I know, I know, I know, I have not been keeping my blogs up too well. I have heard it from several of my regular readers. I have truly been busy; kinda working. Now, don’t get too excited… I’ve just been babysitting a lot. I have become in high demand. I have been watching babies- for those that are well experienced with these little ones, they are truly a lot of work and it is very tasking. I just cannot imagine having more than 1 at a time! Or more than 1 child even… I am so exhausted after watching one for a few hours, that I go home and sleep for an hour or so. I must say it is very fulfilling to me and fills a void that I currently have in my life– being a single woman in her late thirties and not being a mother. I am blessed to have the oppportunity to “mother” other children in the meantime…
I think I have mentioned in my previous blogs this year, and maybe I haven’t; I don’t remember… I have had some other new developments with my health. As if I don’t have enough to worry about with Chronic Kidney Disease and a blood clotting disorder. I have had some severe pain in my abdominal area since March or so. It comes and goes and varies in duration from just a few minutes to several hours. It gets so intense, that I use a heating pad for comfort. I’ve also had some nausea and vomiting in addition to the pain. Thankfully, I haven’t had any vomiting for a couple months now. In fact, the last time i did get sick, it was in front of my nephrologist. She told me it has gone on long enough that I need to see my PCP as there could be something very seriously wrong. After a few exchanges of voicemails, which occurred over a handful of days, the Dr’s orders were for me to go to the E.R. Wouldn’t you know that this particular day, I had no pain and no nausea. I felt rather silly going to the ER. I followed the Dr’s orders and went. I decided to pack an overnight bag, just in case i was admitted.
Keep in mind, it’s 2 days before my best girlfriend’s wedding, I HAD to attend as I was helping coordinate it. I was getting really nervous not knowing if I would have to have surgery. The ER Dr came in, asked some questions, then ordered a CT scan. I don’t know about you, I don’t like the preparation of having a CT Scan. You’re given this horrible “cocktail” which consists of sprite and some really disgusting chalky tasting stuff. They don’t just give you like 6 oz- no, you are given (2) 16oz size cups and they both have to be drunk in like a short time frame. Now, I am not the “average size person”; I’m in my opinion, below average. Whenever I am given medication, I take less of a dose because I am a small person. Anyway, as soon as this concoction is drank, then, you have to wait an hour to have the scan done. You cannot drink it extremely fast because you might get sick and throw it all up; then you’d have to start all over again and drink 2 more 16 0z cups. I am also a very slow drinker; maybe a bit too slow… the nurse checked on me at least 3 times, maybe even 4 to see if I had finished drinking them. I did manage to choke down both cups in a bout an hour in a half’s time…
I got the CT scan done, then awaited probably another hour for the results. To my surprise, they found absolutely nothing! I was somewhat relieved that I didn’t have anything seriously wrong that required surgery; however, I was still puzzled as to what could be causing me this pain?
I felt good the next couple of days and attended the wedding. It was one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever been to! The weather was beautiful, the venue for the ceremony was amazing and of course, she looked lovely! I enjoyed meeting her father and chatting with him- what a delightful man!
A few days later, I was scheduled to have an upper GI scope done. This is a very minor procedure where a long tube with a camera on the end is stuck down my throat to take a closer look at my esophogus, stomach, and renal organs. The ER Dr had thought that maybe I had developed an ulcer from one of the medications I have been taking for so long? After awaking from the scope, the GI specialist and I quote her, she said: “Boring! I found nothing wrong with you Carmen.” Again, I am relieved that there was no ulcer or anything else, yet, I am still puzzled and leaves questions hanging… I took it easy the rest of the day and went to bed early that night. Little did I know what was going to occur in the wee hours of the morning…
Thursday, May 24th around 3:40 a.m.; my boyfriend was in my room, shaking me, trying to wake me up. Now, I cannot recall if it stormed that night; because I had slept with earplugs- which resulted in not hearing my phone ring like 16 times as I had 4 missed calls. Being awoken by someone is very startling, regardless if you know them or not. Why is here? He’s saying: “C’mon, we have to go. Get your bag. The hospital called.” What??? Why is the hospital calling me at 3:30 am?? Here, I’m thinking it’s the hospital where I had the scope done the day before. It never occurred to me it was “THE Hospital”- the transplant unit calling me for a kidney! I felt like I was having a baby or something! This was it! My bag was all packed except for a few things that I use every day like my reading glasses, my bible… My heart was racing as I was gathering these items. Om goodness, I cannot believe this! My boyfriend rode his motorcycle over so I had to drive my car and haul my suitcase. We went back to his house as he’s just a few miles from the hospital. Keep in mind, I am somewhat half asleep, it’s close to 4 am and I am driving…on the highway. I did have adrenaline running through my veins, more like excitement to keep me alert. As I am driving, I notice a spider on the Inside of my windshield walking across. I keep a close on this creature because I got to thinking, all I need is for this stupid bug to leap at me, cause me to swirve and crash. I was praying in tongues the whole way that this thing would blow off as I had the windows down or crawl out the window.
I called my nurse back that I had called me 3 times and she informed me that I was 3rd in line, there were 2 others ahead of me, but we are all going to get tested to see who matches the best with the donor. I didn’t have to rush to the hospital just yet; I had to sit tight for like 6 hours until the cross match testing was completed. So, I have to try to go back to sleep to get awoken up again to see if I’m a match? Who could possible go back to sleep?? I tried to sleep, and just couldn’t get my mind to settle down. I went ahead, got up, did my dialysis treatment about 9 am and then called the nurse again. She said she wouldn’t know anything til at least 12p. I called my church and let them know that I could very well get my kidney today and to please notify the pastor that visited me the first time I was hospitalized 2 years ago. The secretary was excited and asked if they could alert the prayer chain? Of course! I then, went back to sleep and was able to sleep soundly as I had some peace knowing that I wouldn’t know anything for another 3 hours.
Around 1:15 pm, my nurse called to let me know that my blood did not mix well with the donors. She was very sorry, but then assured me that I will get another call soon. I have to say, it was quite the let down. Waiting for 7 hours for almost nothing. I did feel like a pregnant woman that had false labor. The nurse informed me of the cross matching process- she said based on my antibody level of 49%, I had a 50% chance of passing the tests. The transplant network has 2.5 years of blood samples that they have frozen since I have been active on the list. What they do is take a couple recent month’s tubes, mix them with the donor’s blood, then take random tubes from the past 2 years and test them. It turned out that the random, older tubes did not match well as the recent tubes had. Strange? She also told me how extremely lucky I am that my antibodies were only 49% as they should be much higher, like 80 or 90% due to have the previous transplanted organ and having 2 transfusions. The more “foreign” items enter into a person’s body, the higher the antibodies will be. I have to say, I was comforted by the Sovereignty of the Lord as he has protected my antibody levels. He knows where they need to be. It’s interesting as I had asked the nurse, what can I do to lower them more? She said: nothing. You cannot change them.
So, I am still waiting for another call….and I have been rather cautious about sleeping with earrplugs again, for fear of not hearing the phone ring and missing another call for a kidney. It’s now been exactly 2 years since my transplant, and I am getting rather fed up with doing dialysis and taking multiple pills.
I will write soon to share about my first vacation and the continue adventures of my stomach pains.
Thanks so much for the continued love, prayers, and support!