The study of kidneys brought a doctor of nephrology and a kidney transplant recipient to Elaine Asmus’ science class at Snake River High School last Wednesday.
To bring the study of the kidney into real life, SRHS junior Taylor Crumley, a student in the class, arranged the visit of nephrologist Dr. Michael Haderlie, M.D., and kidney recipient Peggy Hansen.
In a question and answer session with the students, Dr. Haderlie spoke about his education—13 years after high school—and his school debt--$300,000.
“Did your school debt have an impact on your decisions?” asked Asmus. “Money is very intimidating to my students.”
“I was raised in Star Valley, Wyo., said Haderlie. “At one point I thought of being a country doctor but decided I couldn’t pay loans back on a country doctor’s salary.
“To go to medical school, you need a bachelor’s degree,” the doctor said. “You don’t need a science degree.
“I’d say half my classmates had science degrees; the other half had degrees in English literature, Civil War history or whatever,” he said. “I would say about 10 to 15 percent of my class were geniuses; the rest of us were not afraid to work hard.”
Haderlie is a partner with Naeem Rahim, M.D., and Fahim Rahim, M.D., in the Idaho Kidney Institute. The three doctors have offices in Idaho Falls, Blackfoot and Pocatello.
Week one in Haderlie’s rotation begins with office hours in Idaho Falls. During week two, he is in Blackfoot with a week’s worth of hospital calls. During week three, he has office hours in Pocatello.
Haderlie said he sees patients mainly for one of these reasons:
· poorly functioning kidneys
· the kidney is secreting hormones.
· proximal ducts—electrolytes, like sodium, potassium chloride and potassium, are out of balance.
· control blood pressure.
· kidney transplants.
“There are 500,000 to 600,000 patients on dialysis in the nation,” said Haderlie. “In Idaho, 250 people are on dialysis."
Speaking to the students, the doctor said, “Now is the time to get healthy choices."
When asked what difficulties he sees in his practice, Haderlie said, “It’s tough to look people in the eye as they are sabotaging their health.”
Hansen, better known as Miss Peggy, is the Storytime lady in the Snake River School Community Library.
Hansen was diagnosed with kidney disease when she was 17 years old. In 1975, she was going to be put on the list for a kidney transplant.
In much pain, Hansen was hospitalized.
“My faith is very important to me,” she said. “My father and bishop prayed for me.
“After that prayer, I slept and my kidneys began functioning again,” Hansen said.
Hansen’s kidney transplant was delayed 33 years. It took place five years ago.