Got to try out the transplant emergency line yesterday. While there are many things that can go astray that leave one things a little nebulous and stuck in that should I or shouldn’t I call realm. There are a few key “call now” markers. One of these is blood pressure.
After leaving the hospital off blood pressure meds, I got put back on one Friday at clinic. Saturday the starting doses hadn’t touched it. So, I took a clonidine, as directed in my discharge directions. I have had this drug around since my TIA/mini-stroke/once is enough experience last summer. It is a take as needed drug to drive down BP fast as well as consciousness… Usually, I go to bed for four hours and wake up with a hangover. Not a fan of this loss of control/time and yes, I’m a lightweight.
After taking one yesterday morning, and following along the normal path. I took my BP fours later and it was still outside of parameters. So I called. The collective blood pressure of the house rose outside of parameters, I am sure. It was a smooth process: talked to operator—placed me on hold while they connected to the on call coordinator—the on-call nurse who is part of my transplant team took all my information, explained specifically why they are trying to keep the BP in a narrow range (perfusion of the new tissue is helped a bit by a slightly higher BP but too high on the new vessels and…), and said she would call the nephrologist and get back to me. Three minutes later she called back with some simple new parameters.
I like systems. I like standards. They are far less fear inducing than guessing or over reliance on expectations. “Expectations are premediated resentments,” after all. So, take BP every four hours if outside of certain range take a clonidine. Up to four a day. Watch Heartrate because there is a known interaction between this drug and another I am taking. If HR drops too low, call.
I took 3 clonidine, before getting BP within parameters. Slept well despite the naps and actually glad to get a test run of my support team. Turn all things to advantage.
Anna Cannington has offered to be part of this program. As a kidney donor with a nephrologist brother (not to mention next level human) she will be able to provide unique insight into "other side" of the transplant process. It is particularly apt for her to join up as she is Dustin's Donor. To schedule a conversation with either of Anna or Dustin just connect with either of us!
Dustin was diagnosed with IgA nephropathy (Berger's Disease) in early 2007. He and his family know well the struggles that come with suffering kidney failure, dialysis and the transplant processes. Born from these fustrations and Dustin's love of strengths-based coaching (centered on what is best in people) comes the Kidney Koach program. This NO FEE program is for Renal patients, their families and nursing staff that want support, understanding and a little help on the path.