Sunday, March 20, 2011


Oh, the things you just keep learning - does it ever end?

The kidneys produce erythropoietin (EPO) which stimulates the bone marrow to produce the proper number of red blood cells neeeded to carry oxygen to viatl organs.

When the kidneys fail, EPO productions tops.

Diseased kidneys don't produce enough of it.

Anemia sets in.

When hubby was on dialysis, he got daily injections of EPO. But none since coming home.

How can you tell if you are anemic? Pull the lower eyelid down. If it is bloody red, then you are not anemic. If it is pale pink or washed out, then you are. Pretty simple, pretty accurate test for anemia.

Hubby is seriously anemic and has been since hospital discharge. Not getting any better. He goes to the nephrologist on 4/1 and we will talk to him about EPO injections.

He's taking iron pills. Not doing the trick.

He's eating red meat once in awhile, but that's hard for the kidney's to process. Sort of in a catch 22 situation.

As long as he remains this anemic, oxygen is not getting to tissue and organs. That's not so good. Reason why he seems to be confused at times? Forgetful? He's obviously weak - getting stronger, but man, is it ever a slow process.

I read somewhere that anemia can start with 50% of kidney function. I'm wondering if a unit of blood might help him out. Other than being weak, he is doing great. Recovery is just such an amazingly slow process in so many areas. We tried to go out to breakfast today - second time eating out in a month, and he needed to sleep almost all day long.

I'm starting to think life will never return to normal. Just too may complications from everything he's been through.



Lynn Barry said...

One thing after another for you two to deal with...makes you wonder what "normal" is other than an everchanging reality. Hugs and Love...keep cleaning out and planning on moving to a one floor near your sis...that will help, right? LOVE YA

Lilly said...

My hubby used to get erythropoitin intravenously for a time before he got the kidney transplant. It did make him feel a lot better, but the actual treatments were a real downer for him, as he was getting the them at a cancer treatment center. It is also routinely given to cancer patients. Obviously, it wasn't a permanent solution to his exhaustion, but it might be worth looking into for your hubby. It does carry cardivascular risks, though, which may be why it was discontinued. Just looked it up, and this is a website you may want to check out:

Take care and hang in there,