This was my week to go to the doctor for a checkup / blood work. This visit will be a little different; the good doctor has a new nurse to assist him.
Bright and early yesterday morning I am off for a fun filled hour or so at the XXX Medical Building. The good doctor, I really do like him, talked to me about the normal things: diet, exercise and so on. All and all a good visit with the exception of… possible embellishment ahead… the Countess Dracucilla siphoning off a quart or so of A positive for testing purposes.
Today is the bigger day; the day when my test results arrive. This is usually when the nurse gives me a lecture about this level is too high or that level is too low. As I stated earlier I have a new nurse now.
My phone rings this afternoon and the Caller ID informs me the doctor’s office is on the line. Let me remind you of my title “Words Have Meaning”.
Nurse: “Mr. X this is nurse Y from XXX Medical Building. I have your test results.” There is a short pause and papers rattling.
Nurse: “We see the early signs of kidney disease.” I’ll have to admit, that wasn’t what I was expecting so a brief pause was in order.
Me: “This is new”. She had my full attention now.
Nurse: “It is common in people your age.” Okay now I am still curious with a dash of annoyed.
Me: “So this is just an age thing?”
Nurse: “Yes but there is another factor. The guideline for measuring kidney function has recently changed and the scale has been narrowed.”
Me: “So my age coupled with a change in the way you evaluate kidney effectiveness is why you brought this up.”
Nurse: ‘That is correct.”
Me: “How far over am I?”
Nurse: “You are not actually over the number but you are getting close.”
Me: “So I am still in the normal range but getting close to the top.”
Nurse: “That is correct.”
Me: “Is there anything I need to be doing different?”
Nurse: “Make sure you drink plenty of fluids.”
Me: “Thanks for calling.”
Words have meaning! Let me offer a different approach to this whole conversation. “Kidney function will degrade as we get older so you need to be even more mindful of hydration. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids.”
Note to the blogging community: If you are in your 50s and up, and go in for a check-up soon, don’t overreact if you hear a nurse say “We see the early signs of kidney disease.”
Until My Kidneys Fail,