Save a Life

Not a great deal to report this week, except to say that my hemoglobin Wednesday was 10.8, absolutely the highest since at least April 2019, when I first went to rapid care due to my dizziness symptoms.  (It was 9.4 then.)  I’m sure this is due to the bump in the Aranesp, but whatever works. The docs have all said I will likely need to stay on Aranesp for life to keep the hemoglobin up.  Geez. Hope I never lose my job.

My latest eGRF from Wednesday was 33, and my creatinine was 1.8. Potassium’s staying in the normal range. Blood pressure was good.  So… holding steady.  I dropped off the giant jug of pee at the lab this morning so we’ll see what that tells us… if they opt to actually process it this time. We shall see.

When I was at the clinic Wednesday, a woman was there whom I had seen two weeks prior. She walked in, pointed at me and said, “YOU’RE IN MY CHAIR.” She was semi-joking. This time she sat nearish me, and we talked a bit. She was in her 80s.  Loud and boisterous. She kept arguing with the nurses about keeping her mask on. “I CAN’T BREATHE IN THAT THING!”  I’m thinking the nurses might not have found her as entertaining as I did.  She said she had had four different types of cancer over the years (“I DIED IN RUSSIA, AND THEY BROUGHT ME BACK!”), and now, likely from all the chemo she had undergone in her life, she had terminal leukemia. She said Dr. T was throwing everything at her that he could. She also said that she could go “anywhere” for her medical care, and she prefers to see Dr. T because “he’s the best.” That was good to hear.  She also said that if it was her time to go, it was her time. She’d had a good life with few complaints.  I guess we should all be so lucky.

I woke up Monday morning with a broken blood vessel in my left eye (“subconjunctival hemorrhage” is the medical term). Charming. I was hoping that was behind me as the swollen conjunctiva has improved quite a bit. But no. And it’s still all red and gross today. If I didn’t work with people, I wouldn’t care so much about all this crap. But my patients probably think I got jumped or something.   

I still can’t shake this fatigue, and with my hemoglobin actually improving, I’m wondering now if it does have anything to do with getting off the prednisone and the effect on the adrenal glands. I’ve read up on it, and I’d say I have some of the symptoms (fatigue and joint pain), but hell, who doesn’t experience those? From what I’ve read, there’s no treatment, just time to wait for the adrenal glands to fire up again.  If I don’t feel a little more energetic in a week or so, I’ll mention it to the docs.

In doing my taxes last week, I was adding up my medical expenses. In 2020, my insurance billed out over $213,000 on me. That’s not what they got paid, just what they billed out. I paid $5500, or about 3% of that. Not bad I guess—if you have the money. So far this year, they’ve billed out $90,000 on me (and holy crap, it’s only April). My insurance “dashboard” says I’ve paid them over $8000 this year. Uh… what? I’ve paid them exactly nothing except for prescription copays. Additionally, my cap on my out-of-pocket expenses is $5500, so I surely wouldn’t pay them over $8000.  I’m not going to say a word though… I’m just going to sit back and wait until they send me a bill. No need to put ideas in their head.

April is Donate Life month!  If you’re not an organ donor, please consider becoming one. I don’t necessarily mean being a live donor (although you’ve got two kidneys, no need to be stingy. Ha.). But definitely consider allowing your organs to be put to good use after you no longer need them. You’ll literally save someone’s life.  Not a bad legacy.

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