1. Nearly a year ago, both Dr. Bird and, six months later, Dr. Rinaldi recommended that I have a tooth evaluated by an endodontist and today, after much procrastination, I finally had the tooth evaluated by Dr. Brittney Penberthy. She took x-rays and I agreed to a CT scan and she determined that an apicoectomy would be the best way to remove infection that had developed in the bony area around the end of my tooth -- a tooth where I'd had a root canal, maybe twenty-five years ago. I agreed to have the procedure done, even though this tooth has not given me any pain, for two reasons. One, I believed Dr. Penberthy when she said it was not a matter of if the tooth would one day give me pain, but when. Secondly, to be a viable candidate for a kidney transplant, I can't have any dental infections. I am working to be listed at the transplantation center at Sacred Heart in Spokane and having this infection cleaned up will help me be accepted in their program.
I made an appointment to have the surgery performed on Thursday, October 11th.
2. After my appointment with Dr. Penberthy, I took a nostalgic drive to 9th and Hastings in CdA and then I drove to Kootenai Clinic Nephrology where I had an appointment with Dr. Kristie Jones. Dr. Jones had reviewed the blood work I had done last week and she said what I thought she would, having myself received the results and studied them. The upshot of our discussion was as follows: many of my numbers are solid, but my function is diminishing. Dr. Jones recommended that I reduce my consumption of animal protein -- as it is, most days I only eat meat once a day, and I've begun to contemplate how I can eat even less. She also recommended that I eat fewer foods heavy in potassium and I'll be more mindful of that.
For the first time, we talked about dialysis. Just as Dr. Malik had in Bethesda, Dr. Jones recommended that when the time comes for dialysis, that I consider peritoneal dialysis, a way of cleansing the blood that can be done at home. I was relieved to know that this might be an option for me because if I had to go to a dialysis center, the closest one is CdA and I hadn't wanted to have to drive there as many as three times a week, especially in the winter.
For the time being, the really good news is that I feel good. I'm not showing symptoms of renal failure and that's good. Dr. Jones can't begin to know when I might need to start dialysis, but the hope is that I continue to feel good and that my disease continues to progress slowly.
I will see Dr. Jones again in December.
3. After these two appointments, it seemed like a good time to eat some drunken noodles, so I went to Thai Bamboo and that's what I did. I enjoyed the sweet spiciness of this dish and was especially happy to have chosen tofu as my protein, so happy, in fact, that I went to Pilgrim's and bought three tubs of tofu, a couple of eggplants, four cans of 3 Way IPA, some yellow curry paste, and two cans of coconut milk. I see some fine food in my future.