That time I was in the hospital, the time after my first chemo, the time I refer to as "That Time I Was So Sick", 2 out of the 9 diagnoses I had, were Hyponatremia and S.I.A.D.S.
Hyponatremia is the medical word meaning that I had an electrolyte disturbance which made my blood sodium level too low. Normal blood sodium level is between 135 and 145 mEg/L. Mine was down to 115. That is very bad (and dangerous). It caused me to have severe headaches and confusion. If sodium goes low enough it can cause permanent brain damage, coma, and even death. If mine had dropped any lower, I was going to be taken to ICU.
Dr. V called in a Nephrologist (Kidney Doctor) who diagnosed and treated me for S.I.A.D.S. which is Syndrome of Inappropriate Antiduretic Hormone. I don't understand it, despite doctors explaining it and also reading about it. What I know is it makes the body fluids too dilute, thus making the sodium too low.
These conditions were caused by both my Lymphoma and the chemo they used to treat it.
After I finished chemo and all my blood levels were slowly coming back up to the normal range, my sodium stubbornly remained at 128. Because I was asymptomatic, Dr. V didn't think there was any clinical significance to it. But because my husband had seen how gravely ill I had been from low sodium, he remained concerned. So, Dr. V referred us back to the kidney doctor who treated me in the hospital.
Kidney Doc want me to do a 24-hour urine test. I was given an orange jug and a "urine hat" in a red biohazard bag. I was told to pee into the hat, which conveniently had a spout, and pour it into the jug, which was to be stored in the refrigerator, for 24 hours.
After I started the test, I quickly realized I was going to pee more than that jug would hold. I called the clinic and asked if I could use a jar for the excess--I was thinking about one of my canning jars. The nurse said yes, "as long as its clean". Really. Did she think I was going to finish the jar of peanut butter and start peeing into it without washing it? As it turned out, I used a clean plastic milk jug.
The next day, when I delivered my 2 jugs of pee to the clinic, I thought I would be able to drop it off and go. But no, I had to have a seat in the waiting room, with my 2 jugs of pee proudly displayed. About 15 minutes later, I was called to the back and still lugging my 2 jugs of pee, which are quite heavy by the way, seated in the lab to have blood drawn.
There was already another woman there having blood drawn, but her nurse was not having any luck. I commented about my jugs of pee and the woman exclaimed, "2 jugs! I only had about this much", indicating a couple of inches with her fingers.
My nurse got into one of my big fat juicy veins right away and the blood flowed. Both the patient in the next chair and her nurse looked longingly at my body fluids--my 2 jugs of pee and my easily collected 2 vials of blood. As I walked away, the nurse was still gouging around in the poor lady's arm, trying to get into a vein.
When I returned to Kidney Doc, he laughed at the amount I peed--5 liters. All the testing they did came back normal. He said I no longer have S.I.A.D.S. and that my kidneys work just fine. He said I have Reset Osmostat. Which basically means my new sodium level is 128 and that is now normal for me.
I told him about my experience in the lab and he said, "I bet you were the envy of the clinic".
Pictures at this post are compliments of Google Images