“Lord Krsna’s argument here is not a negation of free will. If one accepts the existence of karma as a system of laws awarding reactions for our present activities, then we ourselves, according to our nature, will decide our future.

“Our happiness and distress in this life have already been adjudicated and fixed according to our previous activities, and not even the demigods can change that. They must award us the prosperity or poverty, sickness or health, happiness or distress due us by our previous work.

“However, we still retain the freedom to select a pious or impious mode of activity in this life, and the choice we make will determine our future suffering and enjoyment.”

Srimad Bhagvatam 10.24.15

As a side effect of medicines I take I am always borderline diarrhea. I had been struggling with it more than usual for the last couple of weeks trying to knock it out by eating Activia, a yoghurt with micro encapsulated anaerobic bacteria that manages to transverse the aerobic digestion of the stomach and repopulate the intestinal flora with the good guys.

This has worked for me in the past and almost worked this time but I finally gave up and took some Imodium which finished off the job and I had one normal day of regularity.

I went in for my regular monthly blood tests and soon thereafter got a call from my Post Transplant Coordinator that the lab had called her and told her that my potassium was at a critical high, a condition referred to as hyperkalemia. Normal range is 3.5 to 5.1 and I was 6.3. I am normally high around 5.4 to 5.6 because Prograf, the anti rejection drug I take, is potassium sparing, which means it accumulates it.

Anyway, a critical high sets off an alarm and I was instructed to proceed immediately to the emergency room and get treatment. I had to rearrange some stuff but did go, even though it cost me a precious day in April. The problem is that when potassium is high it causes muscle irritability which can result in a heart attack so I had to respect the instruction.

They gave me Kionex powder, which somehow attaches to potassium and draws it into the stools. Side effects? Oh yeah baby — you guessed it, diarrhea. So one day of relief and back on the potty — clearly my karma was to go go go.

They dosed me in the emergency room then gave me a prescription to fill to take the stuff for three days. By the time I had it filled the Kionex was cranking and the twenty minute drive from the pharmacy to home was about the max time I could be parted from the porcelain throne.

The rest of the day was more of the same and as it came time for evening dose I was concerned it was going to be a long interrupted night. Fortunately that didn’t happen and I had my normal sleep pattern.

Reading the instructions this morning it says that diarrhea is a rare side effect and constipation is more common and I am feeling about right as of this writing. I think they gave me a double dose to get the process started and that may have irritated the vestiges of the previous two weeks struggle. We will see.

I also note that one cause of huperkalemia is poor kidney functioning as the kidneys help regulate potassium levels. As that is my current case, I am concerned that this will become a chronic condition and I will have to limit dietary intake of potassium which oversimplifying means not much fruits and vegetables which now constitute a large part of my diet. That will not be good.

Every one knows bananas but lots of common veggies like tomatoes and potatoes are also high. Giving up tomatoes will be a harsh austerity. So I am a little anxoius how this will play out.

Advertisements