My left kidney is failing. The results from the MAG3 renogram showed that it’s already down to only 50% effectiveness. Apparently there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the kidney itself; the problem is that the infection in my pelvis is causing inflammation in the tissues around the ureter, squeezing it closed, and reducing the flow of urine from the kidney to the bladder. The kidney adapts to this by doing less. Sadly this is usually irreversible.
From the surgeons perspective this is the wakeup call that indicates that we can no longer just give me more time to attempt to heal, but instead need to be more proactive in trying to fix the underlying disease in my pelvis. Although I don’t need both kidneys (in practice you can survive with only about 20% function in one) the desire is to preserve as much as possible, just in case something bad (such as a serious car crash, or the further spread of the inflammation in my pelvis) should happen to the good kidney in the future.
So, essentially the options open to me are a more serious intervention in my pelvis to try to fix the inflammation, and possibly preserve the join in my bowel, or a massive operation to attempt to remake the join (clearing out the existing disease at the same time), or a very large operation to create a permanent colostomy (again, also clearing the existing disease). Each has various advantages and disadvantages, but ultimately the only one with a pretty much guaranteed outcome is the permanent colostomy. Needless to say, that’s not the outcome I’m trying to achieve, so in the end I have elected to go for the more radical intervention to try to fix the inflammation and preserve the existing join in my bowel.
The operation to try to fix the inflammation will now happen sometime after Easter. That will involve more endoscopic surgery, a heavy regime of antibiotics, and the use of vacuum therapy to try to aid the healing of the wounds. It’s probably at least a couple of weeks in hospital, with several procedures under general anaesthetics, and then some further recuperation at home before I can think about getting back to work. The advantage of this is that I can still elect to do either of the other two options next, if this fails. The disadvantage is that in the worst case it adds up to 6 months more time to my battle, without actually guaranteeing me a final conclusion.
But in the meantime, the first step on this treatment path was to stent my kidney, which was done on Tuesday. This is my second stent, and as usual it was placed under general anaesthetic so I (fortunately) don’t remember much about that. However, I’m suffering from a clutch of the common side effects at the moment; feeling like I was kicked in the crotch by a horse, have a frequent need to wee, pain in the kidney when I do wee, and I’m also passing quite a bit of blood. Paracetamol is currently my best friend 🙂
Oh yes, and worst of all, I currently have a horrible cold too!