Renal Cell Live!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Well, I'm back in my own shoes, wearing regular socks, and requiring nothing more drastic than an occasional slathering of lotion to keep the skin on my legs and feet supple. The edema finally responded to slow, steady use of a diuretic, and I'm pleased to put my ugly shoes away for the next time. It's such a relief to abandon yet more medicine, and to see results that require only patience and time.

Actually, I so seldom "see" results that I hardly know what to think. We in the Renal Cell group always kid one another: If you've got side effects, your meds must be working, unless the side effects get out of control to the extent that one must stop taking the medication! But side effects are generally the only outward sign of a medication's "presence" in the body. I have to rely on scans and test results to know how things are going, and even then I'm at the mercy of someone else's interpretation of those results - I can't make any judgement for myself by looking at the test results, or viewing the scans. Fortunately we have tools at our disposal.

I mentioned long ago a great resource, Netwellness, which is a service of 3 major universities in Ohio for composite medical information that's unbiased and definitive. One of the most useful components of that service is the Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia, where one can look up test names to see what the test is measuring, what's "normal" and what the test results indicate. All of the Medline Plus content is available without charge to anyone with an internet connection; there are lots of ways to get to the Medline Plus site but I like to recommend Netwellness because of the other resources available there.

Saint H got a nasty surprise yesterday. After suffering all weekend with a mild toothache that gradually worsened, he ended up in the dentist's office yesterday afternoon, getting a crown. Further, he's scheduled for another appointment tomorrow morning for a crown on the tooth next to the one treated yesterday. Ah, the wonder of growing older - I know it's worth keeping one's own teeth as long as possible, but egads it can be costly! Guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

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