab results back, she agreed that I could go home provided I pushed fluids the rest of the night (which I have been). My potassium is high, so she told me to eat some salt to help remove it, and she gave me some sodium bicarbonate pills to take to restore the alkaline balance in my body as it's off right now.
Honestly, none of this is surprising with everything that's going on in my body. The odd thing is that my protein has dropped from 2499 to 450. I'm not even going to both getting excited about it because it'll probably change tomorrow. One thing I DID learn is that thyroglobulin can have the effect of making you feel like you have the flu, which is EXACTLY how I felt overnight. I had thymol before in the hospital, but I was on such high doses of steroids (1000mg) that I didn't even feel a thing. When I had it yesterday, I was only on 60mg of prednisone. So I'm glad to know there was a relatively logical explanation for why I felt so absolutely crappy. I'm also dealing with this upper respiratory thing that's making everything just a little bit more annoying.
#lifeaftertransplant is not for the faint of heart.
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