It was just a normal day for little ol' me and it was also the day that everything had changed for me.
I wasn't expecting that in a normal physical, they would find something wrong with me. It went like this: I wake up, take a shower, then wait to drive off to school. I remember that I was ready to take on another week of school and that I was. I get in my car and I get to school with my normal happiness of going to a school that I finally love. Fast forwards through my classes and past lunch, I was getting out early so I missed my engineering class which I hated to miss. Little did I know I would miss it much more than I realized.
Getting out of school on the rainy day, I drove to the physical clinic or whatever it's called and meet my mother, Kerry, there because she had to pick up my 11 year old step brother Tanner. I got there without any problems and went inside telling Kerry that it was pouring. (Mostly saying it because I like stating the obvious.) She ignored my stupid comment, signed some paper work, and we waited for me to go into the back rooms where they ask me questions and examine to make sure I wasn't bad in health. Boy am I glad that I was able to get a physical that day... anyways... I went back after getting my name called and the nurse examined me, gave me a flu shot, took my temperature, then finally took my blood pressure. I can still remember the worry in her voice as she looked at the blood pressure gage. I looked at it not know what was wrong until she gave me my answer with a question: "Has his blood pressure always been high?" I said no and my mother said no so she called Craig who immediately called with a no and a question that I could only assume could be , 'what is the blood pressure?' Then she said those fate sealing numbers, "180/110."
I can admit, that made me concerned as my mom had the look of oh my god on her face and after that the doctor came in. He was Luke, the son of a good friend of our family. He checked it and was concerned so they pricked my skin, got some samples of blood, and then they said that they needed to send the samples to the labs and it would take a while for the results to get back. I was genuinely worried as I asked what's the worst case scenario with having high blood pressure and Luke told me that that's not the question I should be asking. He said I should be asking best case scenario. Silly me for wanting to know if it's bad. Anyways, we went home and my dad was home too. We waited and before the results came Kerry, my dad, and I talked about how it could just be something not that bad and that it could have been high by being in the doctors office. We got a blood pressure machine and my dad took my blood pressure too and each time it came up the same: 160/94 then the first phone call with another talk... the talk that made me realize that my world was turning.
My dad told me that my calcium wasn't doing too well and that we might have to go to the hospital tomorrow to get it checked out better and that there might be a possibility of me going to the hospital that night. Of course I was confused on what was so bad, I felt 100% fine and my mind was trying to help convince me that I was fine, but then my dad got the second call while I was in the shower. I stayed in the shower for a long while because I was getting paranoid and showers always calmed me down. I got out and my dad called up to me, "Eli, can you come here?" I went and he said it, he said what my fears and instincts told me that was coming, "Pack a bag, we need to go to the hospital, they just called and said that your creatinine is too high." I nodded and quickly packed my bag with my pillow to sleep with and to keep with me as a safety blanket.
We got in the car with bags packed and then went to the hospital. Fast forward the paper work and we were called back where they took my blood pressure. It was funny, my blood pressure was so high that the machine didn't even register or go as high has my BP was. Thankfully a friend of my dad was there so we were able to go back and they had me pee in a cup then I was placed in a hospital bed. My mind was racing and at first I was scared and worried. You know at that point there was the thought of: am I going to die? Then the thoughts of: I am ok and I won't be here too long.
What happens next was the first IV was going to be getting. It hurt a lot, but they got it in with me tearing up to the pain of having a tube stuck in my hand. The doctor explained that they were going to run more test later, but I had to get a room in the ICU. While we waited I fell asleep with all this racing in my head. It felt like an hour later that they pushed my bed to the ICU and I was place in a new bed where I was hooked up to two machines. A Drip and a Vitals Machine, but that was all. I had woken up wanting to cry because I was scared at what was happening to me, but eventually I fell back to sleep because I wanted to just wake up to seeing that it was all a dream.
The next day barred horror as I woke up in the hospital bed. The nurse came in the the second prick and she took more blood to be take to the labs. I ate breakfast, laid in bed feeling like crap, and then the other doctor came in saying that the Kidney Specialist would come in to check on everything to see if my kidneys were okay. My kidneys? Why would they need to check my kidneys? Then I realized it, they explained that my kidneys weren't working as they should so they had to hook me up to a Drip machine so that it can just help my kidneys along. They didn't know what caused it so they took me to an x-ray room where I laid for a few minutes as they looked me over. Then a few hours later the specialists came in. He had a weird accent and was hard to understand but it was apparent to what most of what he was saying. I heard that my kidneys weren't working right and that they were 2x too small. He also said that he was shocked along with the other doctors that I didn't show any symptoms at all of my kidney failure stage. Then the information came that broke me and still makes me tear up today, "It has become apparent that his kidneys won't be able to get any better so it is most likely that he will need to get a Kidney Transplant." My heart broke; a kidney transplant... of all things to happen in my life, it was that I of all people would need to get a kidney transplant.
After the specialist left, I couldn't hold back and I started to cry. I was comforted by my dad and he kept saying that he wished that it was him and not me. I was mad and sad not only that I had to get a transplant, but that I was born with small kidneys that would lead up to this. After the cry session I gathered all the information and I just laid there until I fell back to sleep a broken child. To be honest, I lost a lot that day, I lost my hopes, I lost my dreams, and I lost a bit of my feelings.
After a few days of laying in bed and getting nurse check ups every few seconds. I got a dietician and she said that my diet was highly limited. I payed attention and I ate what I only thought I could from then on. While I was there I got lots of visitors and my mother or father posted a pick of me in bed talking about it all so far. I almost cried when I saw all of the support from others. It was nice getting visitors and eventually, after a few days being in the ICU, they moved me off the Drip and finally I got to take a shower without worrying... well, I could only use one hand as the other had 2 IVs in it and I couldn't get them wet so they wrapped it up in a biohazard bag. Let me tell you, showering with one hand is hard. Anyways, after a few more days in the hospital, I was finally able to go home.
I was happy about going home, but at the same time it didn't change the fact I had to take tons of pills, but when I got home, I found my kitty and hugged her because I missed her a lot. I went upstairs and eventually knowing that no one could hear me, I got in the shower and cried. I wanted to scream and beg why this was happening to me. It just all sucked and it was a lot. At that point I knew that I wasn't well, I was distraught at the fact that my kidneys were dead and that I had to be on medications just to keep everything okay. Note that I don't like telling my family about how I'm feeling because I don't want them to worry about me more than they worry now. I know that this is just a hinder in my life that I'll just have to live with. Yet, that wasn't all. While I was in the hospital they said something about Vanderbilt and dialysis and how they don't think that I will need to get on it. Image that? Having a tube in your chest that helps your kidneys by filtering your blood? Now that would be my worst nightmare, but it seems it doesn't end there... after getting a big update when going to Vanderbilt and then coming home to having shots after having been pricked for labs about 38 times with having 50+ vials of blood drawn. I was just ready to get my kidney so I won't have to be on a restricted diet which was not all that fun I can promise you that. Multiple days of eating noodles and chicken back to back has made me sick of noodles and chicken!
Anyways, I was finally able to go to school for one day! Then blood work and surprise! My creatinine was slowly rising higher from 8. To 10. Which is not a good sign... so after back to back days of going to the hospital to get blood work done, I was on my way to Vanderbilt with a bag for a 5 day stay. I was worried to be honest, because they said what I didn't want to hear... that I would need to go on dialysis... granted I would get to eat more, but sadly I wouldn't be able to shower anymore.. I need my showers because they are my comfort and safety zones! Come on!
Well we get to Nashville and stay a night at the same hotel we stayed at last visit to Vanderbilt. Next day is boring at first because we waited 4-5 hours to get back to where they will put the dialysis tube in. When we finally hear my name the fear slowly crept up in me. I hated being forcibly put to sleep because of what could happen while I'm asleep, but I had no choice.
They put the 4th IV in after the 3rd one broke the vein in my hand. After that I was carted off to the Operation Room. Next thing I knew, there was a bright light and a loud noise. I was put to sleep. I woke up in the PACU where I looked at the people holding back tears but when I saw my dad, I busted. He asked me why I was crying and I said it was because I was tired, but I was crying because I lost what I considered my humanity. I cried hard because I was now trapped to a tube in my chest that they used to filter my blood. I was so sad because I couldn't bare to look at what I had become. Just 5 weeks after finding out my kidneys were bad and I saw the tube I never wanted to be in me. I have gotten use to it now, but it still makes me sad to see it in me from time to time.
Today I write this from the Dialysis clinic where I am getting my blood filtered and cleaned. Only 50+ minutes left from a 3 hour cycle. I hope to get my kidney soon so I wouldn't have to bother with needing this tube ever again and that after the 4 weeks of being in Nashville after getting the transplant I just wanna go home and take a relaxing shower to think on the 'what now'.