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Monday, March 1, 2010

Ask Me Monday: The E True Hollywood Edition

ask me monday

All right ladies.

You got your smutty-Perez-Hilton-must’ve-had-a-hand-in-this ear on?

‘Cause it’s Ask Me Monday and it’s gonna be a doozy.

I’m making a confession this week.

About me.

And something I’ve probably mentioned before, but never really shared about fully.

And yes, there are like two things about me that you still don’t know the full details of.

Like that I can’t stand bananas.

Or the smell of eggs.

The taste I’m fine with, but the smell.

Ew. Just EWWWW!

I breathe through my mouth the ENTIRE time I cook them because if I smell them while I’m cooking them I won’t be able to eat them. And probably, neither will anyone else, unless they happen to like scrambled barf eggs.

But, to get back to the confessional of the day.

No more beating around the bush on this.

It’s time to spill.



Here goes.

“Hello everyone. I’m Dumb Mom, and I have kidney disease.”

Feel free to respond with emphatic hellos and giddy waves.

If you do that monotone “Hi Dumb Mom” thingy I’m pretty sure I’ll cry.

All right, I feel like 18% better now that the truth is out.

And I know you probably don’t give a care are dying to know what this means.

So I’m gonna tell you all about it and why I decided to share now.

I have a form of kidney disease called IgA Nephropathy (aka Berger’s disease). It is a form of kidney disease known as glomerulonephritis.

I was officially diagnosed with it in 2007.

I was COMPLETELY surprised to learn that I had this disease because no one in my family has ever had any type of problems with their kidneys. Plus, at the time I was diagnosed I felt perfectly fine. I was struggling with PCOS related secondary infertility (another long story), but other than that I felt pretty much tip top. But, I had to get a physical (something I never did because I saw no reason to go to the MD when I was feeling fine) for my job and when I did they discovered some really abnormal things: high levels of protein and blood (I couldn’t see it) in my urine.

Naturally, because I am an in-denial-glutton-for-punishment, I ignored it and put it off for a bit, convincing myself it was a fluke because I felt FINE. But, then I came down with pink eye (who the crap gets pink eye as a grown up?!) and I had to go to my regular doc to get the eye gunk medicine. He did a urine test (since my sneaky job had forwarded him the results) and found the same stuff: protein and blood in the urine. He referred me to a nephrologist for a check.

A kidney ultrasound, a biopsy, and 2 moths later I was diagnosed with IgA nephropathy that was largely unaggressive at the time which meant that, after a go ahead from the perinatologist, things should be good for a third pregnancy.

#3 was produced shortly thereafter and I was monitored closely for the duration of my pregnancy. All went well (as you’ve seen) and I began my actual treatment (which consists of quarterly blood tests and visits to my nephrologist, and an oral medication) after I weaned #3 about a year or so ago.

That’s it in a nutshell.

Not as juicy of a story as you thought it was gonna be, right?!

It’s a largely silent disease that you can have and not know about for years. But, left undiscovered and untreated you could find yourself in a bad predicament relatively quickly.

Which is why I’ve decided to share my story (and that of many others over the course of the month) right now because…

March is National Kidney Month!

A time when kidney health awareness is focused upon.

Because did you know that…

  • One in nine Americans has kidney disease
  • You are at increased risk if you have diabetes or hypertension
  • Kidney disease is often a “silent” disease which means you could easily have it and have no idea
  • It’s super easy to get tested to determine if you may have some form of kidney issue

Doubt it, because I have CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease) and I had to Google it to get all of these sa-weet facts!

My hope is that by sharing my experience, and my fears, and how it has changed my family you will be compelled to get yourself screened, to encourage others to do so as well, and to help advance kidney research by making donations of time or money.

You can make donations to me here.

Not for me to like buy milk and cookies and stuff, it’s to support my Kidney Walk fund (which you are also welcome to join me for and I will bribe you with food and drink).


‘Cause I try to participate in it as my way of being helpful to the kidney community (since I’m not able to muster up the energy to help in any other way, raising cash is the least I can do).

But there are tons of other kidney related organizations that would love to have your donations (of time or money or resources) if you aren’t really that keen on helping me specifically.

Like Kidney Kids. An organization that I LOVE because they are “devoted to supporting children with kidney diseases and illnesses as well as their families. We are striving to lessen the physical, emotional and financial impacts of living with a kidney disease or illness for children and families in the Greater D.C. Metropolitan area.”

So very awesome.

But, even if you can’t spare a buck or two for the cause there are other ways you can help.

And you can start by helping yourself.

Get a screening, just to be on the safe side.

Program KEEP (Kidney Early Evaluation Program) can direct you to easy ways to get screened in your local area.

I was a relatively chunky healthy, 28 year old mom of two small boys when I found out I had IgA.

I didn’t have any of the main risk factors of IgA (check the profile pic people, I’m not a 30ish year old white dude!).

And, I didn’t catch this or inherit it (some debate that IgA is found in families, but not mine).

It’s an autoimmune disease that pretty much “just happens”.

But, as sure as I love trashy reality shows I have this disease and (unless I require a transplant) I’m going to for the rest of my life.

So, I urge you to visit your primary care physician and get a physical.

Or at least watch this video and see why it’s so important that you do exactly as I say.

Because it could save your life.

And, that’s what I really want: to be a life saver.

Honestly. I can’t even imagine where I would be now if I hadn’t found out that I have this disease.

Luckily, my symptoms are mild (mostly just fatigue) and now that I am on my medication even that can really only be blamed on the fact that I’m also a mom to three very off the chain crazy energetic little boys.

Everyone is not as fortunate as I have been.

Like Luis Sanchez and tons of other people who are waiting to see if their lives are gonna be saved.


Enough of the Debbie Downer business.

How about a GIVEAWAY?!

I actually announced it on Saturday, you know the day I always announce my giveaways?

Wait, what?

You didn’t know?

Maybe that’s because you DON’T READ on the weekends like you should?!

Well, since this is a product I absolutely love to death I’m gonna remind you to enter again.


And, don’t forget.

Because if you are an owner of a DSLR camera chances are that it has a pop up flash which means you are not gonna want to miss this: The Light Scoop Giveaway!

Tell me that’s not cool.


blueviolet said...

I'm glad you're calling attention to kidney disease! And I know what you mean about the smell of eggs. My brother hates it more than anybody I've ever seen. He abhors that smell!!!!

Pam said...

My husband has iga nephropathy. He was diagnosed in the 90's. He first started dialysis in 1998. Had a transplant in 2000. and lost the transplant in 2005. He's been on dialysis ever since. Still waiting for another transplant. It's a hard existance but he's doing it. I'm sorry you are on the same road. If you ever need a listening ear, email me.

singedwingangel said...

My mother and aunt both have failing kidneys, one of my bff's needs a kidney transplant from her long years of diabetes. I am so proud of you for standing up and being a voice.. You are a mom and a fighter and a woman and this stuff didn't know who it messed with lol.

parentingBYdummies said...

BV: It's always so comforting when I learn that my neurosis is shared by others. Makes me feel a little less cuckoo so thanks!

Pam: Thanks for sharing with me! The future of this disease is so uncertain I appreciate hearing other people's stories.

SW: HiYA! That's me kickin' IgA's butt. Better get my kung fu in order:)

Rebecca said...

Great post...the more people who are aware, the more people who will get screened. I can't believe the number of people who don't get physicals...I love physicals (I'm such a dork). Oh, and eggs smell like farts...the worst thing is coming home a few hours after breakfast and your house still smelling like eggs! Yuck!!

The Pipster said...

I agree with BV. Thank you for sharing your story and drawing attention to National Kidney Month. P.S. I feel the same way about seafood and mushrooms as you feel about the smell of eggs and I don't eat either of them.

Kmama said...

I didn't realize you had PCOS with secondary infertility. Holy crap. Are you my twin sister?? Same here.

I'm sorry to hear about your kidney disease, but it sounds like you have a great mindset about it. I hope you continue to stay healthy.

Shell said...

I, too, never go to the doctor b/c I think I don't need to if I feel fine.

I DID see your giveaway, but I do not have a DSLR. P&S for me right now. :(

parentingBYdummies said...

Becca- Hope you don't mind if I call you that because I like calling people that, even if they aren't named Rebecca. Anyway. Might want to get your farts checked at your next 4-fun-physical. Nothing should ever smell like eggs!

Pip-Is there life without seafood. I think not.

Kmama-Yeah, we are twins. As much as we look alike, I'm surprised we didn't notice before:)

Shell- You must get yourself one of those. They are AWE-SOME. If I could give one away I would rig it so you could win.

Anonymous said...

See without your wonderful words of truth and laughter I would never have been drawn to research Kidney failture etc. and fun runs to raise money for it. This is by far the best way to get a real point accross - by word of mouth (so to speak). So thanks for sharing.

My OH cant stand pretty much any smeel when its being cooked - he is rather special - bless. Makes cooking all that much harder though! lol

4 Lettre Words said...

A good friend of mine is on dialysis. Great post!

(I hate the smell of eggs cooking, too.)

Jennifer said...

Now I'm going to lay awake at night and wonder if I have kidney disease. Yes, I'm weird like that. I'm going to make my dr do a urine sample the next time I go. And according to the phlembotmist (???) I go more than anyone my age. Isn't that nice.


that was a lot to take in all at once. i can't do oatmeal since the last pregnancy. don't know what happened.

i don't know anyone with kidney issues BUT my dad has diabetes which his mom and dad both had. so i might mention something to him. thanks for the sharing.

angie said...

I LOVE that you told us this tidbit in order to spread awareness. I certain never knew that it was an autoimmune disease and that one can have it without knowing it.

I'm still scratching my head though. I don't understand why when I met you you didn't say, "Hi. I'm Dumb mom and I have kidney disease". :) Kidding.

Seriously though, thanks for sharing. I missed the part about your prognosis though. If you stay on top of it will you be ok or eventually are you going to need dialysis and stuff?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for shairng your story. I had no idea IgA even existed. Keep fighting the good fight.

TKW said...

Who knew? Wow. How awesome are you for trying to boost awareness?

Do NOT get me started on egg smell. Nasty shit! It was even worse when I had morning sickness with Miss D.--I truly couldn't take a whiff without hurling. And yet, I still cooked my husband eggs like the cool wifey I am. But I secretly hated him for it.

When did I become my Mom said...

Man... is that why you're always talking about laughing til you pee in your pants?! kidding...

Seriously tho - you take care of yourself and good for you for bringing this up and teaching us other dummie moms about it.

BlogBaby said...

Autoimmune diseases suck. SugarDaddy has one too - Dermatomyositis. Go ahead and google it if you must. It's rare. Very rare. A little bit like Lupus except that your immune system attacks your connective tissues, and muscles but not really your organs themselves. At his worst he spent 3 months in the hospital, couldn't walk, get out of a chair, feed or dress himself or anything we take for granted as normal things to be able to do for oneself. It blew chunks but that was 7 years ago now and he's symptom free these days.

Praying for your continued wellness despite your diagnosis.


Kerry said...

Kudos to you for bringing this disease some attention hun. Sucks that you have it though. Bummer :(

I think it's funny you don't like the smell of eggs. well not really funny, well just a lil bit. ;)
I guess you would've passed out if you had to do the 'Sulfur Springs" date with Bachelor Jake huh? lol.

Have a good one chica!!

Heather said...

Great post - you're right, a lot of people aren't aware.

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) runs in my family: my granddad, my dad, my aunt and my cousin. I haven't been tested yet, but because it's genetic there's a 50 percent chance I have it too. However, like nepthropathy, it's kind of silent for a long time.

Glad you're raising awareness for this subject :)

Giving away two copies of the movie Extract starring Jason Bateman and Ben Affleck. Contest ends 4/2/10.
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