Monday, September 15, 2008


A month ago, I was told I had kidney failure and was given a referral to see a nephrologist. Since it was a year since I had lab tests on my kidneys, which were normal at the time, the doctor wasn't assuming that my sick organs were from the massive antibiotics I was taking to fight an infection.

So, I had a conversation with my pharmacist, who told me that the antibiotics often temporarily decrease the filtration capability of my kidneys, but they should return to normal after a few weeks. I decided to hold off seeing the nephrologist, and made another appointment with a new general practitioner for a second opinion, who ordered another round of lab tests which just came back to tell me that my kidneys had significantly improved. I will take another test in two weeks, and then we'll see about needing a specialist.

I also talked to my pharmacist when I had a bad reaction to a new blood pressure medication, and I got answers from him a lot faster than the physicians I called. In fact, I'm not sure why I have to have blood pressure medication. Neither does my doctor I saw this morning. I haven't had medication for a week, and my readings were really good this morning in the clinic. I'm trying to decide whether or not to take the drug.

A year ago, a cardiologist prescribed a statin which I decided not to take for a few months because I wanted to change my diet and exercise to fix the high cholesterol. And it worked. Later, I read how that particular statin was causing heart attacks and actually killed some people. It was taken off the market by the FDA. So, my gut instincts proved to be correct.

I usually do what the doctors say, but at this point, I'm learning to draw the line. This morning, my doctor and I took a walk to the lab to ask a question. We walked at a fast pace, and at the end of our destination, he was much more winded than I was even though he is about 15 years younger than me. Either he is really out of shape, or I am doing much better than I think I am.

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