On Friday I went to the doctor because I'd been sick for over a week. Not like a sickness that was like having a cold or the stomach flu, but just general, overwhelming yuckyness, fatigue, stomachache, headache and body aches. My regular nephrologist was out on vacation so I saw a differect doc. To say it mildly he was quite alarmed with my condition. First of all, because I hadn't been able to eat and keep anything inside for about 4 days at that point, I was very dehydrated. So dehydrated, in fact, that my blood pressure was dangerously low - 80/40. Such a switch from a few months ago when it was so high. I also had (what looked to be) another mild case of the same skin infection that I had from May to December of last year. The doctor prescribed some antibiotics, took me off my regular blood pressure meds (temporarily until my BP got back to 'normal'), drew some blood for testing and told me to go home and go to bed. Over the weekend I slept a lot but started feeling better as I was able to eat again with success. I even felt well enough to see "Matrix - Reloaded" at the IMAX theater on Saturday night. Monday on my lunch break I had a "follow up" appointment with the doctor so he could see how I was doing. I thought I would have a 15 minute appointment and be back to work. What I actually got, was something I was completely unprepared for and didn't even see coming. The blood tests show that my kidneys are spiraling downward (in function) at an unstoppable rate. The CellCept I started taking a month ago will most likely do me no good at this point because my kidney failure is too far along and my body simply can't tolerate the drug. The doctor I saw actually called my own nephrologist up on the phone during his vacation to discuss this with him. My doctor agreed that its probably too late for the drug to work for me. There is a very slight chance that once I recover from the infection I have in my body that blood tests will show I could possibly tolerate it again and an even smaller chance that I will respond to it. So, the time has come for me to prepare for dialysis. The doctor was nice enough to spend nearly an hour and a half with me answering my questions. I will also see a "Nephronic Educator" on Monday who will start walking me through the steps. I have appointments with a vascular surgeon to start getting prepared for the surgery to install a dialysis fistula in my arm. After the fistula is in place, they like to wait 3-6 months before starting dialysis, if possible, for it to heal and get ready to be used. I will also start talking with social workers about various things such as medicare, disability, etc. and also organ transplantation. Oh yes, and I forgot to mention that the skin infection was much worse than originally thought. Another Staph infection :( After the doctor's appointment, I had to go back to the cancer treatment center (where I've gotten IV Iron infusions before) to have a 2 hour dose of strong IV antibiotics. With my kidney failure where it is the medicine will stay in my body for a week and clear out all the remaining infection. Of course, like I seem to be with everything else, I had a reaction to the drugs and broke out in hives all over my body. LOL I can't seem to win :) A shot of steroids and some regular oral Benadryl took care of it after about 6 hours. Now, I know what some of you will say. skotteyss will say he feels sorry for me. birdbrainmummy will say she's gonna swoop in and give me one of her kidneys (which, yes, Lyn, before you ask, we'll start working on it NOW) and a handful of the rest of you will say you're sorry and pity me. This is not what I want. Yesterday I felt like I got the wind knocked out of me for the first time in a very, very long time. I knew this was coming soon, but I didn't honestly realize HOW SOON. I will deal with this in my own way, and my own way begins by first accepting it. I've known this was coming for the last 12 or 13 years, but there has always been the nice buffer of it being "someday". Unfortunately, it's no longer "someday" and instead it will soon be "TODAY". I think that I'm very fortunate to have the disease I have because there are so many others out there who have worse. And, I think I'm also lucky that all this is coming around while my son is safely tucked away on vacation with his father so he doesn't feel any of the sadness and stress that I do right now. It will give me enough time to deal with it and move forward. Most importantly, I have My Ken. He is my strength, even though my outside shell seems rock solid, on the inside I'm all mush over this. He tells me I'm a strong person, and I am, but there are times when I wish I wasn't and those are the times that he really becomes MY KEN. I will survive, and move forward in my life (I'm not letting this stop me, damn it) but, there is something to be said about feeling sorry for one's self just long enough to get it out of one's system. Its when it gets stuck inside that it becomes a festering, emotional torture that consumes one and becomes who one is - someone who feels sorry for themselves. So, TODAY I feel sorry for myself, but rest assured, dear readers, it never lasts long :) I want to hear from all of you who care to comment, but please, please, PLEASE don't pity me. That's not what I want. I'm just a normal person just like you.
By Krissi - Posted on June 23rd, 2003