About Me

I'm Phil! American living in Japan. Teacher. Ex-independent professional wrestler. Student of Japanese. Traveler. Article writer for Mythic Scribes. Also written four manga, novels, and various short stories and poems. For my fantasy-related blog, check out http://www.philipoverbyfantasy.blogspot.jp/.


Drill Bits: random thoughts, bloggy stuff
Japan Hammer: topics about Japan
Story Time: stories I felt like posting

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Don't Trust Doctors Sometimes

I've been silent on the blogs for a while and I'd like to say so for good reason. Anyone who knows me knows that I suffer from chronic kidney disease. Meaning I get loads of kidney stones. I actually at the moment have half a dozen small ones floating around in my kidneys. This being after I've severely restricted my diet and have drank almost nothing but water. But that's how my life is I suppose. I'll deal with stone after stone and just hope I can pull through.

Most important to note is that I've had a shadow looming over me since November of 2012. Literally. I went to the doctor and he said I had a "concerning shadow." Since November, I put it out of my head and went on living my life, made a trip to Mississippi to visit and get officially married (have a ceremony anyway, I was already officially married). Upon returning, I began doing yoga and dieting. I lost weight at first and things seemed to be going fine.

That is until I went to go get my check up about this ominous shadow.

When I sit down with the doctor to discuss things, I notice Kumi seemed unnerved by what he's saying. Since I don't understand Japanese much, I just sit there blinking.

That is until he turns to me, points at the shadow and says the words no one wants to hear from a doctor:


I remember my heart racing suddenly and my mouth going dry. "Sorry, what?"

"I think it's a tumor."

My mind raced. My blood tests came back fine last time. How could I have a tumor? Wouldn't that have shown up? I panicked, I freaked, and sat there wanting to go home.

This was early May. My next appointment with this doctor was May 31st. I had to wait a whole month to find out if I had a tumor.

I remember that night I came home and started riding my exercise bike. The number one thing my doctor said to do was lose weight. I rode it so fast, my legs started burning and going numb. I just broke down crying, blubbering, trying to figure out what I could do. They could remove my kidney, right? At least then if I had a tumor it wouldn't spread. Or maybe it was benign and not bad.

I'm already a hypochondriac. To hear I might have a tumor confirmed all my irrational fears all these years.

Here it is June 16th and after talking to two kidney specialists, I've found out that no, I don't have a tumor. I do have a cyst though. Apparently that isn't anything to worry about and doesn't require treatment at the time. Cysts can be cancerous in rare circumstances but apparently the one I have isn't one to worry about or else I assume they would have said something. I need to follow up on it in a year and see if it's changed.

Regardless of my diagnosis, I've come to terms that my kidneys are going to be a constant source of problems for the rest of my adult life. There's a chance I may have to lose a kidney down the road or require dialysis. My doctors are hoping that diet change, lowering my sodium intake, and losing weight will help control my issues. Perhaps I can get to a point where I don't have stones and I just need to monitor that cyst to see if it changes at all.

In any case, I've learned that going to the wrong doctor and getting a poor diagnosis can disrupt a life pretty easily. I lost motivation at work, found myself floundering in my daily life, and have felt the need for drastic changes in all aspects of my future.

So, here's hoping I have some good doctors this time. And here's hoping these stones go the way of the dodo one of these days.