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While You Are Never To Old To Start, Start As Young As Possible! (Please Read)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I went to the nephrologist (kidney doctor) with DH yesterday for his 3 month follow up visit. Despite DH's success at eating right, exercising and losing weight (20 lbs. since the end of June!), his lab results were alarming. His kidney function was 27% at his previous visit and has decreased to 23% now. To put that in perspective, he will begin the evaluation for kidney transplant at 20% and will need to begin dialysis at 15%. emoticon

To say we were shocked would be an understatement. We have been through a lot together over the past couple of years having both undergone cancer during the same year (DH is a 2 1/2 year survivor and I am approaching the 2 year mark in January.) But, this hit us harder in some ways. This kidney disease is the result of high blood pressure and Type II diabetes (adult onset) over a long period of time. Both of those diseases are usually called "lifestyle" diseases. And, had we both been more responsible with our health, more than likely preventable diseases.

We will get through this together like we always have. emoticon The 32 years we have been together have not always been easy, but we have always known we had each other. We still have that. emoticon

I thought about not blogging this on Spark, but then decided there was a good reason to go ahead and talk about this. The reason I have in my mind is the younger Sparkpeople who may stumble across this blog and find some motivation to help them in their efforts to lead a healthier lifestyle. My DH's medical problems (and my own) were largely preventable had we lived a healthier lifestyle. There is so much more information available today to encourage that pursuit than in our youth. All Sparkers can improve their life no matter when they start. However, paying attention to proper nutrition and fitness at as young an age as possible will reap the biggest rewards. I know both our children have been impacted by what has happened to us and have taken steps to improve their lifestyles as a result.

I had a lot of trouble trying to think of a title for this blog. While I wanted to get across that a healthy lifestyle should be started as young as possible, I did NOT want to say it was EVER to late to start. Even people at our age (and older) are prolonging their lives by adopting healthier habits.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • CATS_MEOW_0911
    Linda, thank you for sharing. I am sorry your husband did not receive better news. Best wishes and much love to both of you...
    3434 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/10/2011 10:10:02 PM
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    Linda, I am so sorry you did not receive better news from your hubby's doctor. Yeh, that is hard. As I was reading your blog, I just knew you were going to say your hubby number was higher. But don't give up hope things can't get better.

    Your hubby's situation reminds me of our journeys here on SP and how it was when we first got started. For many of us including myself we did not see any physical results during the first couple of months. It took several months to feel and see the results of our new lifestyle and our hard work to move our bodies And, for many of us the progress is still very slow.

    Hang in there and the two of you keep doing what you are doing. Just like you have had some good health improvements, your hubby will have some too, I truly believe this. It may not be in his kidney function or it may be but changing to this healthy lifestyle produces good results in our lives. The proof of how this way of living changes are lives and improves our health is documented all over this website in our blogs.

    3437 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/7/2011 7:30:16 PM
    You are both in my prayers. emoticon
    3439 days ago
    Wonderfully written blog. I believe you got your point across beautifully.

    You and your DH are in my prayers
    3443 days ago
  • DOXMOM51
    Thank you Linda for encouraging others to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Sorry to hear about recent news from the Dr.
    I'm also in Atlanta, southside metro. DH and I support a few charities and Atlanta Kidney Services is the first on our list. Hearing your story made our donation yesterday feel very personal. Most of us don't have a clue about all the procedures, med's, and preparation that goes along with any serious disease until it happens in our lives. Sending prayers to you and your Hubby during this trying time.
    I've recently become a "regular" tuning in to Dr. Oz. I'm hopeful that the more I learn from what he presents on the show that I'll be motivated going in yo 2012 to make my own changes for a healthier lifestyle. I'm 60 and DH is 64 and we're ok now but could sure make improvements.
    Hugs, Karen emoticon emoticon
    3444 days ago
  • LINDAJ0621
    Several of my SparkFriends have asked questions about dialysis options. DH had 3 options available to him: In clinic hemodialysis, at home hemodialysis and at home peritoneal dialysis. He needed to make his choice now because the hemodialysis options would require the creation of a surgical fistula (connecting artery and vein) and the fistula would need several months to "mature" and be ready for use when needed. The peritoneal dialysis option did not require any advance preparation. When the time comes, he would have a tube inserted into his abdominal cavity through which he will put the fluid to flush the toxins on a daily basis. DH chose the home peritoneal dialysis option as being less invasive and most likely to fit our lifestyle. We do not have to do anything until the time comes and then we will go through a 6 full day training process to learn how to do it.
    Hope this was not TMI (too much information), but several people had asked.
    Thank you all for your caring and support!
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    3444 days ago
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    3445 days ago
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    Thanks for sharing this Linda!
    I like to think of myself as one of the younger crowd (while my kids would beg to differ!) It is for reasons like your husband's and my own family's history that I keep trying to drop the weight.
    Thanks again for posting!
    3445 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/30/2011 10:42:46 AM
    Thank you for posting this message. I think it will help others and it was very selfless of you to share what you are going through.

    Hoping for improved health for you and your husband. It's good that you are there to love and support one another!
    3445 days ago
    This is one of those blogs that I will never forget. What a story about strength of mind and spirit and a story of great love. It brings tears to my eyes. I am so glad I read it.

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    3445 days ago
    If the love of your spark friends could "fix" this for you, we sure would! You and your hubby have overcome so many health scares and this is just one more. Your words are so inspirational to all of us. Prayers are headed your way!
    3445 days ago
    Thank you for writing your blog, Linda. I know it must have been hard to do. I'm so sorry that in spite of your husband eating properly, exercising and losing weight (and 20 lbs. since June is significant), his kidney function still dropped.
    Perhaps it will stabilize at this point, and a transplant won't be needed.

    I will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers.

    3445 days ago
    Hi Linda........
    I am so sorry to hear your news. I will pray for both you and your husband. You did a wonderful job of describing this condition and I am sure that those who read this blog will go away with a much better understanding of how we can affect our own lives and those of our families and friends through preventive measures.
    Take care and know that I am here for you.
    3445 days ago
    You did a great job of writing this and if you save one person, you have done the right thing. God Bless you both.
    3445 days ago
    Kidney disease is so difficult: all best to you and your DH.

    What a great blog: you've provided a real service here on SP, and thank you for that.
    3445 days ago
    Oh sweetie sending you huge hugs and prayers. I can only imagine how disappointed you and your husband were with the news. Life just isn't fair!

    My sis is battling kidney failure AND lymphoma (has had the kidney problems for about 20 yrs. and has had lymphoma for 10). She has ALWAYS taken care of herself. It's just not fair, but that's not apparently the cards she was dealt. Anyway, just my way of telling you that I know how devastating kidney disease is. Her last visit (6 months ago) her kidneys were @ 24%. **SIGH** She has to watch her diet so carefully and it is difficult for her, but she does such a good job, as I'm sure your husband does, too.

    Prayers and hugs. I am so sorry.

    Oh, and I think your mission of grabbing attention with the title of your blog was accomplished. It got mine for sure!

    3445 days ago
    This is a wonderful blog and I hope the title gets everyone's attention (it did mine). You have said it all so well. Hopefully, our nation is stsrting to hear the message that healthy lifestyles start when we are young.

    Having gone through renal failure with my mom, I understand what your DH is facing. Please know that we are all thinking of you and keeping you in our prayers. Wishing you both the very best in your journey to being healthier.
    3445 days ago

    You did such a good job on writing this blog. I hope that the young spark people read it.

    Prayers are there for you both.

    3445 days ago
    Linda..I wrote a comment but it looks like it disappeared out in cyber space.So sorry to hear about your hubby's news regarding his kidneys.You are so right that we should take our health and fitness more seriously starting when we are younger.I am one of the older ones now but have found a workout routine that I enjoy and try my best to work out at least 45-60 minutes 5 days a week.Sending prayers to you and your hubby as you travel this road together.

    3445 days ago
    This was a wonderfully written blog my Friend. I am so sorry to hear those numbers but I learned what they actually meant. My DH mother is starting to combat kidney disease and has been seeing a doctor -- she is in the stage before transplant/dialysis .... this puts that more into perspective for me to understand.

    Your message is very loud and clear .... thank you for your generosity in sharing. Rocie
    3445 days ago
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