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.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sick Toddler

My youngest son Kirby who is two and a half years old has been suffering from recurring fevers and associated leg pain for the last 7 weeks. Generally what happens is he gets pain in usually his left leg, then a fever (or vice versa) ranging from 99.9-102.5. He also complains of stomache pain and tends to be lethargic during this. The fevers last anywhere from 1-3 days and once it is gone he is his normal self again for 3-7 days. He has had approximately 10 of these 'episodes' in the last 6-7 weeks.

On March 4th my husband and I took Kirby to the Mary Bridge Childrens hospital in Tacoma. They did various blood tests, urine test, took xrays of his left leg and a chest xray (the chest xray was to rule out pneumonia as he was having a cough at that time as well). The ER Doctor didn't know what was causing the symptoms, her suggestions where maybe he just picked up multiple viruses.... (I dont believe that for a moment, btw), a possibility it could be a bone infection although nothing showed up on the xray. Other than that she said she didn't know and we should follow up with his primary care provider (PCP).

So far we haven't been able to follow up with the PCP because we are 'inbetween' Doctors right now due to insurance issues. April 1st I will take him to his regular Doctor and hopefully they can start looking into the matter further. In the meantime I have been doing research online. What I have found so far does not look promising. There are other children out there that have had the same exact symptoms and these poor kids have had to do endure tests after tests after tests. Some of these kids have had these symptoms their entire life from early infancy through their middle child years (12 yrs) and one I read about is a 16 year old who still suffers from these symptoms. In most all of the cases I read, there is some kind of variation of the symptoms (including the length of time inbetween, but the most common is one episode a month), but all in all the underlying symptoms, recurring fever and leg pain are the same. I pray that Kirby's problem is not the same as these other children (although the symptoms do fit) and that he will be healed without much more suffering. I hate seeing my children in pain!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Surgery and Recovery

On Friday March 2nd at 8am I checked into post/op for my day surgery. I must admit I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be. Things went smoothly, I was checked in, went through the process of getting prepared for surgery, gown, vitals, EKG, hair net.... then the walk to the pre-surgery room. That wait seemed a little longer. The anesthesioligist came over and described the process to me, although I couldn't tell you now what he said other than the fact I would be asleep for the whole procedure. The Doctor came by, took a look at the veins in my left arm and made some marks on my arm. Then he asked me where my belt/pants sit on my waist and I showed him, and he told me he would make the incision under that line... wasn't that nice of him? Then came the IV and they moved me into the surgery room, I remember being moved onto the narrow table and that was it.
I woke up approximately 3 hours later with someone continously calling my name. There was a lot of talk going on around my head and I didn't quite understand it. Something about "she's not doing well", and "she's fine while shes awake and then it drops". I'm still not sure what that was all about, oxygen level perhaps? But whatever it was it got me an overnight stay in the hospital.
Once in my lovely shared hospital room the Doctor that performed my surgery came in and asked "how are you doing? Does your back hurt?". I was a little confused by that question... my back didn't hurt but then again I was full of morphine so nothing hurt, yet.When I told him my back didn't hurt he said "well then I suppose I can tell you what happened in surgery". He informed me that at some point during the surgery I started struggling, broke the straps that where holding me down and half way fell off the table before they got me back on (they most likely being the Doctor, three nurses and anesthesiologist). For some reason he didn't sound very excited about the next surgeries we have to do. I wonder why?

So what exactly did I have done and why? I don't feel like giving a big explanation because frankly I'm in pain. But I will tell you I had a catheter placed in my abdomen for doing peritoneal dialysis and that they tried to create a fistula in my arm (by sewing together an artery and vein) for hemodialysis down the road (back up). I say tried, because it didn't work. The blood isn't pulsing through and they will have to try the right arm next time unless a miracle happens (which I am praying for).

Now who wants to see pictures of my owies once the 'band aids' are off? Taking votes now!