Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Creatinine from the Black Lagoon

I met Brenda at the hospital today (six days post-transplant) for our post-operative check-ups. Brenda looks and feels great. We are both off of our narcotic (and delicious) painkillers in favor of (plain, boring) Tylenol. My wounds (three of them) from surgery are all healing well.

I was mostly interested in finding out our current creatinine levels.

Allow me to explain:

The functioning of your kidneys is best measured by testing the level of creatinine in your blood. A low level is good and indicates good kidney functioning. A high level is bad and indicates kidney failure and the need for dialysis and/or a transplant to save your life.

When kidney people talk about your “creatinine level,” it is generally expressed in a single number, such as “1.4.” What this is referring to (in the non-metric U.S.A.) is 1.4 milligrams per deciliter.

Normal levels of creatinine in the blood are approximately 0.6 to 1.2 milligrams per deciliter.

A person with only one kidney may have a normal level of about 1.8 or 1.9. Creatinine levels that reach 2.0 or more in babies and 10.0 or more in adults may indicate the need for dialysis to remove wastes from the blood.

Before my surgery, my creatinine level was 1.2. Six days after the surgery, it is 1.6. I’m told this is normal. This number will continue to decrerase as my remaining kidney swells (with pride) over the next several weeks, and increases its filtration rate.

The increased level of creatinine in people suffering kidney failure causes their brain function to diminish. They often feel “cloudy” in their thoughts.

Prior to surgery (and during her kidney failure), Brenda’s creatinine level was above 9.0. Immediately following receiving my kidney, her creatinine level has plunged to 1.0.

She says her mind is no longer cloudy.

I say my kidney has made her a genius.

She says I shouldn’t get carried away.

9 comments:

Doris said...

Dear Tom,
I feel as if I know you , though I do not, because of your very honest manner and you have put yourself out there. I believe you are a very special person and your friends, many of whom you do not know but we know you though your kind act to our friend Brenda, can hardly express our sincere gratitude for your act of selflessness. One can only hope and pray that you are continuously blessed for your kindness.
Kindly,
D

Anonymous said...

I donated a kidney on the 28th August 2007..went through extensive testing..to be accepted as a live kidney donor for my dear friend, 6 months on my recipient is doing remarkably well, the various bad readings in his blood and kidney function now all read low, he is working again, fit as a fiddle so to speak! And i would do it all again tomorrow! Regards Traci

Anonymous said...

My name is Melissa, I donated my kidney 4 months ago and both of us are doing great. Its a gift that keeps giving. I would not hesitate to do it again.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I donated a kidney to my sister 4 weeks ago (8/7/09) - what an incredible experience! I am doing very well, there is some concern around her creatinine level (this is actually her second transplant - she had received a kidney from our Dad 24 years ago), but overall she is doing much better. It's wonderful to read about others who have experienced this.

Gail

Peggy said...

I loved your blog! I donated to my brother in January of 2005. Today he is alive but struggling after a hip transplant, massive migraines and now gout. He's only 45 and I'm so afraid we will lose him. He's very thin and I fear he has become extremely depressed. If anyone has any suggestions about what i can do to help please let me know!

Anonymous said...

I dontated a Kidney to a long time friend about 6 weeks ago. It really was not a big deal, bery little pain and I am back to running and riding (no real weight lifting for many more weeks). Funny enough is that going into surgery my Creatinine level was 1.0. When I left the hospital it was 1.8 and down to 1.6 1 week post op. I am only at 1.5 right now while my friend is at 1.35. I must have given him my better kidney. :-)
In short, if you are considering this for someone, do it. So little discomfort for a life changing opportunity for someone else.

Anonymous said...

Great blog!! You are a special guy to donate a kidney, I hope your life is filled with nothing but smiles and great things. My brother donated a kidney to me for Christmas last year, and it is amazingly gratifying, I will never be ever to thank him enough, so when I come across donor, I have to thank you all for your selfless gifts.

Vitamins said...

Creatinine levels need to be closely monitored if the patient has kidney failure.

Anonymous said...

Greetings Mr. Simon,

Im a kidney donor too... is there like a kidney donor club for us?

-e