Thursday, December 9, 2010

Health Drama

Hopefully this will serve as a kind of update for everybody who needs or wants information on what has been happening with me lately. Yes, another health drama has happened. Yes, I am as well as can be expected right now. I will tell the story as best I can.

For the past 3-6 months, I have been experiencing pretty constant nausea and occasional vomiting. Went to see my GP about it, who couldn't really tell me much and referred me to a Gastroenterologist (I think that's the name, at least). I put it on the back burner because I don't have insurance and am unemployed.

Enter Sunday. I'm sick all day. I figure I have the flu. It's pretty miserable. Then as the day goes on it gets worse and I begin to get a little concerned, so I drag some respectable clothing on and trudge downstairs and tell my parents I think I need to go to an urgent care or hospital. My dad takes me to urgent care, where they tell me they can give me medication for nausea and make sure I can keep some fluids down, but cannot star an IV because they close at 9:00 and they don't start IV's after 8:00 because they take too long to finish and we arrived at 8:30. They took my vitals and were concerned with my blood pressure being so low. My blood pressure is pretty low anyway, but with the dehydration of being sick, it was lower than usual, so they embarked on a adventure to take it in 3 different situations to see if they could get a better blood pressure. They kept on getting errors on the last situation and while they were trying to get that last blood pressure, they gave me the nausea medication and drew bloodwork. When the results of the bloodwork came back, my kidney functions were way out of whack and showed that I was basically in Acute Renal Failure, otherwise known as Kidney Failure. Off they sent me to the Hospital.

The hospital admitted me to the ER, pumped me full of IV fluids and started running multiple tests and reran the bloodwork to make sure there wasn't an error. The results came back worse than at the urgent care facility. I was admitted to the hospital because my kidneys are kaput.

Three days later, no real answers exist and we may never know what caused my kidneys to go into renal failure. The doctors are scratching their heads. Right now, their theories are that my blood pressure was so low that the kidneys didn't get enough blood, causing them to shut down. Another is that medication could have contributed to the shutdown, but that theory is lower down on their list of possibilities. The main theory is that it was a completely random occurrence aggravated by dehydration. At least, that's my understanding.

There is no magic pill they can use to fix this. The only thing they can do is try dialysis to get the toxins out of my body and hope that my kidneys will start working again. The doctor's say my kidneys are functioning at approximately 2-3% of normal. So, I have a temporary dialysis catheter in my neck and will be undergoing dialysis 3 days a week until hopefully the kidneys are functioning again. The doctors are very optimistic that after I'm fully re-hydrated and my blood pressure gets to a more "normal" range, my kidneys will return to normal and so will I.

Thank you to everybody for their concern and thoughts and prayers. They have been wonderful and they've been a wonderful buoy during a struggle. Though this is a hurdle, it's not insurmountable and something we can definitely deal with.

I want everybody to know that I feel fine. I don't feel sick, other than the ever-present nausea, which isn't anything new. The dialysis isn't pulling fluid off me, which I understand is the draining part.

So, that's the 411 on what happened. I'll keep you updated as news comes along.