Monday, September 13, 2010

Back to the medical history string of my blog. At last entry we were ready to have my original kidneys removed in anticipation for a two week turnaround to a transplant of a new kidney from my Mother. Early January, 1983, I did have the first of what would become, many surgeries to come, with the removal of my birth kidneys. My father, who at that time was in nursing school, was told in his courses of study that as surgeries went, this ranked as possibly one of the top five most painful one could go through. It lived up to the hype, it was, as I recall, quite painful, and really shocking to me in many ways because this was really the first time my whole being was at the hands, in all ways, of the medical world. On top of this was the little thought of side part to this whole plan, which was the insertion of my first sub catheter, for the purpose of having a way to have dialysis performed during what was to be a scheduled two week period between events. The pain and discomfort was a shock, dialysis just added to it all as I, right out of the surgery then went to an inpatient dialysis unit at the Cleveland Clinic for the first time. It was physically difficult, and emotionally devastating to see truly sick and dying people for the first time in my life. Children and adults in a hospital acute dialysis unit are really the sickest of the sick, and as a young person who had lived as i had up to that point, this was upsetting. Dialysis back then was hard and when one starts up dialysis for the first time its is really hard as your body now is being "shocked" by it being cleansed and drained of excess fluid for the first time in probably years. Those first two weeks were dealing with that, and the extreme pain from the surgery, but hopes were high looking forward to the transplant to come.

However, things do not always go as planned, and this event would be the first vivid lesson to me as a young person that this was true. Just before the surgery I started to develop a slight but noticeable temperature which indicated something was causing an infection to develop. This infection, unchecked, could derail the whole transplant, so things we put on hold while we looked for the mystery infection. Surprises were yet to come. 

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