Thursday, September 01, 2005

My Latest Crisis

10 fucking years of suffering, ruined kidneys, neuropathy and enough medicines to kill a horse.

I should have started thinking for myself 10 years ago.

A Google search of "hypertension" led me to several good papers on the subject.

Hypertension can be primary (95%) or secondary (5%)

Primary hypertension is usually mild and responds to medication. It's cause is unknown.
Secondary hypertension is more severe and often is the result of KNOWN, TREATABLE causes and is almost always curable.

I discovered that the main type of secondary hypertension is renovascular and the main sub-cause is renal artery stenosis.

No one ever bothered to check my renal arteries. Not even the Chief of Nephrology at a major hospital.

I asked for a Renal Artery MRA (angiogram).

The results?

Major blockages in BOTH renal arteries. 99% certainty that this is the cause of all my problems.
And no one ever bothered to look.

Bottom line:

They put an expandable stent in one of the the arteries to open it up. The other side is completely closed and cannot be reopened. The kidney is atrophied and useless. Now we have to wait a week or two to see if the good kidney rebounds and the blood pressure and creatinine drops.

If I hadn't asked for the MRA, the other renal artery would have closed up in short time and both kidneys would have expired. It would have been Dialysis City for me.

I'm thankful that the technology was in place (interventional radiology and endovascular surgery) and I thank the doctors for their hopefully successful intervention. But I can't help being a little bitter that this was not diagnosed 10 years ago and that up till August 23, 2005, nobody had bothered to look at my renal arteries. It could have saved me a lot of grief.