This past Wednesday, I was supposed to have my second follow up for my cataract surgery, an appointment with my nephrologist, and chemotherapy before driving out of town for clinic in the southern part of the state.

Things didn’t quite go as planned.

Monday Kyle said he wasn’t feeling well and thought he had bronchitis. He had been coughing some over the weekend but he tends to get bronchitis around this time each year, so we didn’t think much about it. He planned to go to urgent care and did a COVID home test before he went.

Positive. Whoops.

I wasn’t feeling any symptoms until I started driving home from clinic, which is about three hours away. I didn’t feel sick but I was FREEZING. I had the heater as high as it would go, and I was still shivering. I got home and tested. Yep. Positive.

I had to send out a bunch of emails to my boss, clinics, as well as the director of the clinic I had been at that day. I didn’t know what their protocol was for alerting patients when a provider tests positive. I cancelled my clinics through the following Monday (today). Sadly, I had to reschedule them all to next week, when I was supposed to be on leave. Nope. Now I’ll have to work. I’m so bummed.

I felt pretty lucky that my symptoms were mild. The first two days the worst of it was my sore bones. After that, it was typical cold symptoms, sneezing, coughing, runny nose. But it was never bad.

Tuesday morning, I left a message for my nephrologist, asking to change my appointment to a video visit, and also if it was safe for me to take Paxlovid. The cut-off eGFR for kidney patients is 29, and my last eGFR was 33. That’s a little close to me. I called oncology and cancelled chemo. I also emailed my oncologist and let him know what was going on. He suggested I not take the Paxlovid unless really necessary. I heard back from the nephrologist who said that it was safe for me to take the drug but that it was up to me. I opted to get it but not take it unless I felt it was needed.

I made an appointment with urgent care so I could get a work excuse as well as get the prescription for the Paxlovid. My appointment was at 9:30. Earlier in the morning, I got a text from the urgent care stating that they didn’t have any providers at the location where I was scheduled, so they were changing my appointment to a video visit. Sounded good to me. I wouldn’t have to get dressed and leave my house.

At 9:30, I was signed in to the virtual waiting room waiting for the doc when the urgent care called me. The woman said, “I don’t know if they told you but the virtual visit is here at the clinic.” Now I was very confused. The text they sent me said nothing about coming to the clinic. “It’s a virtual visit but I have to come to the clinic?” “Yes. You come here and do the virtual visit from your phone in one of our rooms.” “But that makes no sense.” “Well, that’s how we do it.” 

Is that the most idiotic thing you’ve ever heard? I mean, if there’s a virtual option for someone with COVID, doesn’t it make sense for that person to stay home and not run the risk of infecting anyone else?? But no. I had to actually drive over to the clinic.

When I got there, they had me sign in, fill out a form, then go wait in my car. Shortly after, they called me back in, and I saw the triage nurse. I told her about the whole virtual visit thing. She said, “Well you must have chosen to come in.” I said, “NO. I was in my pajamas in bed when they called me and told me to come in.” “Really? Hmm.” And that was that.

After she got my vitals, I went to another clinic room, signed back in to the virtual waiting room, and the doc came on pretty quickly. After a few questions about my symptoms and my kidney disease, she said she’d send my prescription over to Walgreens. She said it would take about an hour so I decided to go home and go back later.

I spend WAY too much time at Walgreens picking up various prescriptions. Like everywhere else, they are very short-staffed. They’re only open until 7:00 and are now closed on Sundays. The staff there is hit or miss. Most of them are really nice and helpful, but there are a couple that I really hate dealing with. Luckily I got one of the nice ones at the drive-thru. She said they didn’t have the renal dose of the Paxlovid the doctor prescribed. (Who knew there was a renal dose??) She called two other Walgreens and found one nearby that had the dose I needed. I headed over there and picked it up. A lot of driving around for a drug I didn’t plan on taking.

Wednesday I had a video visit with Dr. E, the nephrologist. I told him about my latest 24-hour urine results, and he was very pleased. We discussed the increase in my creatinine. He said the lab work I did for him showed a creatinine of 1.4, which was a good improvement over the previous lab work done two weeks ago. He told me that it’s possible it is from the lisinopril, and that even though I’ve been taking it for some time, it can still cause an increase in creatinine. So he advised me to stop taking it, which I hate to do because it’s the most effective for my blood pressure. But we’ll see how that goes. As I’ve done before, I’ll put myself back on it if I feel like my blood pressure is too high. I don’t really understand (and need to ask) how lisinopril affects the creatinine levels. I mean, is it just an artificial inflation of the creatinine and not a true indicator of decreased kidney function? If so, can’t we just note that and move on?

We discussed the kidney biopsy, and we’ll get it scheduled in the next month or two, and I’ll follow up with him in six months. I messaged the oncologist with an update, and he said, “Let’s hope it’s just the lisinopril.”

For the rest of the week, I just stayed home (of course) and slept. I did not take the Paxlovid. I feel okay but I’m definitely wiped out. I’m really bummed I have to work next week. Obviously I would have liked the time off, but now I also can’t try to get in that week for my second cataract surgery. Tomorrow… back to work.

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