Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Home Hemodialysis

Since I started in center hemodialysis I have been asked multiple times if I wanted to do home hemodialysis. Shortly after having my peritoneal dialysis catheter removed, one of the nurses came up to me and said "so you will be doing home hemo then right?". My response was "Uh, no".
Heres the thing with home hemo. You dialysize more often (5-7 days a week insteads of just 3 in center) and for shorter of periods of time. The result of this is less drastic physical 'ups and downs' in between dialysis treatments.
My reason for not wanting to do it? Number one, kids. With my kids at home with me at all times I'm just not comfortable with the idea of having needles and sterile equipment around them. Two, space. We absolutely do not have the space to store the needed equipment, nor to set up an area in the home for me to do it. Three, time restraints. I don't have time to dialyze every day. It may be for shorter periods, 2 hours a time insteads of 4 hours. But you have to set up and clean up before and after every dialysis session. To me that equals a lot of time.

Today in the dialysis center a man came in to say hi to the Techs. One of the Techs asked him "how are you liking home hemo". He responded by saying "Its fine, but its a lot of work. A LOT of work."

That was enough for me to hear. I don't have time for a lot of work. My life is a lot of work already! I will be sticking with in center hemo dialysis for the time being! 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Homeschool Advice From a Friend

The other day I received some wise advice from a friend. The interesting part of it is this is the third or fourth time in the last few months that I've received the same advice, from different friends. Often times I think we hear things over and over until we are ready to accept it as truth.

In May my middle son turned five years old, making him Kindergarten age as of this September. Since he turned five years old I have wanted to start school at home with him. My plan was to find a curriculum and start working on it as early as May/June of this year. However, May and June went by, then July, August, September.... and still no formal curriculum. Once September got here I really started to panic. Then I started to second guess myself and my abilities, and I started to look into putting him into a Christian School. I thought that he would get a better and more consistent education if he was taught by someone else. There are so many limitations to what I can do right now due to this chronic illness that I have come to the realization that I can't do everything I want to. Right now being a mom, a teacher, a cook, a house cleaner, along with all the myriad of chores is too much. Truth of the matter is it would be too much even if I didn't have a debilitating illness! Homeschooling is hard for all moms, I know this because I hear it so often from others that are struggling to keep up with it all.

The advice I was given was that at this age, a formal education isn't as important as we sometimes make it out to be (matter of fact there are those that argue you shouldn't teach children too early). Kids learn from their environment and if the home environment is an educational one (meaning learning games, activities, being read to, having a parent that uses teaching moments, etc) they will learn so much. Of course as a parent who cares about my children's education academically and spiritually I have not wanted to just do nothing.

But once again I am hearing that voice telling me "you can not do it all on your own". I'm starting to listen to it more and more. I can't do it all on my own. I need God! So in September in the midst of my 'panic' I really cried out to God. I asked Him for guidance, to help direct me in the way I should go with schooling my children. I asked Him to open the doors that needed to be opened and close the doors that needed to be closed. He did close the doors to putting Kaleb into a Christian school. We just could not afford it and we couldn't get enough financial assistance to make it work. So for the last 5-6 weeks I've just been 'waiting' on Him. I still didn't know how I was going to do it all, but I had prayed and laid it at His feet and now it was just time to wait. Two weeks ago a darling woman from my church called and asked if I would like any help with the kids, she said she would enjoy doing crafts with them. I told her that would be wonderful as its one of the areas I haven't done so well with. She is planning to come once a week for one hour to do crafts with me and the kids and one hour to help clean. Then a week later when I least expected it another sweet woman from my church came up and started telling me about how she is a certified teacher, although retired. She asked me if I would like help once a week with my kids, for 1-2 hours and that she would especially love to teach math! I took a deep breathe and said "YES!". Shortly after, another woman came up to me and asked if my children knew how to swim. I explained that they love the water, but I had not yet put them into swim lessons (that is one of the things on the huge to do list). She offered to take them to the YMCA sometimes to go swimming! Last Wednesday was their first opportunity to do this and they had so much fun!

I know that God answers prayers, but often times it takes my breathe away in the way that he does it! We have so many needs right now and these women are helping to fill some of those needs! What an amazing God we serve! One of the greatest things to remember is that its always in His time. God doesn't always answer us right when we want or expect Him to. But I truly believe that if we ask Him, believe Him, and trust Him that He will meet our needs!

I'd just like to encourage all of you out there, whether you are a mom or not, that whatever you are going through in life, trust God completely. He does care about us, our needs and our hearts desires!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Book Review: Whispers in the Wind - Wild West Wind 2

Lauraine Snelling is the author of this second of a series, Whispers in the Wind. My review is on the second book, but I will say that if you have not read the first in the series, I highly encourage you to do so!

Whispers in the Wind starts off where the first book left off. The story follows Cassie Lockwood on her journey as she finally finds her fathers property and the family that currently lives there. The story takes us through the emotions Cassie suffers while trying to learn to take care of herself and her friends. We watch as two different  families work in unison to become one and share a home. This was an easy to follow story, clean and wholesome.

 I was captivated with this series from the first book, but I will admit that this second book was a bit harder to get through. It was a bit redundant and slow in spots. However, having said that I feel that it is still worth the read as its a very interesting series and I look forward to the third book coming out!
I enjoy the overall story, time period and setting of this series and can't wait to find out how the entire story pans out!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my own, honest opinion. I was not compensated for my review.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Today another minor surgery

So today I head to the hospital once again for another 'minor' surgery related to dialysis. This time they are removing the peritoneal dialysis catheter in my abdomen and the IJ catheter in my neck. It is true that I have decided to not pursue PD (peritoneal dialysis) any further. There were so many complications over the last 6 months with the fluid leaking into my lung multiple times. The next option was to see a thoracic surgeon about having the hole/leak repaired surgically! Yikes, something tells me that wouldn't be classified as a 'minor' surgery... but you never know!
About two months ago my Nephrologist changed my hemodialysis schedule from the normal three times a week to only two times a week. I'm sure that change has played a huge part in my decision to stay on hemodialysis. Two times a week is sooo much better than three, it gives me time to recover, breathe and live a normal life for a few days in between treatments. Where as three times a week was only time to recover from the treatment and then go right back, it consumed me mentally and physically. Of course the only reason I can do two times a week is because my kidneys are functioning well enough that two treatments does the job. Thank you God!
So heres to hoping that todays minor surgery goes well, that I won't react badly to the anesthesia when waking up, that I won't have to stay overnight in the hospital (unless I need it... there is something good to be said for those electric hospital beds right after having abdominal surgery). Oh and I am requesting they do NOT give me the anti-delirium medication this time! Sure, it kept me from freaking out when waking up (I am never aware of these episodes, only the limited information they tell me after), but then I threw up all evening long. Yuck, no thank you!


Friday, September 21, 2012

Depression and Illness

As a teenager I suffered from severe depression. Some people may know that fact about me, but others may not. I was a very angry, lonely, depressed teenager with low self esteem. As I got older though, and especially after I became a mom the first time, the depression left. I think that for me, being a mother gave me a real reason to live. Life wasn't just about me anymore... although it never should have been just about me to begin with but back then I didn't have the relationship with God I needed to have.

Since becoming ill, and starting dialysis I have heard some talk about depression and chronic illness. It is said that when someone has a severe illness such as kidney failure, cancer, etc that they go through a grieving process just like someone that has lost a loved one.

The reason I bring this all up is to say that I have not dealt with depression in years, matter of fact I never expected to have to deal with it again. But it has tried to rear its ugly head again. I know this is part of the devils plan to reek more havoc in my life. To keep me down and out emotionally and spiritually. In the last year I have suffered 2-3 bouts of depression, the good news is it was short lived, praise the Lord! Mostly just a few hours where my brain could not handle 'handling it well' anymore. The depression just came on me like a wave, choking and suffocating so I literally could not breathe. I will not go into the dark thoughts and feelings that I have dealt with during these times... just because I don't want to give voice to it. But for those of you that have suffered from depression, I'm sure you can imagine some of what I may have felt. In these instances I for whatever reason was not able to call out to God immediately, but He called out to me and when I grasped a hold of Him He didn't let me go. God is so good. He gives us grace and mercy, even when we fail miserably and make the wrong choices. One way God helped me recently was through a rogue Christian radio station. I was just searching through the stations and came across a somewhat fuzzy station I had never heard before... and have not heard since. Unlike the regular Christian radio station that usually plays so much garbage, the songs playing that day spoke to my heart and helped to bring me out of the dark. Was that God? I believe so, but even if you argue it wasn't, it sure was good timing!

If you are going through something difficult in your life, regardless of what it is, cry out to God. He will be faithful to answer you!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Some things just can't be explained.

Since my last post regarding my improved Kidney function, not a lot has changed. Other than my increased confusion and a new determined sense to just trust God.
There are two tests that measure the creatinine. One is a blood (serum) creatinine test and the other is called a 24 hr urine clearance test. It would be very hard for me to try to explain the difference between these two tests so if you are interested, in more information, here is a link.
The 24 hr urine creatinine indicated that my kidney function had improved. However the blood creatinine test indicated my kidney function was decreasing. My Doctor said the longer I went without dialysis the higher the blood creatinine would get and I would also be at risk for increased potassium (which leads to heart problems). I decided to just trust my Doctor because I couldn't make sense of any of it.
All I know is that I am still feeling better, I still have increased urine output and I still have little to no swelling (fluid retention). These are indicators of increased kidney function, regardless of the numbers. I can't explain any of it and I'm not going to try. I am thankful that I am able to do dialysis two times a week instead of three. I am grateful that I have more energy. And I have decided to NOT complain about waking up 3-5 times a night to go to the bathroom. Sure it means a decrease in quality of rest, but my body is creating urine, YEAH! :)
I will trust God completely. He will heal me in His timing. I do not at this time believe that a miracle must be instant, complete and permanent in order to be a true miracle (as described in the book Miracles: A Journalist Looks at Modern Day Experiences of God's Power by Tim Stafford). Who are we to put limitations on God? Some things just can't be explained.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Book Review: Miracles: A Journalist Looks at Modern Day Experiences of God's Power by Tim Stafford

The author, Tim Stafford claims to have written this book from a journalistic view. However to write something from a true journalistic view, it should obtain little to no opinion and be based on facts and observations. Tim Stafford does not hold back on his opinions in this book, and I feel that his opinions cloud things up.

One statement he makes that I simply can not agree with is to the affect that "a miracle must be instant, complete and permanent". This is a mans description of a miracle. But what is God's description of a miracle?

I really do believe that believing in miracles comes down to faith. People want miracles so that they will have faith and then be able to believe in God. Unfortunately I don't think it works that way. Miracles definitely do boost our faith and we need that! However if you walk around demanding miracles of God as a ultimatum to your belief, you might be sorely disappointed.

Despite my personal dislike for this book, I do think that there is some decent information in here for the general public. However, understand that the author is not an expert and really just an average person writing his opinion (as am I), so take that with a grain of salt.

I received a free copy of Miracles in exchange for my honest opinion. I received no other compensation.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"Impressive Recovery, Difficult to Explain"

"Impressive Recovery, Difficult to Explain". Those are the words my Nephrologist wrote in my medical chart after seeing me on Friday the 10th. To me those are beautiful, amazing words! Praise be to God!!

Let me explain.... The last three weeks I have been feeling so much better between dialysis sessions. Throughout this time I have noticed several positive changes physically as well. One was that I was having very little to no visible swelling (due to kidney failure, fluid will build up in between dialysis treatments causing visible swelling usually in the feet, hands, etc). The second is that my body was producing urine like it used to before my kidneys failed (One of the functions of your kidneys is to produce urine and the worse your kidney function, the less urine your body produces). I started wondering if my kidney function was getting better so I called my Doctors office last week and requested a test to see what my current kidney function is. When the results came in I went to see my Doctor. He said to me "well, your kidney function is better. But the question is why is it better? I don't understand why its better." I couldn't help myself, I told him I knew why! "God is healing me!" I must say it was an uncomfortable silence after I uttered those words. His expression didn't change and my heart dropped a little. But we moved on in the conversation and he told me he wants me to stay on dialysis (although I am going from 3 sessions to two a week) and do another test in two weeks to see how my kidneys are functioning then.  
One month ago my Creatnine was 5.70, as of Tuesday of last week my Creatnine was 3.47 (which takes me from stage 5 to stage 4)! Before I started dialysis my GFR (glomerular filtration rate) was a 9 (anything under 15 is considered renal failure). Mine is now 28 (normal is 60)!!
I am giving the praise to God but we are also praying that God will continue to heal me. I'm not out of the woods health wise as stage 4 is still considered critical but I feel that just having these last 3 weeks where I have been feeling better is a miracle itself and I am thankful for that!

And if you are wondering how I know what was written in my medical chart... well... it is my medical chart and all you have to do is ask the right person. :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Short Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer

If you're like me, you've read a lot of books in your lifetime. To me thats a great thing, at least until all the story lines start to run together. Theres nothing more dissapointing than picking up a book to read only to find that you've read one or two others just like it. However, I didn't feel that way at all about the Short-Straw Bride! It was a new and intriguing story line and I enjoyed the read. Karen Witemeyer is a great story teller and I look forward to reading more of her books in the future.

This is what the publisher has to say about the story:
No one steps on Archer land. Not if they value their life. But when Meredith Hayes overhears a plot to burn the Archer brothers off their ranch, a long-standing debt compels her to take the risk.
Years of constant vigilance hardens a man. Yet when Travis Archer comes across a female trespasser with the same vivid blue eyes as the courageous young girl he once aided, he can't bring himself to send her away. And when an act of sacrifice leaves her injured and her reputation in shreds, gratitude and guilt prompt him to attempt to rescue her once again.
Despite the fact that Travis is no longer the gallant youth Meredith once dreamed about, she vows to stand by his side. But will love ever be hers? Or will Travis always see her as merely a short-straw bride?"

Are you intrigued yet? I was! This is a great, quick read. Be sure to check it out on Amazon or Christianbooks.com!

{Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. All opinions presented herein are my own.}

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Update On The Health Front

I have found it really hard lately to do updates on my health issues. Originally one of the big reasons I started this blog was to talk about Kidney Failure and hopefully to promote the need for living kidney donors. There are thousands of people out in the world waiting for a kidney transplant and most of the public doesn't seem to understand the severity of kidney failure and the horribleness of a life spent waiting on dialysis. But while living this disease every day I find that I don't always want to talk more about it because it can bring on feelings  (such as resentment and frustration) I don't want to cater to. So if my health postings are sporadic, that might be the reason.

But to give the real update I am still keeping on... I am off peritoneal dialysis for the time being and doing my hemodialysis treatments in center three times a week. Hemodialysis is tough, I feel sick after treatments and the schedule really makes it difficult to lead a normal life. I can't make long term plans or go away for the weekend without missing a treatment. I am still believing God for his mercy and healing!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Still on Hemodialysis

At the end of May I posted about the peritoneal dialysis fluid leaking through a hole in my diaphragm underneath my right lung. I haven't posted much since then because frankly I've been on a roller coaster physically. Right before leaving the hospital on May 25th my Nephrologist took me off of Peritoneal Dialysis and arrangements where made for me to start hemodialysis (part of that process was having an IJ catheter placed into the main artery that goes directly to my heart).
(You can check out the post here. )  For two weeks after my hospital stay I did hemodialysis exclusively. Then about mid June my Nephrologist decided it was time to start adding peritoneal dialysis back slowly. We started at 1000 liter fills for a week, then 1500 liter fills for a week, each week followed up with a chest xray. Then on Friday the 29th the Dr upped it to 2000 liter fills. And that's when it started.... the next morning I went to dialysis, came home and was exhausted. My mother called and said she and my step dad needed help at the garden so we packed up the family and headed over there. I picked raspberries for about 30 minutes then couldn't stand to be on my feet anymore. I went to the van and slept until everyone was done. We went home and I took some pain pills and went to bed. The next morning I got up determined to go to church. If I remember correctly I told my 16 yr old son that I was going to church whether he had to carry me there or not. Ignore the mental picture.... lol. 20 minutes later I realized I was too sick to go. My lungs hurt, it hurt to breathe, it hurt to lean over. I was nauseous and had no energy. I slept the whole day.
Monday morning I had my scheduled xray and after hours of waiting in the Dr's office I was told what I already new.... fluid under my right lung, again. My Dr told me he wanted to take me off PD (peritoneal dialysis) for a week, take an xray next Monday and if the fluid has reabsorbed we will try again with 1700 liter fills this time. I'm praying this hole heals itself and quick. My body is exhausted. Half of 2012 is gone and I've spent the entire 6 months of it being sick. This wouldn't be so bad if I was an old single cat lady (no offense to any elderly people with chronic disease, I wouldn't want to be in your shoes either) but being a wife and mother of three kids... well, I feel like life is slipping away.
Please Lord heal this hole in my diaphragm and let me return to doing PD. I am tired of feeling sick most of the time. This post here accurately describes the symptoms and how I feel about 50-70% of the time after a hemodialysis treatment. On the flip side of it I want to be content and find a way to strive with whatever the future is. If I have to stay on hemodialysis then I pray for the patience, resilience and grace to get through every single day and to accomplish what I need to on a day to day basis.

Reflections on Writing

I often think of posts to write, narrating in my head exactly what I want to say and how I will say it. My mind seems to constantly be going so for me its not hard to think on what I'd like to share. But often reality gets in the way and I don't share even a quarter of what I wanted to. My goal on this blog is not to write a post a day, that would be such a difficult achievement to reach and I can see burn out ahead of I attempted that. Instead I just want to share once or twice a week when time permits. Sometimes I've wondered if having such a multi-topic blog would repel people. There are so many wonderful blogs out there. I love to read the homeschooling blogs, the homestead blogs, the adoption blogs, the large family blogs and the list could go on and on. But how can I keep my blog to just one topic when my life is not? Its not one topic, its many. One thing I don't want to do as a mom is compare myself to other moms because it just wouldn't be fair. And in a sense it isn't right to compare my blog to others either.

I started out just wanting to share my thoughts and feelings regarding dialysis but as a homeschooling mom I want to share that aspect of our lives also. Unfortunately there is not a lot of homeschooling going on these days and the health issues just seem to take over. So for now I will just keep doing what I am doing. Posting when I can, sharing whats relevant at the moment and working on letting God lead my thoughts, my posts and my words.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Our newest family member, Fluffington Braveheart I (the 1st)! Now I have to say that I had no plans to add any new additions to our family. We already had two cats and one of them needs to go to a new home without children. But... on to our story of the new family addition.
It was a cold and rainy afternoon.... my sister had just come home from work and she stopped over to say hi. As we were sitting and chatting she happened to mention that while she was getting her mail she heard some excessive meowing from the bushes behind the mail boxes. I was instantly concerned and asked her "what if its hurt?". Her response was that she was afraid it was some 'creepy' guy hiding in the bushes waiting to abduct her and so she wasn't about to go searching for it. I rolled my eyes in exasperation and said "well I'll go look for it". And since I was not afraid in the least that there was some creepy guy hiding in the bushes, I bundled up the boys and down the road we walked in the drizzle to the mailboxes. Soon as we reached our destination I could hear the meowing. Whoever it was was very upset/scared or hurt. I started to search through the bushes for the sound, but it took me about 5 minutes until I saw who was crying and what I saw melted my heart! A sweet, precious little orange and white fluff ball about 6 weeks old. Of course we brought him home and fed him, he was sooo hungry but in surprisingly good shape. Then the boys started asking what we were going to name him. At first I kept saying "nothing, because we aren't keeping him!". But eventually that changed into "well... I don't know what we should name him..." So now we are a three cat family! lol 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Field Trip - Ohop Indian Village

Part of our field trip to Pioneer Farms yesterday included a seperate tour of the Ohop Indian Village. I have to say though that it wasn't exactly a village... it was three seperate 'stations' depicting different things. Apparently the Native Americans in our area where lodge dwellers (not teepee dwellers) and the 'Ohop Indian Village' just shows some partially constructed out buildings, not any complete structures. I suppose though that it would be a lot of work to construct a complete winter lodge. There were a lot of interesting things to see and more hands on activities that the kids really enjoyed. Judging by how much my middle child enjoyed this tour, I would have to say that five years old is a great age for this. But older kids seemed to enjoy it also!

Real furs/pelts.

Activities even a teenager enjoys (by the way that is a friendship mark on his cheek).

Our tour guide telling us interesting facts and details... that I now can't remember.

Kaleb trying his hand at the bow and arrow.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Field Trip - Pioner Farms

Today we went to Pioneer Farms Museum in Eatonville, WA. I remember going to a pioneer farm as a child, but I could not remember where it was. I wondered if Pioneer Farms in Eatonville would stir any memories... but as we walked through it I realized it was probably not the same place. However, my kids, especially my 5 year old enjoyed themselves! There were so many hands on activities to do, the weather was decent and the company was great!

Grinding flour the old fashioned way!

Rolling bread dough, even big brother was helping out.

A corner view of the cabin including a bed full of dress up clothes for the kids to try on.

Some old fashioned wooden toys for the kids to try out.

This is an outside view of the cabin, as you can see it is huge. It was made large purposelly so they could fit in large groups of people. There were other smaller cabins on the property that we were able to go into to see how the pioneers lived in smaller homes.


Each child got a chance to try milking a cow.

We found an egg, it was hiding under a chicken. Imagine that?! lol

They had some of the tamest chickens I've ever seen....

An inside view of one of the smaller cabins.

A wagon ride too!

Luckily for me this trip was organized by one of the wonderful women from our Homeschool co-op and so we got in with the much cheaper and affordable group rate! I highly suggest that as the way to go to save money. However, I'm hoping to go again in the future with the kiddos! There was so much to see and so many hands on activities this post doesn't do it justice.... neither do my poor quality photos, lol. Maybe some day I'll have a fancy shmansy camera like all the other blogger mamas! Ok... probably not... but a girl can dream can't she?

Monday, June 18, 2012

$200 Giveaway at Homeschoolcreations.net!

Click on logo to visit the website (logo courtesy of homeschoolcreations.net)

Homeschoolcreations.net is teaming with some other great websites to offer a $200 cash, paypal award! Thats right! $200! Be sure to head on over there and follow their directions to join this great giveaway!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Second Hemo Treatment

Today was my second day of hemodialysis. Saturday I had my first treatment and it went alright although it was nerve wracking with all the strange beeping on the machines. Also, one of the workers who unhooked me from the machine at the end, did not wear his mask. This is so dangerous and I've worried about it all weekend. Not worried that anything was wrong with me, but just worried because I did not stand up for myself properly. I won't make that mistake next time.

Todays treatment was a lot easier emotionally, but horrible physically. I limped out of the center at the end because I got horrible muscle cramps in my shins. I made sure to eat something right away and I was alright for about an hour then I started sweating, feeling shaky, confused and nauseous. I pretty much felt this way the entire rest of the day. As soon as we got home I crawled into bed and slept... and thats where I am headed back to in a few minutes.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Ferry Boat Ride and Gig Harbor

Today the whole family, including my Dad and Sister took a ferry boat ride from Fauntleroy to South... (something... ) and then drove to Gig Harbor. It was very windy and chilly on the ferry, but beautiful! It has been about two years since we were last on a ferry boat and Kaleb couldn't even remember what a ferry was.

Kaleb, Kirby and Kyle - 5/28/2012

Me and my husband Jeremy

Kirby and Auntie

After the ferry ride we drove for a ways and saw some signs for a park called Long Lake, where we stopped and let the boys play and eat their lunch.

After the short trip across (about 20 minutes) we drove through Gig Harbor and stopped for lunch at Kelly's Cafe. We were going to eat at the Red Rooster restaurant but they told us they were under staffed and it would be an hour wait! Kelly's was a great choice. Good food and delicious ice cream! Although Kirby, the lover of cookies, had a huge cookie insteads of ice cream.

All in all it was a beautiful and pleasant day!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

I'm home!!

Four days and five nights in the hospital and I am finally *home*! I am sooo thankful to be here, spending time with my kids. Watching them play and laugh and yes fight from time to time. Hehe. We even went for a very short walk in our neighborhood and looked at our garden this evening. We have many strawberries growing!
 In the few hours I've been home my poor little Kirby has cried several times and we have laid hands on him for healing. He is having some re-accuring leg pain but so far that is the only symptom and I am continuing to believe in God for his healing touch (I wrote a post a few months back about Kirby's fevers and leg pain).
I'm thankful for my family and happy to be out of the hospital!

Current Homeschooling Plan

So this ratty teddy bear doesn't really have anything to do with home school... other than he's always here and very very loved by one little boy! (Kirby)

Things have been a little up in the air due to my health issues and also due to lack of finances as my husband has been out of work since December. Originally my goal was to start Kaleb on more of a regular curriculum when he turned 5 years old in May. Last fall I bought him a few items to work on, this is what we tried:
PS: For those people who are against educating children too early, please be sure to read to the bottom of this post as I do touch on that subject.

Before Five in a Row (Mainly reading the book a few times during the week and trying to do some activities but not always so successfully)
Apologia Zoology 3 (I would just read a few pages at a time)
What your Kindergartner needs to know (In steads of being a guide on what to teach your kids, this book actually has specific things to teach them. It has a section on pretty much everything, math, geology/history/social studies, music, art, etc) - Basically I would pick something from this book and go over it a few times a week.
Reading/Language Arts - I put a LOT of focus, prior to getting so sick, into reading reading reading. My goal was to read more living books and Bible stories than anything else. I figured if I didn't get anything done in a week but to read to them, it was OK. I also got different books on tape from the library and Kaleb and Kirby both enjoyed listening to those.
Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons - To be honest 100 lessons is a lot for me and Kaleb is a smart boy, I think he could learn to read sooner so we might try something else as at this point we've only gotten to lesson 8.
Bible - For Christmas my whole family (My Dad, Mom/Step dad and Sister) blessed us by each buying one set of the Your Story Hour Cd's, we ended up with 4 sets. The sicker I got the more Kaleb was allowed to listen to these Cd's, they are wonderful and I listened to them as a child! I have no experience with the History Cd's they sell but I'm sure they are wonderful and someday I would like to be able to buy those to try out. Here's my post from a few months back on the Your Story Hour.

Once I am able to buy new curriculum we will be tweaking things a bit and adding some new things. One main thing is I have finally decided I will be teaching the boys Latin first, and then move on to Spanish as they get older. The other thing that is important to me is to teach them about classical music and composers, that's something I didn't get much of as a child and I think it is important for them.
The plan is to home school year round with natural breaks in between as life guides us. Also, Kaleb is still young and really doesn't need a formal education yet. I am trying to nurture a love for learning so even though I listed 'set' curriculum above, I go with his flow... if he is resistant, we do something else. The biggest issue is hand writing. I really feel he should be practicing writing his alphabet at this age, but he hates it. I am not quite sure yet if it would be better to drop it all together until he is closer to age 7 or until he doesn't resist it (whichever comes first). It is so important to me that my kids develop a love for learning. I also encourage and insist that they spend a LOT of time outdoors playing and exploring, which they do. Just last week my husband and I and Kaleb and Kirby were walking down the road looking for ants and other cool bugs when a local city utility worker who was apparently watching us says "Science class?" to which I replied "yes, exactly!". lol

A view of the ever important book cases - my two youngest boys sure love their books!

Now on to the subject of Kyle's school work (cringe).
Kyle, 16 yrs old and a Junior in High school:

Here is what the plan was for 2011/2012 curriculum:

My Fathers World Ancient History (this covers language arts, Bible and History)
Apologia Biology
Teaching Textbooks Geometry
Spelling (two semesters of spelling, I can't remember the name of the books at the moment)
Health Class - two semesters of online health class through Horizon
Rosetta Stone Spanish
Probably something else I'm forgetting at the moment

In steads of what you see above, what has mainly happened is the My Fathers World Curriculum and the spelling. Unfortunately due to all my health problems, Kyle has gotten behind in his schoolwork. He did start to get behind before we found out I was sick as well...staying on target is hard for him and he gets distracted easily which is a BIG reason why traditional school was not working. I think school at home actually is working better. He knows that he might be graduating late at this point, but he seems to be alright with that and I think it is better than pushing pushing pushing and making him so frustrated about graduating that he quits. Because we did not start homeschooling until his 9th grade year, the normal habits that most home school kids develop haven't quite developed yet. Such as being more self motivated.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Chest pain and a hospital stay - post #2

So a few days ago I posted about how and why I ended up in the hospital. Currently I have spent 4 nights in the hospital and since my last post I have had a total of 6 chest x-rays, two thoracentesis's, surgery on my left arm fistula, and a cat scan. And a lot of other issues inbetween.... lol. Over the last few days my Nephrologist tried a few 'tricks' to reduce the fluid under the lung, such as only putting one liter of fluid in my abdomen insteads of two. Unfortunatly that plan didn't work and during my thoracentesis on Thursday they pulled out one litre of fluid from under my right lung, more than what was pulled out the first time.

The current end result is that I have been removed from doing Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) and today (supposedly before noon) they are placing a direct line into my chest. This will serve as a temporary access for doing hemodialysis. In a few weeks my fistula on my left arm should be ready and then the direct line access can be removed. My Doctor is also hoping that the hole in my diaphragm (which is what has caused the fluid to leak) will heal itself over the next few weeks so that I can return to doing PD. I did talk to my Doctor and let him know that if there is anything humanly possible (including surgery) I am willing to do it so that I can keep doing PD. As I've tried to explain in other posts, although I'm not sure if I've been able to make it make sense, Peritoneal Dialysis is a lot better for me than Hemodialysis will be. With PD I have a lot more freedom, sure its an every day thing but its mainly at night and so it allows me to feel good during most days, and to spend quality time with my family. Quality as in feeling good and being active. The issue with Hemodialysis is that it is done in center and takes 4-6 hours three times a week. The process of hemodialysis is very hard on the body and patients usually spend a lot of time feeling sick. My main concern has been not being able to be the mother I want to be. I want to continue to teach my children at home and that could change if I was on HD permanently.

If you would like more information on what the different types of Dialysis entail, please check out these links:

And if you've ever considered being a live donor and donating one of your kidneys to a person in need, check out these sites:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Chest pain and a hospital stay

Starting Friday I noticed pain in my chest, it got increasingly worse throughout the weekend. It was hard to breathe and bending over or changing position made it more difficult to breathe and often resulted in coughing. On Saturday I called the PD (Peritoneal Dialysis) clinic and talked to one of the on call nurses. The nurse I talked to felt that the discomfort was most likely due to an overload of fluid and that I should try to remove the fluid by increasing the dialysis solution (using a higher concentrate of dialysite will draw out more fluid). During Saturday and Sunday I increased the strength of fluid, using 2.5% solution on the cycler at night and during manual exchanges. I successfully pulled off extra fluid but when I woke up Monday morning I noticed the discomfort in my chest was a lot worse and it felt like my lungs hurt. If I bent over even a tiny bit it was painful. I called the PD clinic again and talked to another nurse who told me to go to the ER. When I got there the ER Doctor ordered an EKG, blood work and a chest xray.
What they found was fluid underneath my right lung. I was taken upstairs to have a procedure called a Thoracentesis. I had to sit on the edge of a bed, a Doctor numbed my back with lidocaine and inserted a catheter between my ribs on the right side and then drew out the fluid. The process was relatively simple although highly stressful (when I don't know what to expect I get very nervous... and I really don't like needles!). One of the nurses asked me if I wanted to see the fluid and I said yes... it was a large glass jar similar in size to a quart mason jar and it was 3/4's full... for a total of 900 ml that was extracted from underneath my lung.
The fluid was submitted for tests so that they could figure out where the fluid was coming from. If the fluid is dialysite that means that there is a leak in my diaphragm allowing fluid to get under the lungs. If the fluid was not dialysite, just regular fluid than that would mean I was under fluid 'overload' and we would need to increase my dialysis.
Last night I spent the night in the hospital and this morning my Nephrologist came to visit me. He told me he thinks that the liquid is most likely dialysite that is leaking through a hole in my diaphragm. He said that this happens to only 1% of patients. They are going to keep me on PD (peritoneal dialysis) throughout the day and night (yes, another night in the hospital) and do another chest xray today and tomorrow. If more fluid builds up under the lung that will indicate to my Doctor that it is dialysite. If it is dialysite they will remove me from PD and I will have to switch to doing Hemodialysis. Since my fistula (the vein and artery that were connected in my upper arm to create a large access for doing hemodialysis) is not ready that means they will insert a catheter into the main artery in my chest for hemodialysis until the fistula is ready. The issue with the chest catheter is it has a higher risk of infection due to the fact that it is a direct access to your heart (so any bacteria traveling through it would be lethal). You also can not shower with this type of access.
The Doctor is also scheduling surgery to have my fistula brought closer to the surface of the arm (I have deep veins). Their thinking is while I am in the hospital they might as well get the surgery taken care of. Makes sense to me, although I dislike surgery and don't recover as easily as I wish I would.

I will update again when I know more. In the mean time we are praying for complete healing and I am trusting the Lord to take care of me!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Potassium Supplement Has Arrived

A few days ago I posted my losing battle with potassium. After several weeks of struggling to get my potassium levels to an acceptable range I finally admitted defeat and told my nurse I would take the supplement. Thanks to the magic of the phone and mailed prescriptions, that supplement has arrived, already. What I was expecting was a pill that I would take once or twice a day along with my other rapidly expanding array of meds. Well, thats not what I got. Oh no. What I received was little packets of 'powder' that say to add to water and take..... FOUR times a day! Yes, you read that right. FOUR times a day. Someone please tell me how a busy mother of three who has a horrible memory to begin with is going to take a supplement four times a day? I honestly cried when I read those instructions... but it was  a rough day physically so I think I'm allowed the tears.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Nothing like a slap of reality to keep you on your toes....

Friday night I spent a pleasant dinner with my sister, dad and my Aunt Susan who came to visit us for the week from Boise, Idaho. When I got home in the evening it was pretty late and I went to hook up to the cycler (dialysis machine) for the evening. When I walked into the room, my husband had set up the machine for me and it was all ready to go. Right as I was about to start the hook up process (this includes proper hand washing procedures, putting on a mask, using hand sanitizer, etc) I noticed that one of my cats was sitting by the drain cord coming from the machine. Issue number one... the cats can NOT be in the room when I am doing dialysis due to the risk of infection if they decided to bite a cord. I stood there staring at the cat because I just had this odd feeling. Right then Jeremy came into the room to throw the cat out and I decided to check the cord that had been near the cat... sure enough, he had bit the cord. We removed the cat from the room (after I gave him a big talking to... yes, the cat) and my loving husband had to throw out the two bags of fluid and all the cords and set the machine up all over again (the set up process takes about 20 minutes).

I must admit I thanked God for the angels watching out for me... that was really a scary moment because I knew how serious it would have been if I had NOT seen the cat before I started the machine or if I had not checked the cord. For those that might not be aware, dialysis is a very tricky process and there is a high risk of infection. Dialysis patients can die from the infections if they aren't caught in time and/or it can cause scarring on the inside and the patient has to switch to doing hemodialysis (there are a lot of reasons why having to switch to hemo would be bad).
Once the machine was set up, I hooked up and went through the initial drain process (this is where the machine drains all fluid that is inside). After the drain, the first fill is supposed to start, but insteads an alarm went off on the machine that said "check heater line". The next 30 minutes were spent trying to figure out what on earth was wrong with the heater line. Jeremy checked every inch of cord on the machine and we couldn't find any problems. So finally I realized I had to call Baxter, which is the company that manufactures the machine. Lucky for us they have 24 hour staff to answer and troubleshoot any problems. The gentleman on the phone was very friendly and walked me through the process of checking the cords and trying several different things. Finally he determined that we needed to.. start all over... again. So for the third time that night, my sweet, loving husband set up the machine for me. It wasn't until midnight that I was finally able to crawl into bed and sleep.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Potassium... the battle has been lost.

One of the issues while doing Peritoneal Dialysis is that the dialysis process strips protein and potassium out of the body each time I do an exchange. Since I started dialysis I have added extreme amounts of potassium, through foods, into my diet. For example, a banana is considered one high potassium serving. I've been eating the equivalent of 4-5 high potassium servings a day. Usually I eat bananas, kiwis or potatoes as those are the easiest way for me to get my potassium.
Unfortunatly every time my nurse checks my blood for potassium it is still low. So now I have to take a potassium supplement. That is one thing I've noticed with being under constant medical care is they want to give a supplement for everything. I've also been prescribed calcitrol and I'm given an iron shot every two weeks due to anemia.
While talking to my nurse on the phone yesterday about the potassium she says to me "Well, we just need to get you a new kidney!". Yep... that would be the plan. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Candy Themed Birthday Party!

On May 5th my wonderful, crazy, inquisitive middle child turned five years old! We celebrated his Birthday on Saturday with a small (family and a few friends) candy themed party! That is one thing to know about Kaleb... he is not a cake, cookie kind of kid, he is all about the candy. So candy it was!

Kit Kat M&M Cake!

Lots of candy!

Birthday boy with his new skate board and basketball hoop!

What candy party would be complete without a pinata?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

How Peritoneal Dialysis Works

This is me at my 'station' in my room doing a manual exchange
I just wanted to try and give a more detailed explanation of how the dialysis process works.

There are two common types of dialysis. The one most people seem familiar with is hemodialysis. If you know someone who has dialysis three times a week in center, this is hemodialysis.  Hemodialysis can also be done at home, but more often it is done in center. This type of dialysis involves creating a fistula in the forearm (a surgeon takes a vein and an artery and sews them together to create a large access vein for the dialysis needles).

The peritoneal dialysis process uses the peritoneum in the abdomen as a membrane across which fluids and dissolved substances (such as electrolytes, urea, glucose, albumin and other small molecules) are exchanged from the blood. Fluid is introduced through a permanent tube in the abdomen and flushed out either every night while the patient sleeps (CCPD - Continuous Cycling Peritoneal Dialysis) or via regular exchanges throughout the day (CAPD - continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis). The primary complication of PD is infection due to the presence of a permanent tube in the abdomen.

The training process for peritoneal dialysis was stressful as there is high risk of infection if you don't use a proper sterile process. In order to do an exchange a patient needs to wash their hands for 30 seconds, put on a mask before removing the cap from the catheter, and use hand sanitizer. You also have to remove any pets from the area and close any windows (and turn off any air vents if the air is blowing).

Then you connect the the catheter to a manual exchange bag, drain the fluid that is currently inside, refill with new fluid and then disconnect the catheter. The whole process takes about 45-60 minutes.

After a week of training on the manual exchanges (CAPD) I was trained on how to use the cycler. I now hook up to this machine every night before bed time, usually about 10pm. It does an initial fluid drain, and fill, then it does three more exchanges while I sleep. The machine stops at about 7:30 am the next morning. During the day I do one manual exchange, usually sometime between 4pm-6pm.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Curriculum Shopping In The Antique Mall

Whoever heard of curriculum shopping in an antique mall? "Great idea, why didn't I think of that?" you might say. Well, I thought of it first! Lol.
Actually, I went out to breakfast this morning with my mom and sister as Lydia turned 36 today ("Happy Birthday Lydia!") and someone suggested going to the antique store a few blocks over. As we were browsing slowly through the booths and aisles I came across a stack of Popular Science magazines. I realized those would make a great supplement to any history or science curriculum. So as we continued through the store I kept my eyes peeled for anything else that could be a resource. There were many great items I had to pass on due to price... really I can't afford to pay $20 for a math book from 1930. There were soooo many old fun reading books, such as the Bobbsy Twins, Little Peppers and many many more I just couldn't afford. I did however write down the titles of some amazing books I saw in the hopes of finding them online or in a thrift store. We went to two different antique stores, one in Milton and one in Puyallup and spent over three hours browsing. It was a lot of fun.
I bought three different copies of Mechanix Illustrated, they were published in 1968 and one copy of Build It from 1959. Build It has great illustrations on different building products. One of the magazines had a great article about what they expected the future to be like in 40 years (the article was published in 1968). I bought a copy of Life magazine, it was a special edition 1969 To The Moon and Back. A few older reading books and.... a cabbage patch doll and a dress pattern. Why the doll? I'm weird like that, perhaps because I was never allowed to have one when I was a kid. Plus it was only $9.00! Hehe.
I also found a neat magazine that is a bit newer, its called The Good Old Days and you can visit their website here. Fun reading!

I hope to do more antique shopping in the future!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A sun shiny weekend.

We were blessed with a beautiful weekend! In the Seattle area we go a long long time without seeing the sun so when it does come out to play, life seems more wonderful. We spent most of Saturday at my mothers garden. Although technically it is our garden now also. She is renting 4 spots at large community garden and we are helping to weed and plant. This will help us out this year as I don't know that I will get my own garden planted in our small backyard. Last year we had a pretty decent garden using seven raised beds. I followed the square foot gardening book and we really did end up with a lot of produce for the space. Unfortunately we need to add some good top soil to the beds and without a truck of our own to do it, I'm not sure it will happen. Also... I really don't have the energy.

The other neat thing about the community garden we visited is that they have two huge chicken coops with two different groups of chickens. The boys really enjoyed looking at the Rhode Island Reds, and the white chickens with the bare bottoms (molting)! My favorite was a handsome black rooster and his two beautiful black hens. I haven't researched yet, but I'd love to find out the breed because some day... I want some of those!

Hopefully next time we go to the garden I will remember the camera!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Check out this amazing giveaway!

An Amazing Give Away Worth $400!

I love to enter a good contest! If you do also then please head over to this great blog and check out an amazing giveaway you don't want to miss! She is offering over $400 in books and gifts, as a way of celebrating her 10th anniversary of blogging. What a great  way to celebrate! 
Click here to read her blog and to enter into her give away!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Dialysis and Blood Sugar

Prior to starting dialysis my blood sugar levels where controlled perfectly well by diet. My A1C for the last 3 months was 5.9 which is in the normal range. Then I started dialysis.... since then my blood sugar levels are no longer controlled and my fasting sugars in the morning are high, in the 140-180 range.
Peritoneal Dialysis puts dextrose into the abdominal cavity, dextrose has glucose. The liquid works itself around (but not into) all the organs and depending on each body, the membrane absorbs the glucose differently. Generally though a days worth of dialysis treatments adds 400-800 calories. If you have tried to lose weight, or struggled with weight loss and/or diabetes, you will know that is not a good thing. Take a person that is already struggling to lose weight and pack on an extra 400-800 calories, plus throw their blood sugar out of wack and its not good.
Eventually I will just be put on medications for diabetes, because of the glucose in the dialysite solution that is pulling toxins out of my body. Win some you lose some, I guess?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Waiting Game

My first week on Dialysis has come and gone. I can honestly say that it is a relief to be at this point. Previously it was just a waiting game, waiting for insurance, waiting for surgery, waiting for dialysis to begin. I am still waiting... waiting for transplant... which I am told can be a 3-5 year wait in the state of Washington for a non-living donor (a person that has passed away and signed their donor card or agreed to donation). However its a different sort of wait and in the mean time there will eventually be some relief from the symptoms of ESRD as the toxins are continually pulled out of my body via dialysis. I must say though that Dialysis is not a cure, it does help to remove toxins from the body but it does NOT prevent the kidneys from further damage.

Since my name was just sent in for referral I have a potentially long road ahead. In order to be officially on the list I have to meet with a transplant team and go through various tests prior to being approved for transplant. The process is the same for everyone but the results depend on the overall health of the individual.

I think it is important to spread the word regarding kidney failure and the need for living donors. When I was leaving the Northwest Kidney Center PD unit today I saw a boy about 10 yrs old who looked very sick. Children are not allowed in the PD unit... unless they are kidney patients. My heart really went out to him and I will probably never know his story, but spreading the word about the need for kidney donation may help save a life.

Please consider being a donor whether it be for someone you know or a complete stranger.
Give the gift of life!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Surgery #3 and a week of Dialysis Training

Tuesday: On March 27th I went in for a scheduled outpatient (same day) surgery. This was just a minor procedure, they cut a thin slit in my abdomen to externalize the buried catheter that was placed two weeks prior. This process was really a breeze as they gave me local anesthesia, I fell asleep, stayed asleep during the entire procedure and woke up alert and ready to go home. This was very unlike the two surgeries earlier in the month with heavy anesthesia that left me groggy and ended up in two overnight hospital stays.

Wednesday: Wednesday my husband and I went to the Northwest Kidney Center Peritoneal Dialysis training center in downtown Seattle to start my training. The training lasted five hours and pretty much consisted of my sitting in a chair, listening to a nurse explain proper procedures on doing PD at home. There is quite a process including cleaning the prep area, washing hands, using hand sanitizer, making sure all windows are closed, removing any animals from the area and basically following every step precisely to avoid risk of infection. If I skip a step or make a mistake like touching the open catheter (which is a direct line to my stomache when open) I am at high risk of infection which can lead to having to switch to hemodialysis (depending on the severity of the infection).

Thursday: Thursday morning I received my first months worth of dialysis supplies. These were delivered by Baxter (a medical supply company) in a large Penske trunk and filled *two* pallets, consisting of *72* boxes. I am told that after the first delivery on average I will get about 30 boxes a month. We will see.... we spread the boxes from the first pallet around the house into every empty nook and crany we could find and the second pallet is sitting under the carport with a tarp covering it!
Thursdays training was more hands on and I actually ended up doing a full day worth of dialysis exchanges (four exchanges when done manually). The first few times I had the fluid in my abdomen I didn't feel anything other than just a full sensation. But the last three times it has been pretty uncomfortable for the first 30-60 minutes. The solution is causing my heartburn to go out of control so I have to start taking a second prilosec a day to combat that. Also the fluid can cause a feeling of a 'stitch' or pain in my side and sometimes I feel pain moving up through my back and then eventually it just dissipates... it almost feels like the pain starts low, moves up through my stomache, my back, my limbs and then is gone.

Friday: Training on Friday was once again from 11am to 4 pm. This time we met with the nurse first, went over a few things and then I met with the dietician. The dietician went over my lab work from what was drawn on Wednesday and told me that so far all my numbers are looking good. She also explained how when a patient is on Peritoneal dialysis, they have to increase their potassium and protein intake. This information was a little confusing at first because when someones kidneys are failing (prior to dialysis) you have to go on a low protein and low potassium diet. This is because the kidneys can not process the protein when they aren't functioning properly. Once on peritoneal dialysis (it is different with hemodialysis) the dextrose/dialysite strips protein from your body so you have to compensate with a high protein diet. This is ok with me. I am happy to be able to eat high protein again and loving eating my bananas and oranges!

Monday, March 26, 2012

No More Babies.... (Dialysis and pregnancy)

This has been a very difficult weekend for me. I realized on Thursday that I just need to let go of all the baby items I've been holding on to. Our home is just too small and we are bursting at the seams. It is amazing the amount of infant and children items I have accumulated. I can tell you one thing, there is definatly something called too much garage saling. What child needs six pairs of shoes in one size, even if they only cost fifty cents a piece at a garage sale??
There is also the 'little' (sarcasm) matter of my 'broken down not going to clean those toxins out anymore lazy kidneys'. I am told by my Doctors it would be very unwise to go through another pregnancy. It would also be difficult if not impossible to get pregnant at this point if I wanted to risk it (which I don't) because once I start dialysis (which is three days away!) I have a greatly decreased chance of getting pregnant. Only one to seven percent of women of childbearing age on dialysis can get pregnant. Over 90 percent of women of childbearing age on dialysis cannot get pregnant because having kidney disease can decrease the ability to produce healthy eggs that can be fertilized. Of those that do get pregnant, 20% will end in miscarriage and 80% of dialysis pregnancies will only go 32 (out of 40) weeks resulting in a premature birth (which carries many risks to the baby).
So that and our limited room brings me to this baby item purge. I have been elbows deep in boxes and totes for the last three days. There has definatly been tears off and on. Letting go is so hard, but I'm trying to put it in God's hands. I can't control the future and although I hope and pray that I may still somehow have another baby someday... the where and when is in His hands. Birth, adoption, grandbabies? And if not... I hope that desire to want more children will go away. Because frankly I don't want to deal with the pain.

And for those of you who might be thinking "you should be grateful for the ones you have". I refuse to feel guilty for having the natural born desire God gave me to have children. I am very grateful for the children I have. But at this time it has not erased the longing for more.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Surgery and Recovery #2

On Monday March 12th I went to visit my Surgeon who had performed my surgery 10 days prior. I was having pains in my bladder and at times excruciating spasms in my lower pelvic region. Come to find out this pain was an indicator that the Peritoneal Catheter the surgeon placed in my abdomen on March 2nd was too low and was hitting my bladder and causing spasms. I was told the only thing to do was go in and 'fix it'. So two days later, on March 14th I arrived at the hospital for my second surgery in under two weeks. This time the physician also decided to try to create a fistula again, as it was not sucessful the first time.
The good news out of all of this is that the second attempt at creating a fistula has seemed to work. The new PD catheter placement seems to be fine at the moment as well. I am however in a lot of pain and feeling a bit dazed by all these incisions on my body. I now have two cuts on my left arm (one upper, one lower) and three different incisions on the right side of my abdomen. It won't be long before I join thousands of other people in being a dialysis patient.