World Kidney Day Is Only Six Years Old

Each Monday, I find it progressively more difficult to choose a topic.  I am amazed at how much information is being disseminated about kidney disease and its treatment and/or underlying causes these days.  Since March 8 is the sixth World Kidney Day, I thought we would go back to the basics to start today’s blog.  Thank you, again and again and again to The National Kidney Foundation for all the information they make available to us.  This is their World Kidney Day posting:

Top 10 Reasons to Love Your Kidneys

Sometimes the more you know, the more you love.  The National Kidney Foundation urges Americans to get to know two humble, hardworking organs: the kidneys.  To help raise awareness and appreciation for all the vital functions the kidneys perform, the National Kidney Foundation offers 10 reasons for Americans to love their kidneys and take steps now to preserve kidney health:

1. Filter 200 liters of blood a day, removing two liters of toxins, wastes and water

2. Regulate the body’s water balance

3. Regulate blood pressure by controlling fluid levels and making the hormone that causes blood vessels to constrict

4. Support healthy bones and tissues by producing the active form of vitamin D

5. Produce the hormone that stimulates bone marrow to manufacture red blood cells

6. Keep blood minerals in balance

7. Keep electrolytes in balance

8. Regulate blood acid levels

9. Remove drugs from the blood

10. Retrieve essential nutrients so that the body can reabsorb them

In my book, I discuss how important it is to tell every doctor you see about your Chronic Kidney Disease.  Notice #9. “Remove drugs from the blood.”  You may need to take a lower dosage of whatever drug was prescribed or, perhaps, take it less often.  If your kidneys are not fully functioning, the drugs are not effectively being removed from your blood.  It would be similar to willfully taking a drug overdose if you do not make your doctors aware of your CKD when they prescribe for you.  Make sure your pharmacist knows about your CKD, too.  You cannot rely on your doctors – specialists or not – to remember every warning on every label.  That’s where your pharmacist comes in.  He or she has that same information.  You are ultimately the one in charge of your health.  It makes perfect sense to draw upon all your resources.

I also discuss in my book the problem in my local hospital’s emergency room when I had a bladder infection.  Just in case you don’t remember, my primary care doctor wasn’t available, so her M.A. told me to go to an Urgent Care facility rather than wait since I have CKD.  When I arrived and told the receptionist I have CKD, she immediately sent me to the hospital emergency room in case I needed blood or other tests for which the Urgent Care wasn’t equipped.  After a battery of tests in the emergency room, sulphur drugs were prescribed, although I’d took them repeatedly about having CKD.  Sulphur drugs can harm the kidneys even more.

This got me to thinking about if I were brought into the e.r. under true emergencies conditions – as in unconscious.  How would they know I had CKD before they located someone who could tell them about my medical background?  Or access my records elsewhere? I knew the answer was a medical alert bracelet, but spent quite a bit of time ignoring the issue.  Then I got sick again – a simple flu – but the bracelet idea popped back into my mind full blown, so I started searching for one.

I wanted something that looked like jewelry, but not too much like jewelry because I have simple tastes.  So, I did what I do best: researched.  This is what I came up with:

I chose the black plate and had “Chronic Kidney Disease” inscribed on two lines on the back.  Now, the bracelet itself:

It’s jewelry like, something I’m comfortable wearing and it does the job of making me feel secure should I ever have a true emergency.  I’ll be adding to the blog roll later on.  They are one of several sites with the type of medical alert i.d. bracelet I’ve been discussing.  Feel free to click through now or wait for the address to be added to the blog roll.  You know, don’t you, that I have nothing to do with any of the companies I mention to you except that I want to share what I’ve found.

Ah, talking about sharing!  I found this review of the book on Amazon and walked on air for the rest of the day!

5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Info on Kidney Disease around!, February 20, 2012
This review is from: What Is It And How Did I Get It? Early Stage Chronic Kidney Disease (Kindle Edition)

This is an incredibly well-researched, well-written book written by a woman who herself developed kidney disease. Her book provides clear and comprehensive information for all about the care patients need to have, and responds to the fears and concerns of all involved with coping with kidney disease. It is an honest, very personal accounting of her experience, and I found it to be written clearly, providing tons of pertinent information about every facet of how to cope with this illness. I think Ms. Rae wrote this book for the ordinary person who learns that they will be living with kidney disease from the moment of diagnosis, on. But after reading, I believe that it is also a book that every family member, every friend of someone who has developed kidney disease ought to read as well, in order to better understand what their loved ones are going through. I also believe that this book will benefit every professional in the medical community who deals with patients coping with Kidney Disease. It has helped me, and will help everyone involved with the patient on any level to be better able to understand their patient’s concerns, anxieties, needs and limitations. For these reasons I think it is a great guide for the medical community as well as for the patient/family/friends, as it can help professionals understand the kind of information their patients need to have in order to take good care of themselves. Don’t pass this book up!

Got to go check out a symposium that sent me an invitation to exhibit.  This is a new one for me.

Until next week,

Keep living your life!

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