Saturday, August 1, 2009

First Signs of Trouble

My route to dialysis wasn't the path normally taken. It was sudden. I remember that day in February 2001, when after I coming home from work, I suddenly felt nauseas. The whole situation took me by surprise because as far as I could remember, I haven't vomited in more than ten years.

Soon enough, I rushed to the bathroom and let loose. I remember feeling considerably better after, but couldn't really figure out why all of a sudden I would have the urge to vomit.

After cleaning up the mess that I had just made, I sat and tried to think of anything that I ate that day that may have caused it. Could it have been the greasy fast food fried chicken that I had for lunch or was it the chocolate chip blizzard from Dairy Queen that I had after.

After about five minutes of wondering, my mind started to wander into other things. I couldn't think of anything out of the ordinary that I had done that day. Soon enough, the events that had just occurred started to slip away from my thoughts. “Probably nothing, or maybe I just ate something bad,” I said to myself and went on to go about my business.

Later that night though, while lying in bed, thoughts of what just happened that afternoon came back to me. I couldn't really describe it, but there was some sort of unnerving feeling that came about me. I felt uneasy about what happened that afternoon. Unable to sleep, I told myself that in order regain my peace of mind, I would go and visit a doctor.

The very next morning, I left the house and headed for the doctor's clinic. It took a while for the doctor to get come in, so I had to call the office to inform them that I'll be in a later that day. The doctor's meeting did not take long. He took a look at me, listened to my story, asked me some questions that I promptly answered, then told me to lie on my back so he could examine me. The next thing I knew he was to pressing against my stomach, then my ankles.

Looking back now, right then and there I'd bet he already knew what was happening with me. He took a long look at me and could probably tell that I had anemia. When he was pressing my belly, he was definitely feeling for fluid retention, which makes the stomach bloat and feel harder than it should. And lastly, by pushing against the skin in my ankles, He was checking for swelling or edema. These are some things that happen when your kidneys aren't working properly.

Now that he knew what was wrong, what he now needed to know was how bad is it and what parts are being affected. In order to do this, he wrote out a note that listed a number of blood tests that I was to do right then. At that point, he didn't tell me anything yet, except to have the blood tests done and come see him after I get the results.

The one thing I've learned about having problems with your kidneys is that more often than not, these problems are not limited to the kidney. The kidney does so many things for our bodies that when it slows down, many of our body functions are affected too.

Upon leaving the doctor's clinic, I went straight to the laboratory to have the tests done. Fortunately, the doc's office was located in a hospital so all I had to do was go down a couple of floors and wait in line to have the tests done.

At last, I thought I was done. I would pick up the lab results later on after work and go back to the doc early next morning and all would be well and I would put that disturbing experience that happened the day before behind me.

At least so I thought...

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