Wilkie Wages War: January 2007
Wilkie Wages War: January 2007
Environmental Health Network leader Barbara Wilkie discovered in July 2005 that her chemical injury/multiple chemical sensitivities had suddenly manifested as stage 4 (later stage 5) kidney disease (kidney failure). Despite dire warnings of death within a year, she eschewed dialysis and Western Medicine drugs and took a route of alternative medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and strict dietary changes. She lived well for six years, far beyond the doctors’ predictions. Barb died at home, surrounded by friends and family, on May 31, 2011.
During this time, Barb documented her journey. From diagnosis through June 2008, she created one huge website page packed with details, plus some side documents on diet and other topics. We have divided these works into smaller pieces, by date or topic, to make it easier to read and find things. For dates after June 2008, we have letters, online posts, and other documents.
Barb intended her work to be read and used. We hope this presentation will help you do just that.
Wilkie Wages War on Kidney Disease
(aka Renal Disease or Failure)
OR, AS I SEE IT: Life with yet another facet of living with MCS.
I want to live life while dying.
January 2007 . . .
And, just so you can see that I still look . . . and I tell you I still FEEL . . . healthy, here is a
picture of me the end of December 2006, sporting my new sweatshirt. It is a gift from my
brother and sis-in-law. Now you know I’m not fudging, because it is my World Series gift
number two. First it was my beloved Cardinals winning the World Series and then the
special commemorative sweatshirt, picked out for me by my sis-in-law and brother.
For those interested in baseball, I grew up following the Cards in the 40s and 50s. My
grandmother and great uncle used to take me to old Sportsman’s Park. My dad and I
were the avid fans in our household and would listen to the games in the car, when we
were in the Ozarks on the weekend. The car got better static reception (Yes, static
reception) than did the log cabin home, which didn’t have electricity for the first several
years we had the place. Eventually, wires were strung, but those early years saw me
doing homework by kerosene lamp.
I graduated from a one-room school house when my family moved to the beautiful
Arcadia Valley in 1951. Quite a change from the St. Louis school with its home ec for girls
and shop for boys, plus a fancy gym, in which I could never excel. While I could not
then get to the games anymore, I was able to follow them on a radio, in a home that had electricity.
My love of the Cards followed me westward so that while my hubby rooted for the
Giants, I cheered on the Cards . . . we found common ground when the A’s moved to
Oakland. And that brings me to Tony LaRussa. My favorite manager . . . I rooted for
him in Oakland and continued as a fan of his when he moved to St. Louis. He won the
heart of my aunt, who wondered why in all the years of her marriage, she refused to
learn the joy of baseball to share that with her husband. Well, at least she could share
it with me until her death at 95.5 years.
This past July, our son sent a copy of a great read . . . Three Nights in August. About, none
other than Tony La Russa. Having read that book, it sure put me in the mood for rooting
on the Cards in this World Series. I’m so pleased that they answered my wishes: To see
the Cards win the World Series before I died.
Now, for my next wish: To live longer . . . in a more peaceful world, with an
administration that is more mindful of planet Earth and all its beings. — barb
|High or Low||Blood checked for||Reading is:||What should be:|
|H||BUN||70 . . .Well, what stupid thing did I do to get this? One thing was, I was without water the previous afternoon. But probably worse was I succumbed to the temptation of eating some pop corn — prepared — and worse, some cashews after we got home. I haven’t eaten nuts since July 20, 2005, but grabbed a handful the day before the blood test. And, truth be told, I had eaten some before that day as well. Could that added nitrogen, plus the lack of my usual amount of water, have caused the BUN to soar? In any case, I’ve not noticed any difference in my health or my energy. (Blood, urea, nitrogen – from the breakdown of protein. BUN increases as kidney function decreases.)||10 – 20 mg/dL|
|H||Magnesium||2.6 . . . A tad higher . . . by a tenth of a point! Eating fiber, as well as trying to stay away from magnesium-rich foods, is a way to bring that back into range. Guess who slacked off in her apple eating! As I understand it, too much magnesium can adversely affect heart just as can too much potassium.||1.7 -2.3 mg/dL|
|Calcium||8.6 . . . Normal. Wow!||8.5 – 10.3 mg/dL|
|L||CO2||17 . . . . Even a little lower than last month’s 18 . . . Again, I wonder why.||24 – 33 mEq/L|
|H||Creatinine||5.25 . . . Up . . . back into the 5s where I have been for quite some time before December. I certainly want to try to get back to the 4s for next month. No more nuts!!!||<1.2 mg/dL|
|H||Phosphorus||5.7 . . . Too high, and now this month I don’t know why it’s gone up even higher, unless that is just one of the marks of my kidney disease.||2.7 – 4.5 mg/dL|
|Potassium||4.9 . . . Normal. This is very good news.||3.5 – 5.3 mEq/L|
|L||Sodium||130 . . . Back down and I don’t know why.||133 – 145 mEq/L|
|L||GFR *||9 or 10 . . . still have muscle mass so I’ll take the 10! Of course, this is based only on the creatinine reading, so IF for any reason that’s off, so then is the GFR. The larger number is assigned to African-American women, as they are seen as having more muscle mass than caucasians. You can see how “painting with a broad brush” can cause errors. White women aren’t supposed to have muscle mass? Ridiculous! My ethnic origins were quite muscular.||>59 mL/min|
|L||Hemoglobin||9.0 . . . Still too low, but up .4 from last month. Funny how the nurse is surprised I’m not bed ridden and I’m rejoicing in the “higher” number!||11.5 – 15 g/dL|
|L||Hematocrit||27.2 . . Another increase, this time up .6 of a point. (Erythropoietin is a hormone that is produced by healthy kidneys, which in essence tells the brain to tell the bone marrow to produce the necessary red blood cells. Kidney failure also means failure of the production of red blood cells, hence anemia because the kidneys are responsible for sending a hormone to the brain that sends a message to the bone marrow to kick out more red blood cells. Kidney failure is system failure. When one’s red cell counts get too low, one doesn’t get the oxygen delivered to all the organs . . . doctors have an artificial way of stimulating that hormone. I’m trying to handle all this without drugs as long as possible.||34 – 46%|