I sent the following email to my peers at AHS today and I’m posting it here as well as a warning for all.
I have been ill for the past couple of months. I have missed more school due to health issues and had more medical tests since Spring Break than I’ve probably had cumulative in the 17 years I’ve worked for AISD full time.
During this time I recognized my cognitive skills, memory, ability to find the right word, etc. was sinking rapidly (along with my energy level) but had no idea what was wrong. I’d begun to wonder if I was depressed.
After passing out here at school for what we originally thought was a low blood sugar incident two weeks ago I ended up in the hospital. I was in kidney failure. I was severely dehydrated. The dehydration caused the kidneys to act up which caused my blood sugar to spike up and down erratically. The blood sugar issues were causing weakness and exhaustion. The dehydration and exhaustion caused the problems pertaining to my mind/brain. The dehydration also caused tachycardia – my heart rate was 124 sitting in the doctor’s office and is what got me fast-tracked to the hospital. Once at the hospital I never even sat down, they took my name and insurance card, called a triage nurse and I was i a room within 5 minutes. That clued me into how serious my situation was.
Why were my kidneys failing? Anti-inflammatory. In my case Aleve and later Meloxicam.
Two years of taking over-the-counter and then prescription anti-inflammatories while trying to wait out a needed partial knee replacement damaged my kidneys. Thankfully, once the doctors realized what was wrong I was given 4 huge bags of fluid over 2 days and the kidney function returned to normal. I have been banned from using anti-inflammatories for the rest of my life.
I share this story because there are many of us here at AHS “of an age” and who take Aleve, Advil, Mobic/Meloxicam, DayPro, Naproxen, etc. for joint pain and/or arthritis without thinking a thing about it. I had no idea that prolonged use of anti-inflammatories could cause kidney damage. Mine was reversed, not all kidney damage is repaired as easily as mine has been. Here’s an interesting fact from “the drug lady” at AHS (social worker who deals with substance abuse) – the second leading cause of accidental death in the US is overdose of prescription meds – my prescription anti-inflammatory for example. I had heard warnings about Tylenol and liver damage for years. Never once did I hear anything about kidneys and anti-inflammatories. If you take an anti-inflammatory on a regular basis please pay attention to my experience and don’t repeat it. Have your doctor regularly check your kidney function!
I posted the following on my blog a year ago today.
Terry called Daddy Sunday evening. Daddy could barely carry on the conversation due to breathing problems.
They were here in town since Yuvonna had a procedure scheduled for Monday morning.
We got a message at 10:30 Sunday night they were heading to the ER and another at 11:15 that he was undergoing tests. I found out later he got to the hospital via a call to 9-1-1 and ambulance. After some time and tests in ER he was admitted into the Heart Hospital at Arlington Memorial
Daddy swears the breathing issue started a few weeks ago when his cardiologist put him on Coumadin. After researching Coumadin some I suspect he is right.
Terry spent time with him yesterday morning/mid-day and I went after school. Yuvonna’s son and daughter in law were there when I got there, she and her other son arrived shortly after I did (postponed her procedure until June). When I left Katie and Brian were there and Tina on the way.
Let me just say that he looks like h*** BUT sounds better than he did yesterday afternoon. And he swears he is feeling better. He is on oxygen.
Everyone seems to agree the Coumadin he was taking is the problem for Sunday. He had only a half pill Sunday and none Monday but his coumadin level is still 3.2. It should be between 2 and 3. He also has Congestive Heart Failure.
Katie spent the night with him. She said he was able to sleep and the oxygen was definitely helping him to feel better.
I had no idea what was coming. Six weeks later he was gone. A year later we know he also had Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and that it WASN’T the Coumadin, his farm has been sold, his estate has been settled and Terry and I are still talking about how much we miss him and how we’d really thought he was going to live another year or two.
What a difference a year makes.
There are two ways to think about the Texas Hill Country. Physically, it spreads across the undulating Edwards Plateau, with Austin to the east and San Antonio to the south. Near the center is Fredericksburg, which was once the main show in these parts, but no longer. To get a feeling for the Hill Country in the second sense — the state of mind where cool mingles with tradition, and industriousness and idleness are equally esteemed values (depending on the time of day) — head out among the limestone knolls full of live oak groves and cypress-lined creeks, and to the gritty pin-dot towns built largely of native stone. Here you’ll find a delicious tension between rural and refined. Inns and restaurants are bringing a clever touch to Lone Star hospitality and mythology, and with the vineyards and boutique farms (lavender, olives), some people make comparisons to Napa Valley or even Provence. But those assessments ignore something fundamental: the Hill Country — being Texas at its finest — is like nowhere else in the world.
Be sure to look at the photo gallery that accompanies the article.