First I just wanted to remind everyone to remember little Stellan he is still very much in need of prayer. Click here for the latest updates.
After you are all taped up you are ready to go. However, there had been several times on my way home that my sticks would start to bleed again. Very hard to maneuver your car to a stop with blood dripping every where.
Sometimes you would leave, everything went fine during your treatment but when you go back your fistula has quit working. It could be a kink, clot or just quit. You are off to the hospital. I had to have four fistulas put into my left arm. I have had one on both sides of my neck. When you have it in your neck it is only temporary until your fistula in your arm has healed enough to be stuck. This is what it looks like.
No showers while you have this. You have to keep it bandaged with the two little things hanging out at all times. I would have to wear it like that every where I went. People would stare and then look away. You usually had to have this for 4 - 6 weeks.
There are days when you feel great after dialysis. Then there are those days that you don't know how your going to drive yourself home. On your off days sometimes you just lay around all day because you just don't have the energy to do anything. Usually once you get to feeling a little better it was time to go back. Also if you drank too much you can really feel the pressure with each breath, heartbeat and every time you moved. May 23rd will be my 8 year anniversary since my transplant. This is one side of my arm today.
Here's the other side.
Here is my upper arm.
Now I couldn't take a picture of my neck lol. But I have scares on both sides, not as noticeable.
Dialysis kept me alive long enough to get my transplant. I had been on call three different times for a cadaver. That is where they call you and tell you that a kidney that matched you has been located. You then anxiously run around the house getting your stuff together. You call all of your family and tell them to be on stand by. Then you wait. It is nerve wracking. It is scary. You start thinking of the people who have died and their families. You want to get the call, then you don't want to get the call. Twice I was called back and told the kidney wasn't viable. One time I was called back and told that a 16 year old needed it worse than I did. Would that be ok? I was like what? Am I suppose to say no? How could I live with myself if I said no? If I said no are you going to give it to me anyway? All three times were a disappointment. But you know it just wasn't the right time for me to get those kidneys.
Another thing about dialysis is death. I seen a lot of death. Your sitting there watching tv or talking to your neighbor or sleeping. When you hear the alarms of the dialysis machine. Someones heart has stopped beating. I don't know how many times I have seen the nurses run in, lay someone one the floor and start performing CPR. The room becomes deathly quiet. All eyes are transfixed on this person that you know. You've spent hours with every week. You know their family, their children. All you can do is watch. You find yourself constantly praying for them. You start saying out loud breath, breath, breath. Just breath! Then the EMT's rush in and they are gone. That was the hardest part. Watching someone lose their life. Not being able to do anything about it but pray. Wondering if that's how your going to die.
Please don't think that I am complaining or whining. I am just trying to convey to people how hard it is to be on dialysis. It is financially, emotionally and physically draining. Not just for the patient either but for their family. I am sure I have left off a lot of stuff. Thank God for me it is just a memory. Others are still on dialysis though. Please think seriously about becoming an organ donor if you aren't already.
Garrett needs a living donor. My sister was my living donor. She has a normal life. She has had two children since she donated her kidney to me. She returned back to her job full time as a postal worker. Your life will return to normal and Garrett's will finally be normal again. Please go to his web site to see if you can help or if you can even help someone you may know. I NEED A KIDNEY NOW!