96) Phooey on Phosphorous

January 30, 2007

Before El Milagro:
I have been rushing around all day preparing for a trip to Fredricksberg for February 1st and thinking that tomorrow is February 1st until it finally dawned on me that there are 31 days in January and my trip isn’t until the day after tomorrow. So, all of a sudden I don’t have anything pressing to do. Okay. So, I guess I’ll just complete myself an Organ/Tissue Donor Card, which I’ve been asking my readers to do but I haven’t myself done. I am sticking that card in my wallet, announcing that I will donate tissue (gesundheit!) and all my functioning organs, which would be my eyes and liver and heart basically. Liz says she’ll complete the card I printed for her too. There. I am now a donor.

El Milagro: I’m here and seem to be the last one arriving for my shift. Matt cannulates me and we discuss Osama Bin Laden and how he handles his dialysis. According to Matt, he is doing peritoneal* which means he has to do it several times a day and the process is much more touchy as far as getting infections, so we wonder how he is able to keep from getting infected since he is probably in less than adequate situations, like being in a dirty cave. Matt heard that Bin Laden has a cadre of physicians that care for him but it still seems like it would be very difficult to be on the lam and on dialysis.

Jennifer the Dietician reported to me that my last blood work shows that my phosphorous is back up to a dangerously high 7.9 so it is time to experiment with another binder. What does dangerously high mean you might wonder? Well, “some of the serious effects of hyperphosphatemia are: 1) bone disease (bones lose calcium leaving them brittle and weak); 2) Calcifications and mineral deposits in body (lungs, joints, eyes, heart, and skin); and 3) Cardiovascular problems (heart disease and stroke).”** So far the only symptom I have at times is itching and it comes and goes.

J the D wants me to 1) put away my Renagel 800’s for awhile; 2)take one chewable Fosrenol*** in the middle of each meal; and 3) continue to take 3 Phoslo at the beginning of each meal. Hopefully this new regimen will bring the phosphorous numbers down to acceptable (3.5 – 5.5). Of course, this means purchasing one more very expensive medication….. arghhhhhh!

After Jennifer leaves me, I am bummed out and lethargic and spend the rest of my session dozing and losing myself in NPR’s All Things Considered**** in my earphones. Nebraska’s recent difficulties over their state song brings me out of the doldrums… and I notice suddenly that it is about 7:30 and I’ve slept through Marketplace. I switch earphones to my TV set and begin to watch Law & Order for the remainder of my session. So it goes.

Notes: In at 75.9 and out at 72.8 Kgs.
* Natl. Kidney & Urologic Disease Clearinghouse (2006) Treatment methods for kidney failure: Peritoneal dialysis. Retrieved online January 31 from
**About high phosphorous levels available online at
***Fosrenol info available online at
****All Things Considered available online at

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