February 16th, 2014

weight, beauty, body

On feeling physically vulnerable, even when I'm doing okay emotionally

I've been having increasingly frequent (and increasingly severe) nausea again the last 2 or 3 weeks. I've also been feeling exhausted with increasing frequency and severity.

Yesterday I had severe nausea around noon (when I was with Lisa, but before we had lunch) and again in the late evening. I "napped" 3-5 p.m. and 6:30-8:30 p.m., then "went to bed" for the night at 10:30 p.m. It was ridiculous. Just as I was doing a couple months ago, I was basically only getting up for meals or social events.

On Valentine's Day (Friday), I had nausea a few times here and there, kind of randomly scattered around & not too bad, but it became really terrible in the late evening (always my worst time for nausea). Thankfully, I still enjoyed our Valentine's Day outing (take-away dim sum, watching the sunset at Jack London Square, and seeing the movie Winter's Tale, which I loved and thought was stunningly gorgeous, with amazing directing), but I felt really horrible later.

Like I said, it's been coming on slowly over the past 2 or 3 weeks, such that I hardly noticed at first, but now I'm back to munching on candied ginger periodically, which I only do when the nausea is making me really miserable. Blech.

So I guess it's a good thing I kept my appointment with the GI doc.

Also, my cataract seems to be getting much worse. I constantly feel a bit off kilter, vaguely disoriented, because I'm getting such different messages from my two eyes: nearly perfect vision from the right eye (because it's corrected well by my glasses) and terrible blurriness and glare from the left eye. I may in fact be legally blind in my left eye now, even with my glasses. It makes me nervous riding my bike, because I'm afraid a car or pedestrian or cat or squirrel or something will come at me from the left side, and I'll see either a vague blur or nothing at all.

I've wondered if the cataract (or, rather, the disconcerting vision differential between one good eye and one terrible eye) and the nausea could be related, but I've found no evidence of this phenomenon on the Internet.

I'm considering phoning my optometrist to ask him if he could take a look at my cataract. He told me 6 months ago that it seemed to be growing fast enough that it should be large enough to remove in a year or two, but it's so terrible at this point that I wonder if it's large enough now. I wonder if it's growing more quickly than he realized, because he hadn't actually seen me in 2 years, so he would have no idea how long it had been growing to get to its state 6 months ago, and therefore no idea of its growth rate.

In other health news, I've heard from my nephrologist, and she wants to talk to me tomorrow afternoon on the phone re: the most recent lab results and my questions about what they mean about my renal past, present, and future: stuff like why have things changed for no apparent reason & what does it mean when my consuming nothing but salt for 4 days brings the scary numbers back down & what do I need to do going forward to keep my numbers down when eating that much sodium isn't reasonable in the long term.

My body sucks. But I'm trying to treat it lovingly, with care and protectiveness, since it isn't only emotionally that I need those things.

Questions for Slippery Nephrologist

I'll be talking on the phone with the nephrologist on Tuesday, so I'm trying to come up with some clear, concise questions that I absolutely will not let her get away with not answering. She isn't great (understatement) about actually answering my questions, so I need to come up with a plan for how to deal with this communication problem in the short term ... until I can get referred to a new nephrologist in March.

Current Kidney Questions

1. The amount of sodium in my everyday diet has not changed since August, but now is not enough to keep my kidney numbers down. What could have caused this change?

Expectation: She will go off on a description of dehydration and how it's causing these bad numbers.

Response: Reiterate the question "What could cause this kind of change?" until she has answered it.

2. Should we expect that this new need for huge amounts of sodium will be permanent?

Expectation: She will go off on a description of dehydration and how it causes these bad numbers.

Response: Reiterate the question "Should we expect that this is permanent, or is it likely to go away?" until she has answered it.

3. If it won't go away on its own, is there something we can do to fix it?

Expectation: She will go off on a description of dehydration and how it requires a balance between water intake and sodium intake.

Response: Reiterate the question "Is there anything we can do to fix my body's need for this huge amount of sodium?" until she has answered it.

4. If it's likely to be permanent, how can I eat a healthy diet while keeping my kidney numbers relatively healthy?

Expectation: She will go off on a discussion of dehydration and how I need to get a better balance of sodium and water.

Response: Reiterate the questions "How can I eat a healthy diet without worsening my kidney numbers?"

The conclusion of the Valentine's Day weekend

A wonderful end to our Valentine's weekend today. Shannon and I biked about 12 miles round-trip up to the southern edge of Richmond / northern edge of El Cerrito and had lunch at Carrow's. We were able to bike most of the way along the off-street Ohlone Greenway, which had been under construction for about 2 years, and so it was lovely to be able to use it again.

Tonight we get to watch the final episode of this season of "Downton Abbey," and I'm really hoping that none of the major characters die or get put in prison.

I'm still exhausted & slept for 2 or 3 hours after we got home from our bike ride, but I'm trying to stay up until I can reasonably go to bed, maybe around 10:30 or 11. That would still be at least 2 hours before Shannon goes to bed, but it's better than falling asleep at 6 or 7.