Friday, July 24, 2015

Another test added at Mayo

"Good morning, JoLynn. This is Dr. David Sas with the Mayo Clinic nephrology department. How are you today?"

Communication is so simple, yet so powerful. It's like a breath of fresh air.

Dr. Sas wanted to discuss some of Sara's test results and information he has for us so far. First, her bloodwork was unremarkable, which was good. It is very difficult to accurately measure kidney function and the best they can say is if the kidneys are functioning at a level of at least 75% and Sara's are, which is great. Her phosphorus level was low at 3.9 but not suspiciously low. They like to see it around 4.3.

As for the urine sample (not the 24 hour urine test), it came back with blood in her urine, which is typical for her because of the stones. But there is also protein in her urine. This really really surprised me. She is on the low dose of blood pressure medication to keep the pressure in her kidneys down so it does not spill protein in her urine. I told Dr. Sas that her urine was tested in June and there was no presence. He compared the results and it is because her Peoria nephrologist (Dr. Gordillo) ran a simple urinalysis and this one checked a protein to creatinine level. A normal level is less than 0.2 and a severe level is greater than 2.0. Sara's was 0.81. This means she is at risk for a progression of her kidneys diminishing, but we already know that and that is why we are here. I wonder if we are going to need to change her meds because of this and tell Dr. Gordillo he needs to be running a different urinalysis.

Last, he said he went thru all of the images Sara has ever had taken with some kidney stone experts in the urology department. They feel she may benefit from having them removed surgically again. We will discuss that further with Dr. Granberg on Tuesday. Dr. Sas deals with the prevention side and urology deals with the improvement/removal side. They would like Sara to have a CT scan in order to get the most clear picture of the severity of the stones at this time. He understands the level of radiation that puts her thru. However, Shannon and I feel that if this would help provide the most clear picture to determine next steps on our journey, then there is no hesitation. So Sara will have a CT scan on Monday morning at 8:30.

Sara and I loaded up her large orange container of urine and rode the free shuttle to Mayo Clinic for her 12:45pm ultrasound while Shannon stayed at the hotel with the boys. We arrived early enough to grab lunch in the cafeteria. Sara's selection of cheese pizza was no surprise but the cherry jello was something she doesn't usually ask for.


We were back on the 16th floor, the same as for her blood draw yesterday and were finally able to drop off that big orange container once and for all. Even though we were 15 minutes early they took us back before I was able to sit down and pull out some reading material.

Sara thought the groundhog pattern on the floor was really funny. Or prairie dog or beaver or whatever it was.


Sara has had quite a few ultrasounds in the past 3 years but this is the first time she had to lay on her tummy for part of it. Part of the test she had to lay on her left side and she looked at this fat cat artwork on the wall.


She is quite observant of her surroundings and points out different things she thinks are pretty. Throughout various areas on this floor are random tiles of artwork drawn by children. It is a neat way to incorporate a youthful atmosphere.



After the test was done we had a little time to kill before catching the shuttle back to the hotel. So we chose to sit outside on this little veranda that was behind the piano player. Sara was telling me all the flowers she liked and I think eventually she picked them all!



We get the weekend to catch our breath and do some fun things.

Shannon was able to talk to the coordinator of the class he was supposed to teach next week. He was prepared to teach a few days remotely via webcam but all of the attendants agreed to just push the class back a few days. So at this point we will leave for home Tuesday after our appointment with Dr. Sas. I expect that will be after dinner and put us home sometime in the middle of the night so Shannon can teach on Wednesday and I can return to work, as well, after missing a week.

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