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Here there be dragons...

So the kidney biopsy is scheduled for next monday and all seemed to be going pretty smoothly last week when the woman from the hospital called me to schedule the appointment. Smoothly that is until I told the truth when she asked me if I had sleep apnea. My 'yes' sent things grinding to a momentary halt. It turns out that if you have sleep apnea they cannot do the biopsy while you are awake. Instead, it has to be done under anesthesia and while, I imagine, you're intebated. This also meant that instead of just going in for the procedure I now had to go get a chest x-ray and a EKG, get those documents reviewed by my primary care and then have her sign off on the procedure. A lot of totally unnecessary rigamarole if you ask me.

So I went off today to JFK hospital to have the pre-tests done. All in all, the experience went about as well as you could hope. The entire trip only ended up taking me 40 minutes tops, which almost feels like it should be some sort of record. The x-ray went off without a hitch. All I had to do was basically stand there and pirouette around as they took films. The EKG also seemed like it would be easy peasy. After all, it's non-invasive and I've had one bef....and just like that a level of panic and anxiety started to rise. I had gotten an EKG during that bout with pneumonia and they had detected Right Branch Bundle Block (RBBB). They said it probably wasn't a big deal since I was so young, and usually it only shows up in older people or with cases of coronary heart disease, cardiomyopathy, or other crappy things. They ended up deciding it wasn't anything to worry about at the time but now my mind was working overtime. They said someone my age shouldn't have kidneys about to shutdown either. If the kidney damage is being caused by amyloidosis it could also be depositing in the heart and then the prognosis is grim. For all I know, that early EKG had been just the first symptom and God only knows what terrible things could be happening by now.

That pretty much destroyed my sense of calm as the tech finished the test and started pulling off the leeds. I asked her if the results were something terrible and that I had had some other health reveal shocks lately. She shakes her head and says 'It's not terrible' and before I can even start to relax she adds, 'If it was terrible I'd have to have you go to the ER right now'. Great, I'm thinking to myself. Fucking, fantastic. So all I know is I'm in the range somewhere of everything is fine to just short of 'Holy shit! Get this man to the ER'. That's comforting.

I guess this is the new normal now. Even if everything isn't fucked, the specter of it is going to linger over everything. Every ache in the back area and I wonder if it's kidney pain. Every time the urine isn't completely clear I wonder if I'm doing irreparable damage. Am I doing more good or harm with this food restriction? How can I not try to do something even if it's not the totally right thing?

There are no answers. Only newfound anxiety.

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