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Has to be asked: COVID-19 and neph

Posts: 61
Joined: Mar 2019

Has to be asked, and I'm sure that survivors of other types of cancers probably have it worse than us. Way worse. But I've been wondering how people like us, with only one kidney, would do with this entire COVID-19 debacle. I mean, taking the recommended precautions here, as much as I can. But I still have one kidney doing the work for two. 

IDK. Dark times, these. Cry 

donna_lee's picture
Posts: 1004
Joined: Feb 2009

I wouldn't call it a debacle; it's now a fact.  I saw my Internist for a regular check up yesterday.  Their clinic is prepared for phone calls, a drive up testing collection at the back entrance, etc.

As Dr. reviewed my data and age, almost 77, eGFR last week of 34 with one kidney, he said I should consider seeing a Nephrologist. We discussed the situation and I agreed for a referral.  Scared the #### out of me, as I hadn't even dealt with or considered the potential for dialysis.  The older, slow method is with a drip port under the clavicle.  There is a newer method that requires a permanent delivery method placed under the skin in your forearm, which can withstand the pressure of being pumped, and takes less time than the drip.  The caveat-It has to be put in place before you need it;  if you go into kidney failure, the fast way is the drip method.   Ugh and double ugh.  I think for us, keeping your blood pressure, weight and cholesterol down is a key to a lot of our problems.

I'll keep you posted on what happens.  As of this time, my one kidney works really well, especially at night-it wakes me up.

A note on the Covid 19 and my history.  Had my grandmother not died within 3 days of contracting the Influenza Virus that swept the continents in 1918, my life would have been different/or ??  She died leaving her husband, age 49 and my mom, age 14 months.  He worked as a stationary engineer in the Phoenix, AZ electrical plant on the night shift.  He lived in a boarding house and had to board my mom out with families, or whoever would take her in for a fee. When she finished 8th grade, they moved to the community here in SW Oregon.  He ran a tiny roadside gas/service station on Hwy 101, and mom lived in town -by road, ferry crossing and local bus-so she could attend HS, again for board and room, in exchange for house hold duties.

So I urge you all to take the precautions given and STAY HEALTHY.

Hugs to all,


Posts: 61
Joined: Mar 2019

Hopefully it will go well. I've an appointment with the nephrologist next month. Who knows? Maybe I'll drop some weight. LOL!

AliceB1950's picture
Posts: 113
Joined: Jun 2019

I saw a nephrologist for the first time in February.  It was at my request when I saw my primary care physician in December.  Although the PCP and the oncologist (who is primarily for breast cancer follow-up) both do thorough blood tests when I see them every three or four months, I wanted a to go over everything with an expert.  I don't have to go back for a year, but she'll be watching my numbers when I get tested, and is available by phone or portal.  Apparently my numbers show me at Stage 3 (out of 5) for kidney disease, but the nephrologist said that's actually normal for a single kidney and the only goal is stability.

jazzgirl's picture
Posts: 202
Joined: Nov 2017

Hi Everyone, I've been seeing a nephrologist regularly since surgery. I also saw my family practitioner lately for something else and asked that question. I konw that when people get to the intensive care stage, many organs are in jeopardy, including kidneys. But he said I am equal with two-kidneyed people facing this C19. Take precautions. Be sensible. And the biggest danger for me with distancing/isolating is becoming a couch potato. If I gain more weight, it's not good for my blood pressure, which is not good for my one kidney. I've been on a good tajectoryy of losing for that last few months, but this has stalled me. We're hoping for snow and icy sidewalks to fade so we can go walking or get on my bike. Also we need the oxygen after being closed up most of the time. I'm used to alrternating gym equipment or swim cardio five to six days a week, and that's gone with the close of our gym. I think our best line of defense (after all the obvious) is to stay in good physical shape as much as we can. Take care All.

Posts: 61
Joined: Mar 2019

I'm walking about twice as much as I used to. Since the weather's becoming nicer and as long I'm not in a crowded place, I'm fine. It helps to be outside as well. Not a whole lot of people outside, which is good. 

eug91's picture
Posts: 317
Joined: Jan 2019

Unless you're dealing with something that would affect your immune system - such as immunotherapy or radiation, etc - us one-kidney folks are on equal footing with two-kidney folks when it comes to COVID-19. Of course, equal footing is still a lousy place to be for the time being. Please stay safe everybody! 

Jazzgirl- I totally hear you about the couch potato/weight thing. I got complacent with my weight and health at the end of last year, so I'm trying to be better about working out more regularly. I've got a decent cheap-o treadmill in the house, and have upped my 30-minute jogs from 1-2 days a week to 5-6. It ain't easy, but we gotta make it happen. We didn't beat RCC just to let inactivity get us. :) 

Donna - you are an inspiration. Good luck with the nephrologist. Whatever happens, you're gonna do great! 

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