some good news

Finally, we got some good news about Calvin’s health: the nephrocalcification in his kidneys has improved, almost to the point of looking normal to the radiologist and his nephrologist, who both read yesterday’s sonogram. It’s unclear why he had what they sometimes call sludge or brightness in his kidneys—little crystals of calcium that can form into stones. Perhaps it was due to the years on the ketogenic diet, perhaps it was the lack of citrus in his diet, maybe he wasn't drinking enough, perhaps it was all the goddamn antiepileptic drugs he has to take, or perhaps the culprit was his high protein intake that came on the heals of the ketogenic diet. But like everything with Calvin, no one knew for sure. The nephrologist wanted to put him on a drug to improve his kidneys' condition and to avoid stones. Another drug, I thought. Ain’t gonna do it. My hunch told me that his relatively high protein intake (what mother knows how many grams of protein per kilo of weight their eight year old eats? I do) and when we reduced the protein in his diet his urine calcium to creatinine ratio dramatically improved, sans drug.

While Calvin was on the ketogenic diet we had to check his urine twice daily for ketones. Since he wasn't potty trained (still isn't) we’d have to put cotton balls in his diapers to absorb the urine. Then we’d press the soaked cotton balls through a large syringe wringing the urine out onto a test strip. On top of those tests we did a complete urinalysis plus calcium-creatinine ratio every three months. Calvin has had several sonograms and twice as many visits to the nephrologist. Now, with this good news in hand, we don’t have to do any of it for two years! One less test. One less trip to the hospital for imaging. One less doctor’s appointment. One less reason to have to consider more drugs. One less thing to worry about, which is the best kind of news I can get.

photo by Michael Kolster


  1. That is good news! I'm so happy Calvin has one less health issue, one less trip to the doctor and all the crap that goes with that! Good for you going with your mommy instinct!

  2. Oh, I am thrilled for ya'll! Thank the good lord and the universe is abundant. I admit to nearly laughing at the sentence when you described the "goddamned drugs" -- I love how you always say that.