Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Kidney Stones!

Ah… CRAP! Yesterday I began having to go to the bathroom (#1) constantly and it was hurting. Today it got worse and I started getting pain in my back on the right side just under my rib cage. It was too late to talk to my regular doctor so I went over to the insta-care. Turns out I have blood in my urine. I am currently on antibiotics for a sinus infection so they don’t believe that it is a Urinary Track Infection (UTI). With the pain in my back they believe it is kidney stones!

I have had kidney stones before and they hurt like crazy. It felt like someone slipped a knife between my ribs and then just left it there. They REALLY hurt! I am not looking forward to this.

The insta-care doctor was going to give me some anti-inflammatory medicine but my primary doctor warned me not to take anti-inflammatory medicines while on all of these other drugs. I mentioned this to him so he prescribed Hydrocodone/APPA 7.5/500 mgs (Lortab) for the pain and told me to drink a ton of water. So it is going to be interesting for the next little bit. (Really not looking forward to this.)

So now I have to ask myself why I got this. As I mentioned earlier I wasn’t taking the Calcium supplements until about 2 weeks ago. I’m guessing that it was the extra Calcium that caused this, and the insta-care doctor seemed to agree. I need to follow-up with my primary Sarcoidosis doctor about this tomorrow. I think I might be to blame however. I didn’t take the Fosamax (Alendronate Sodium) until Tuesday because you have to take it without food, sitting up for 45 minutes and I just hadn’t had time until then. So I was taking the Calcium supplements for about a week and a half before I took the Fosamax. The doctor told me that Fosamax actually lowers the levels of Calcium in your blood because it puts it back into your bones. (This is to counteract the Prednisone) I guess it is possible that since I wasn’t on the Fosamax the Calcium levels got high enough to cause kidney stones. So if I were on the Fosamax earlier perhaps this wouldn’t have happened. I’ll have to follow up with my Sarcoid doctor to see what he says.

For now… Drink tons of liquids… Grin and bear it! Doha!


Friday, March 20, 2009

Muscle Weakness

Now that I am feeling a bit better and since it is getting much warmer outside I have started trying to do more. Two days ago I did a little work in the yard, worked on the car and did some tree trimming. It exhausted me and I felt the effects of it until today. I also have some sort of a head cold so I am hoping that most of what I am feeling is because of that. I have a doctor’s appointment this morning to see about antibiotics, so hopefully I can get this cleared up quickly.

I have been a very physically strong person my whole life and really come to expect being this way. At times I have been very fit, and others I have been over weight but I have always been strong. I have noticed a clear difference in my muscle strength lately and it constantly surprises me. Things that I use to do with ease I find that I just don’t have the strength for currently, and it is a bit disheartening. I believe that this is a side effect from the Prednisone and should go away as I continue lowering the dosage and do weight lifting.

Something to look forward to.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I had a visit with my doctor again and it went really well. We are continuing to lower the Prednisone and I am now at 10 mg per day down from 12.5 mg. (5 mg at breakfast and 5 mg at dinner) I figure at this rate I should be completely off Prednisone in 5 months. Here is hoping! =)

In talking through my medicine the Doctor was very surprised and almost upset to find out that I haven’t been on Fosamax and Calcium Citrate with Vitamin D. Prednisone reduces your bone density and apparently Fosamax in conjunction with Calcium and Vitamin D help counter that. He gave me a prescriptions for 35 mg of Fosamax which I take once per week, and the 600 mg of the Calcium Citrate with D. I’ll start taking this shortly. (I am really getting a fist full of pills!)

I have noticed some pain in ball of my foot just behind my big toe when I walk any prolonged distances. We’ll have to see if this is related to the bone density. If so hopefully the Fosamax will help.

Last night I took my Prednisone but forgot to take the Plaquenil. I noticed a big difference. I had more pain than usual and once I took the Plaquenil it subsided. The Plaquenil apparently makes more of a significant improvement that I thought. Actually of all the medicine this one is the easiest to take and has no side effects that I can tell.

All in all I am really excited. Again I feel like I am making progress! =)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Far Far Away

I went on a long trip to Moab Utah with my son, my brother and nephew. The sights were amazing and we had a great time! I really needed this, a chance to get way out of town, out of life and out of all the anti-normality that my life is right now. We truly had a great time. If you ever get a chance take a trip to Moab. It is in the middle of NOWHERE but then that is really the point! It is amazing!

That being said it was a bit much for me physically. The medicines really helped, but I could really tell the difference ATVing now from in times past. I am looking forward to getting off all of this medicine and getting back to my life as normal. I am really looking forward to working out again and gaining my strength back. I think that is one of the big things I have noticed is the lack of strength. I have always been very strong and I have really noticed a difference there.

This week I see the doc again. I am doing much better with the pain. My body is adjusting very well to the lower dose of Prednisone. I am hoping to lower the dose even more this week. I’ll let you know what the doctor says.

Two more pictures from Moab… because in my mind…

I’m still there!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Felling like I am getting there

Well, I must say… all in all I feel like I am making progress! I’ve had bumps and upsets but I think the overall progress is going really well. The key here is that I am continually reducing the Prednisone while holding off the symptoms of the Sarcoid! Every time I go down a level on the Prednisone I feel the symptoms come back for a short while, but then my body adjusts and it gets back under control. My hope (and my doctor’s) is that I will eventually get off the Prednisone and I won’t have the symptoms anymore! I really feel like I am on the right track, despite some of the crazy side effects I’ve been having.

I have had a number of people tell me that they are praying for me. All I can say is “Thank you!” You don’t know how much that truly helps. Being a father of six extremely active kids, working to provide for the family and support my wife who is going through a number of serious medical challenges herself takes a lot of focus and effort. I’ll tell you though it is worth it! Some days, especially when I need it most, I swear I can feel a little extra strength and I often wonder if someone is praying for me. =) All I know is that I really feel like God is there for me, especially in the darkest of times.

Here is to the start of a new week! Wish me luck!