Many doctors are revered and some rightly so. This image of the doctor’s at Loma Linda transplanting Michael Machado are an example of true professionals, but sometimes a patient has issues with doctor’s and kidney failure.

Because of various medical situations in my life,  I have experienced tremendous medical care and I have witnessed horrible doctors with more interest in ego and status than patient care.

My recent experience with Doctor’s & Kidney Failure and Kidney Transplant was no exception.

When Michael was diagnosed with Kidney Failure, I knew the first thing we were going to need was a team. Our group would be smart, educated and committed to our goal of getting Michael a Kidney Transplant. You should know that I knew nothing about Signs of Kidney Failure before his diagnosis, but my mind is trained to solve problems and get to the end after setting a series of goals. Perhaps it is my business mind, perhaps not, but I knew that if I could put aside my emotions, I could help my son.

An attorney was first on my list, which wasn’t difficult at all. I have used lawyers all my life and am comfortable with them, so I called some I knew and figured we would have no problems in the legal department.

Next, and probably most controversial and met with heated debate and at times, contempt, was my decision to hire Medical Advocates. What is a Medical Advocate?  Never heard of this? Not many people have, but if you are faced with medical situations that you do not understand, or are willing to add personnel to keep doctors in line, a Medical Advocate may be for you. Beware though, they can be expensive.

Normally, retired nurses or individuals with higher educational prowess, these advocates require a Power of Attorney and they step into your shoes. We had a team of three women, all Registered Nurses, one a surgical assistant and another a former Kidney Transplant coordinator. I was not intentionally trying to create a wedge between the doctors and my son, but poor medical care, and inattention to some important details required a couple of telephone calls and the doctors changed their plan and method of medical care once our Advocates were brought in to consult.

I realize that most doctors are humanitarian people who care and want to help people. There are others who add the special ingredient of ego to the mix and I have found that this often clouds their judgement. To some, being right is more important than the patient’s care.

As we moved through the Kidney Transplant process, medical personnel became aware that we were represented by professionals other than just us. How could we not be? At this point, I knew very little- that we had two kidneys and that was about it. To advance my study I needed experts to help us and to also look out for the best interests of Michael.

A Medical Advocate is also willing to go into the Operating Room to observe the surgery. Since we were already on solid ground with Loma Linda and their team, I knew we were in perfect hands with medical care and decided that we did not need to send anyone in the O.R. to observe.

During the six months of kidney failure, I was looking for a dietician, or a chef, or somebody who knew about a renal diet. Food is the number one item we can control and besides medication and dialysis, it would be crucial to keeping Michael strong for Transplant Surgery.

Phosphorus, potassium, sodium are all crucial to keeping the body working properly and who would know that this small pair of organs, four inches in length, could monitor all of this and keep the body in sync. Blood pressure is controlled by the kidneys and this is essential for the heart to function properly.

I started with interviewing chefs and went through a culinary school, but nobody even heard of a renal diet.  All suggested that if I could come up with the recipes, they could implement this fine fare. The problem was that I had no idea how to cook a kidney meal or even what ingredients to use to make bland food taste good.

Some suggested I consult a dietician and I did this, but soon discovered that many can give you the ingredients, but nobody I spoke to had a clue how to prepare a meal. This was beyond issues with doctor’s and kidney failure. I was stuck and Michael was hungry, so I became the new Renal Chef of the family. Check out my other sections to learn how I learned to prepare meals that rocked!

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