Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Kidneys

We went with some friends to see guitarist Leo Kottke in Toronto last Saturday. I had at least one of his albums from the 70's and a few others along the way - he's well-known for his instrumentals, especially on the 12-string guitar. It was a good show but doesn't rank in my top 10.
Sunday morning Beth helped me lead some songs with the children's program at church. It was a lot of fun and went really well - the kids were engaged and I didn't forget anything, even with just a little practise. I guess those tunes are pretty ingrained from repetition over the years. It's neat that they still work - even did the old standard "This Little Light of Mine".
Monday I had an abdominal ultrasound in the morning and then my annual checkup with my nephrologist (kidney specialist). I was diagnosed with PKD (polycystic kidney disease) about 9 years ago so they keep an eye on how they are functioning. It's pretty unpredictable how this will affect me - I've been told that it can amount to nothing, or it can kill you. There is the possibility of needing a kidney transplant at some point, but since nobody knows for sure how the disease will progress in any individual, I figure there's no point in worrying about it much.  However it is hereditary so my children do also run this risk. There are 5 stages of kidney function and apparently I'm right in the middle of stage 3, which is apparently okay according to my doctor. Met with a nutritionist a couple of years ago and have since cut back on pop containing caffeine or phosphoric acid (I drink mainly root beer now) as well as taking a naturopathic green tea pill twice daily. I feel it has helped. Have had a couple of incidents with kidney stones in the last few years but passed my last one on my birthday in 2009 and have been fine since.
Still plugging away at "The Count of Monte Cristo". A friend said they quit after 600 (of 1000) pages and I'm beginning to see why - loads of (unnecessary?) description and many characters to keep track of. I printed off a chart I found through Wikipedia that is helpful in keeping relationships straight.
Got a lot of snow today, and it's still coming down 12 hours later. Unfortunately it wasn't a day off, though they did cancel music practice for tonight. Alison woke me up at 5:30 saying I should check the radio as she couldn't get into the parking lot for her early shift at the pool. Need to go out and do some more shovelling (and put the liner back into my coat!).
Our labrador retriever Josie goes in for surgery this Friday - she has a large cyst on her back leg as well as a couple growths around her left eye that need to be removed. She'll need to be put under for this (and I'll need to sit down when I we get the bill I'm sure). She's a good dog though (7.5 years old), not very demanding and just fantastic with people. She's been getting more opportunity it seems to hang out in the living room, especially when we have company, so she loves that of course as she's usually confined to the kitchen and family room.
Started listening to some Brooks Williams again this week, planning to go see him in Guelph on April 8th. He's a very good acoustic blues guitarist and I've seen him live quite a few times, including one gig I promoted/hosted here in 2006 (his only appearance in Kitchener so far). Also played a bit of Christian parody band Apologetix (got a couple CDs while in Florida) - a lot of their stuff is very creative and some of it is pretty hilarious, especially if you're familiar with the original tunes they base their songs on.

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