Monday, February 16, 2015

Never ask, "How are you?" (Someone might actually tell you!)

Ewk!  That awkward moment when you nonchalantly pass someone and ask, "hey, how are you doing?"  You, of course, expect the normal "fine, and you?" response.

But have you ever had someone stop you and say, "I'm glad you ask.  Oh my gosh, I've had so many problems.........blah blah blah."  Did you really mean to ask that?  Or did you simply use "how are you" as a standard greeting?

A good test of this is to go to a state convention.  I just returned from the annual big brand state convention in Tourist Town, Texas, having stayed indoors for 3 days at Shady Pines Resort . . . sort of prepares me for my future assisted living days, but oh well, it was as nice a hotel "resort" as there is around anywhere.

This place was so spread out, it reminded me of the Greater Houston Area where you can drive for 2 hours and still be in Houston!  I walked from one end to the other.  And with Stage 5 Kidney Failure, this is no minor feat!

"Oh, how am I doing?"  "I'm glad you asked!"  (Now is the time you can safely click to another screen because I'm about to tell you.  But when you're face-to-face with someone, you have to -- albeit painful -- listen to their crap.)

OK, so here's my list, directly from the internet (so you know it's true!):

Symptoms that can occur in stage 5 CKD include:
  • Loss of appetite - I force myself to eat!  lol
  • Nausea or vomiting - none yet
  • Headaches - regular - tend with Tylenol
  • Being tired - this is the worst. Being a "high-energy" person saves me somewhat.  But even after a night's sleep, I wake up tired.  I also treat this with regular workouts, which help.  Strangely, sometimes alcohol gives me a lift, but it takes two days to recover!  lol
  • Being unable to concentrate - I can't travel alone; I can remember answers when prompted.  Meeting customers after 2 pm is difficult.
  • Itching - constant, body-wide.  I've been to the dermatologist and have all the cremes and emollients that money can buy.  The best way is "mind-over-matter."  Much of the itch is controlled with my mental stability.
  • Making little or no urine - quite the contrary - I pee all the time, every 30-45 minutes.  This is how I've stayed off of dialysis so long, even with very little to no kidney function.  
  • Swelling, especially around the eyes and ankles - swelling in all the wrong places!
  • Muscle cramps - second-worst.  These can be so severe as to make me jump out of bed at night in excruciating pain.  I've found that the workouts help, as do PCS-style Rockport shoes.  Air Nikes also help minimize the inevitable cramps.  
  • Tingling in hands or feet - nope.
  • Changes in skin color - age or kidney disease?  lol
  • Increased skin pigmentation - I don't even know what this one is!
  • Irritability - really?  You have to ask?  lol
So, now you know.  And I feel much better now that I've vented.  Just you wait 'til I get a new kidney . . . I'll be a new man!  Fiddle-dee-dee . . . tomorrow IS another day!

Most everyone is born with two, but you only need one.  I am seeking a live donor.  If you would consider donating one kidney, please call Methodist Hospital at 713-441-5458 and tell them that you're interested in donating a kidney to Sam Ferreri.  They can advise you of the risks and benefits to you.  You can read more at my old blog,, but please do NOT call St. Luke's Hospital (ewww).  I'm switched to Methodist.  Thanks, and God Bless you.