As a non-native English speaker, it is very often I come across new vocabulary words. When I was little I will look up the words after I get home or ask my mom. Now I guess with age, my thick skin has allowed me to be able to ask on the spot.

After moving into our home in SoCal, I received referral from my newfound friend to the wonderful doctors in the UCLA network. Since it is not my first rodeo, I was confident when my primary said I need to connect with an endocrinologist fast. I didn’t lag like I used to since I know time is of the essence. On my second appointment with my endocrinologist, she said I needed to see a nephrologist. “NEPHRO WHAT?” I thought to myself. I’m not sure if it was my puzzled look or me loudly asking, my endocrinologist said you must have not seen one. Was I that clueless?!?😂She went ahead and explained that a nephrologist is a kidney doctor. A Kidney doctor will help me figure out if there is anything going on besides the diabetes. If there’s anything else that is causing my high glucose (sugar) level, my high protein output in my urine etc. She gave me 2 different doctors and I chose the one closer to me. 

While a bit nervous and anxious, I saw the nephrologist the following week. My nephrologist was very attentive and listened to my family medical history carefully, he ordered lots of tests and explained to me the course of action. He said with everything going on right now he doesn’t recommend me to try to get pregnant immediately, just like my endocrinologist. He advised me to look up all these terminologies and to understand what may or may not happen during my “high risk” pregnancy. Oh yeah didn’t I not mention that? Due to my diabetes, I am “high risk” pregnancy. I need to see a high risk OBGYN. The top-notch UCLA high risk OBGYN is an hour and half away, so I seek the help of my nephrologist staff and they found me a couple of high risk OBGYN in the area. I picked one and made an appointment. Her first available appointment with new patients is March 1st, I grabbed the first one available. I am hoping that is a good sign since she is so popular. Let’s just hope she can assist me with a smooth pregnancy. 

Back to my nephrologist. He is thorough! On my first visit with him, I had 11 tubes of blood taken, and a urine test there and a 24 hour urine test that I had to collect and bring back. His nurse was so nice that she combined some tests to be used in the same tube so I only had to do 11. If not, it could have been more! Only my family knows, when I was in elementary school, the sight of needles would make me cry. And now look at me, ELEVEN tubes of blood! The big tubes!! My second visit with him, only 10 tubes of blood was taken. And my most recent visit, was down to 6. 

I’m excited to see what else I will be learning from these doctors visits. Next time I’ll be talking more specifically about my medications. 

Other vocabulary learned but not discussed above-

Proteinuria: amount of protein that’s in your urine.

Pre-eclampsia: a disorder that occurs only during pregnancy and the postpartum period and affects both the mother and the unborn baby.

Creatinine: a waste product from the normal breakdown of muscle tissue. As creatinine is produced, it’s filtered through the kidneys and excreted in urine. Doctors measure the blood creatinine level as a test of kidney function.

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