1885… To The Present

1885 is my favorite year.  Don’t ask me why because I don’t know.  Maybe it’s a reincarnation thing, maybe it’s a time travel thing, maybe it’s not.  All I know is that it draws me like honey draws flies.

These are my wedding shoes.  If they ever arrive, I’ll dye them red to match the sash on my Victorian wedding dress and Bear’s Victorian western vest. (Yep, he has the 1885 fever, too, except he prefers the Western area 1885.)safe_image

Back to the shoes.  They are contemporary yet are in the style of ladies’ 1885 dress shoes – called dancing pumps back then.  Here’s a little no longer secret:  I found them online, then researched and discovered they were the shoes I was looking for.  Sort of like my dress search.

So what does this have to do with Chronic Kidney Disease you ask?  I wondered that myself as I patiently waited for the yard people to show up and clear out the once beautiful bushes and trees we lost to January’s frost.  I always seem to gather ideas for the blog when I’m doing something else.

I know what dresses, shoes, and Western vests looked like in 1885, but not what the face of Chronic Kidney Disease looked like at that time. So I did what I do best: researched. This was one of the few times I didn’t succeed. I tried every combination of search parameters I could think of.  I finally decided to put a time cap on the research. Nothing, nada.

Book CoverThen I did one of those mentally smack your forehead thingies (I tried it in reality once and it hurt!) Of course I was only finding information about transplants and dialysis at that time.  Chronic Kidney Disease wasn’t as yet recognized as a disease.

According to Dr. G. Eknoyan of Baylor College’s Department of Medicine’s Renal Section:

“Nephrology is a young discipline.  Several events contributed to its emergence during the years following World War Two. First was the increasing interest in studies of kidney function and physiology that started as part of the war effort during World War Two and was fostered during the post-war boom by the newly established National Institutes of Health {sound familiar, anyone?} and the flourishing pharmaceutical industry.  Second was the introduction in the mid-1900s of new technologies directly relevant to the care of individuals with kidney disease, specifically dialysis and kidney biopsy.”

You can read the entire article at: http://www.touchbriefings.com/pdf/3342/eknoyan.pdf, although Dr. Eknoyan attributes his information to S.J. Peitzman’s book Dropsy, Dialysis, Transplant, A short history of failing kidneys published by Johns Hopkins University Press in Baltimore in 2007.

It seems sort of silly now, but my heart goes out to all those who needlessly died of the as yet unnamed (and undiscovered) Chronic Kidney Disease in 1885.  Bringing in Bear’s love of all things Western, the ludicrous part of me wonders if it was all that buffalo meat that exacerbated the disease.

I was astonished to discover that The National Kidney Foundation Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (NKF KDOQI ™) was not put into place until 1997 and then updated only five years later in 2002.  No wonder I had so much trouble even attempting to discover the face of Chronic Kidney Disease in 1885.  I was over a century too early.

stages chartThis is where you’ll find all their guidelines: http://www.kidney.org/professionals/KDOQI/guidelines_commentaries.cfm

There is so much information on this site about CKD in conjunction with diabetes, hypertension, diet, age, treatment, and dyslipidemia (high cholesterol) – to mention just a few of the categories – that it would make sense to urge you to explore the site yourself instead of attempting to explain it.

I was surprised that their chart does not differentiate between stages 3A and 3B as The Renal Association does. I was just a bit perturbed at one of The Renal Association’s statements, although I recognized its validity: “Most patients with Stage 3 CKD are older, and only a minority go [sic] on to get more serious kidney disease.” The older part didn’t thrill me, but the” only a minority” part sure did. This information is at: http://www.renal.org/whatwedo/InformationResources/CKDeGUIDE/CKDstages.aspx

According to Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronic_kidney_disease, “British guidelines distinguish between stage 3A (GFR 45–59) and stage 3B (GFR 30–44) for purposes of screening and referral.” Yet, my nephrologist, who is not British and practices right here in Arizona, is the one who explained to me that I am Stage 3A.

I’m convinced that the renal diet plays a very large part in keeping dialysis at bay. I’m also delighted at how easy it’s become to stay within the guidelines of the diet.  Last night, for no earthly reason except we wanted to, we went to see ‘Buddy’ at The Arizona Broadway Theater, which is a dinner theater. I made exactly two substitutions to the printed menu, skipped dessert and was perfectly within my guidelines as to portion size, vegetable and protein restrictions, and carbohydrate restrictions, too.


I seem to forget to talk about the book in my latest blogs.  I neglected to mention that I introduced the representatives of the Gila River Indian Community to the book at last week’s Southwest Nephrology Conference, as well as having the opportunity to give a copy to the representatives of The Northern Arizona Council of Renal Dietitians.  They’re the ones who developed the renal diet I follow as a patient of AKDHC {Arizona Kidney Disease and Hypertension Center}.  As a matter of fact, Crystal Barraza, the nutritionist associated with AKDHC, contributed to the book.

While this month is National Kidney Month, World Kidney Day is this Thursday, March 14th.  Why not consider donating a kidney?

Until next week,

Keep living your life!