?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
I tell you this to keep myself honest. 
29th-Aug-2009 11:25 am
Everything hurts/Doesn't work
And also because some of my readers are doctors, nurses, and other health professionals and may have insight; ditto that for other chronically-ill folks.

So for about a week, I have had the dawning awareness that my kidneys are not doing their job to the best of their ability. I have the ammonia/ketone breath thing going on. Also nausea and loss of appetite, but those aren't new, so it's hard to tell if that's kidney-related. Also Teh Itchening has worsened over the past few weeks, which I was just chalking up to chlorine, but it's apparently a kidney-trouble symptom.

So this led to me panicking. Because if it's the Gabitril causing this, they will take me off the Gabitril. And all of my newfound functionality would go away. Which is... pretty much an unbearable thought.

I'm not finding much on Gabitril affecting the kidneys, thank goodness. There are rare cases, but considering that my life story on anti-seizure meds = rare cases (I was getting side effects on Lamictal that weren't even on the PI sheet), that doesn't rule it out.

Another thing that can cause this is malnourishment. Fun fact: last time I dropped this much weight this fast, I got scurvy. I am not kidding you. Arr. This time, I've been mindful of getting enough healthy food - when possible. So many of the restaurants my parents take us to have no vegetables.

The weight loss, you guys. Let's call it ~20 pounds in ~2 months. It's like time-lapse photography over here.

Which brings us to possible cause #3, which is the one I'm clinging to. And let me tell you, I love dating engineers. Because when presented with a problem, they instantly shift into problem-solving mode and start flowcharting. It's awesome.

feste_sylvain: "How much weight have you lost at this point?"
Me: "Actually, the number on the scale has been fairly stable - but my body has still been changing. I think my belly fat is becoming leg muscle. I've been walking more regularly here."
feste_sylvain: "So if Lyrica is fat-soluble..."

!

And yes, it is. So. I'm losing fat and building muscle, which means that all of the drugs that have been all cozy in the fat are being released. All at once. Apparently everything I've taken while I was on Lyrica, which means, besides the current things, Cymbalta and Trileptal (both known to fuck with kidneys). And it is all jackhammering my poor kidneys.

I like this possibility most. Because it is finite.

*breathes*

So I'm giving myself a week of self-treatment to fix it. Because I don't want to talk to my doctors about it for fear that they'll take me off the Gabitril just to be safe. I can *think*, you guys. I can think, and I can move. I really, really cannot deal with the idea of that going away again.

So. *Lots* of water, which sucks because I hate water. Feh. And I'll have to see what else can be done.

EDIT: And citrus makes me vomit, so putting lemon in my water will not make it more palatable. (Yes, I'm serious about citrus. I was very nauseous at dinner the other day because someone applied grapefruit hand lotion in the car on the way. Ack, toxic stench in enclosed space! I have been made very sick to my stomach by supersekrit trace amounts of citrus in dishes no one should use citrus in. My aunt makes sweet potatoes with orange peel. Now I know.) I also dislike cranberry, but I'll look for other flavorings.

My aversion to drinking lots of water is more a sensation thing than a taste thing, though, and there's not much helping that. This stems from what I realized years later was an abusive situation at a wilderness survival camp when I was 16 - being forced to chug quarts of water, throwing up after every one, until I could hold down two. There was a lot of "WE WILL BREAK YOU" going on there, but that's the one and only time they made me cry. Despite making me hike with rocks in my pack, without a pack frame even through the pack weighed over 25% of my body weight (this is why I have a torn L5/S1 disc), the verbal assaults, et cetera. I grew up having to be tough. I can deal with a lot. But repeated forced consumption and vomiting from 8 til noon with breaks curled up in a ball trembling did me in.

Yes, that one aspect of that one Bujold book was Difficult for me.
Comments 
29th-Aug-2009 03:29 pm (UTC)
Like water or not, hydrate like a madwoman.

But...

If you overdo the water, you will get hyponatremia, which can mess with your mind as well.

So, a small sports bottle of water six to eight times a day should do the trick.
29th-Aug-2009 03:31 pm (UTC)
The bottled water my parents have is 1 pint/.5L. 6-8 of those?
29th-Aug-2009 03:33 pm (UTC)
I'll keep my fingers crossed that it IS #3, and that you can keep going on the Gabitril!!!
29th-Aug-2009 03:36 pm (UTC)
Eating a kidney healthy diet will help too.
29th-Aug-2009 03:39 pm (UTC)
Ugh, I hate so many of those. :( But I'll do what I can!
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
29th-Aug-2009 04:03 pm (UTC)
I hate plain water, too. If you can -- and like the flavor -- put a little juice in it, cranberry or apple. Also? Herbal tea.
29th-Aug-2009 06:12 pm (UTC)
Yes, what about tea? You can get herbal tea without caffeine if that's an issue... there are lots of options out there, tea-wise. :)
29th-Aug-2009 04:04 pm (UTC)
Cranberry pills (and/or cranberry juice) whenever I feel an infection coming on, they help immensely.
Also, DaVita is a Dialysis company, their website (www.davita.com) has all sorts of tips for preventing harm to your kidneys.
1st-Sep-2009 11:32 pm (UTC)
I take a daily cranberry capsule.
29th-Aug-2009 04:05 pm (UTC)
Maybe a touch of lemon juice in your water, to change the taste and the experience? I speak as someone who's long drank lots of water and would add lemon juice to Northern Virginia water, which didn't taste right otherwise.

Meanwhile, I am relieved you're getting your walking in.
29th-Aug-2009 05:07 pm (UTC)
Lemon will make me vomit. Not the desired result!
29th-Aug-2009 04:13 pm (UTC)
I'll second splashing a bit of cranberry juice in your water to help make it more palatable.
29th-Aug-2009 04:47 pm (UTC)
I put lemon juice (bottled or fresh squeezed) in my water to make it drinkable.

Do you like cranberry juice?

Also, I love your boyfriend! "Lyrica is fat soluble!" Hee! The power of science compels you!

I hope it's the interesting science theory, lots of water, good food, and you will hopefully feel better soon and can stay on the meds that work!
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
29th-Aug-2009 05:09 pm (UTC)
I'm not a doctor, bit I am a diabetic, which wrecks my kidneys. So I talk Altace (which is also for high blood pressure) as a protectant for the additional wear and tear ony kidneys. You might could ask about something lile that.

Good Luck!
29th-Aug-2009 05:27 pm (UTC)
Ok, you don't actually need to chug the water. :) Oh, but how 'bout doing more of an Italian soda type thing with it? Get seltzer water and add like, almond extract to it, or vanilla, or something like that.
29th-Aug-2009 05:44 pm (UTC)
Could try that. :)

But even not chugging, drinking lots of water still make me queasy.
29th-Aug-2009 05:55 pm (UTC)
Agh. I couldn't survive without citrus. D:

-hugs- I'm so sorry to hear what you went through at that survival camp. :(

Can you drink Kool-aid or Crystal Light? I have problems with plain water, though it's more of a taste thing than a texture thing. When I couldn't drink my usual crazy amounts of iced tea after my surgery, I learned to love Crystal Light. It's a bit expensive, but if you go to Walmart and get their store brand, they have 9 million varieties. They take a tiny bit of getting used to, but once you do, they're damn yummy. That's actually something that I've kept using, even though I'm well past the "absolutely no caffeinated drinks" stage of my diet. (Though I really shouldn't be back to drinking crazy amounts of iced tea anyway. >.>)

Also, herbal teas! I know that warm weather + hot tea = suck, but maybe you can try to find a tea that tastes good cold? I haven't had much luck in that area, though.
(Deleted comment)
29th-Aug-2009 06:40 pm (UTC)
Have you tried slices of cucumber? Verra refreshing.
29th-Aug-2009 06:55 pm (UTC)
Seconded! I was just going to say this. Also leaves from mint, lemon balm, bee balm, whatever herb you like.
29th-Aug-2009 06:48 pm (UTC)
I understand the need to stay hydrated, especially during this kind of extended detox. Most hydration suggestions look like they're about making water easier to drink without adding calories--citrus peel, cranberry, unsweetened herbal tea, Crystal Light. Is it important to you to keep your calorie intake down? There might be some value in trying to keep it *up*, so you don't lose fat so quickly, if slower fat loss would put a lower effective dose of Lyrica into your bloodstream. You could get some of your fluids by eating watermelon. If there are fruit juices you like, you can dilute them just enough to avoid the sugar rush, rather than putting a spoonful flavor a glass of water. Have lots of soup. Maybe gazpacho, if it gets blistering hot again.

(I've probably said this before, and I know lots of other people have said it to you, but I want to say it every time you post about that wilderness survival camp. I'm sorry that happened to you. It was horrible and abusive and shouldn't happen to anybody.)
29th-Aug-2009 07:25 pm (UTC)
I can't drink cranberry juice - I don't know how other people do. I DO drink a cranberry-black cherry blend, which I highly recc. Lots of vitamin C, no citrus, crazy good taste with no cranberry ARGH MY MOUTH WTF feelings
29th-Aug-2009 09:31 pm (UTC)
Small amounts of Ribena syrup added to the water? It's blackcurrant, not citrus or berry, and because it's a syrup, it shifts the texture of the water a little bit too.
29th-Aug-2009 09:33 pm (UTC)
Hm. That sounds tasty - where does one get it?
(Deleted comment)
29th-Aug-2009 10:26 pm (UTC)
Instead of citrus, try frozen strawberries or cherries? Any type of fruit should work, I think. Add your favorite!

To encourage myself to drink more water it needs to be as cold as possible which means lots of ice. I indulge myself and buy big bags of store ice because I love the texture and it tastes better than anything that comes out of my freezer.
29th-Aug-2009 11:17 pm (UTC)
Here's an idea from my bellydance teacher: put a mint (the hard candy kind) in a bottle of water. It comes out like mint tea. It works well with all kinds of hard candy, too.
30th-Aug-2009 12:13 am (UTC)
Do you like ginger? I am enjoying slices of fresh ginger in my water lately. Am on the healthy eating bandwagon in an effort to get my own pain issues under control.
30th-Aug-2009 01:25 am (UTC)
Trader Joe's has a very lovely white tea with pomegranate that's good even when cut heavily with water. It does contain lemongrass, but it doesn't read as citrus-y to me, more of a crisp pomegranate flavor. I have probably made it when you've been around, as it's my very favorite tea in the world. If you'd like to sniff it the next time you're up here, remind me and I'll brew some up.

(Well, no, red zinger was my very favorite tea in the world. But I haven't been able to find that in forever.)
30th-Aug-2009 05:19 am (UTC)
And lemongrass isn't citrus. If it's an allergy to citrus, the lemongrass might not be a problem. However, the brain is a creature of habit, if you're already nauseous, and you smell something citrus-like, that could be a problem anyway.

I find that a tea made with fresh mint leaves changes the texture of the water a little, and has a much better taste than making tea from dried leaves.

But my main suggestion is to find a glass or mug you love. The biggest problem here is probably breaking the association between what you're drinking and the past abuse. So find a design that makes you feel powerful and whole and healthy, and focus on that image while you drink.
30th-Aug-2009 06:08 am (UTC)
http://www.thickitretail.com/

This will not help the flavor of the water (yes, water has a flavor) but it may help with the texture issue.
30th-Aug-2009 04:16 pm (UTC)
I'm sure you've had plenty of advice already. All I can say is that one thing I do to help is nibble on something that makes me thirsty - like fudge or something rich like that. I go through a lot of water even nibbling on a small piece like that, and I don't feel like I'm just drinking a lot of water. I do similar things when I drink milk - I can't ever drink milk by itself, I have to eat something with it.
30th-Aug-2009 04:32 pm (UTC)
For the record, I almost never drink water. Tea by the gallon, that's the solution!
31st-Aug-2009 03:57 am (UTC)
Have you considered that this might be a dosage issue? Are the only options on and off this medication, or can it be scaled back? Would tea (herbal or otherwise) in your water help? I don't like water either, though for far less traumatic reasons, and I find ice tea completely different. Is it possible you are missing something that is preventing you from getting nutrients out of your food? Probiotics and/or yogurt would be one possiblity, and if you take a long term antacid as I do you might want to look into malabsorption.
Page 1 of 2
<<[1] [2] >>
This page was loaded Sep 20th 2017, 10:06 pm GMT.