Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bummers and Blessings

When I was pregnant, they noticed some odd results on the routine lab tests, namely that I had protein and microscopic amounts of blood in my urine. And so after many a prick in the arm, multiple "24-hour urinalyses" (in which I got to carry around my pee in a jug all day), and several visits to the kidney doctor, I was diagnosed with a kind of kidney disease, called IgA Nephropathy. I don't have any symptoms now, but it could or could not lead to kidney failure in 10-20 years. So not the most awesome news ever. But I was reminded of all that I have to be thankful for despite this diagnosis.

  • It was found early - thanks to pregnancy. Had it not been picked up now, it might have only been found when renal failure was close at hand. Thank you, Baby Allie!
  • I'm in one of the lower risk categories for kidney failure, in that I have good blood pressure, normal body weight and I don't drink, smoke or have diabetes.
  • Although my test results are high enough that I'm in the category that should be put on drugs, I'm just low enough that the doctor is OK with me waiting to start medications until I finish breastfeeding. (Although she's going to check in 4 months to make sure my numbers are holding steady.)
  • I live in a place and time in which the condition could be found early and treated, rather than me simply dying one day at age 50 and Mikey crying and wondering why. In the (hopefully) unlikely event that my kidneys do start to fail, dialysis is available...if not palatable.
  • Since I'm waiting at least four months to start medication, I have a chance to see if I can lower my numbers through diet. Studies aren't conclusive, but some show that a low-gluten diet can help. (Perhaps a blessing and a bummer.) I'm going to try it since these are my child-bearing years, after all, and I can't be on medication while with child or nursing.
  • Perhaps I'll suddenly have Cameron Diaz's body through aforementioned diet. (Doubtful.)
  • I'm healthy and symptom-free now. I never want to take for granted that I can run, hop, and skip to my heart's content!

So although it's a bummer that I have this disorder, it reminds me of how many blessings I have!


Tara said...

This is so awful baby sis. I am glad that you are healthy right now and that they caught this early!! I have quite a few coworkers who do an all gluten free diet, so if you want recipes just let me know! Love you!

Anonymous said...

Sweet like you to count your blessings first. I know God will continue to hold you in the palm of his hand. Love, Candace

Anonymous said...

Your positive and hope filled post is very encouraging for others who have health concerns. Thank you.