Saturday, August 1, 2009

No! This Cannot be Happening!

In a late afternoon during the middle of February 2001, I left the office headed to the local hospital to have get my lab results. The very moment I saw them, I knew something was wrong. I didn't know much about lab tests much less interpret them, so I didn't know what was exactly wrong, but I knew something was wrong.

The results were outside the reference values or what you might call 'good levels'. And not only were they off, they were way off. “This doesn't look good,” I thought to myself. The thing was I had no idea what the lab tests results meant.

At that point I could really do nothing. So I left the hospital feeling down and went back to the doctor the following morning to get his diagnosis. At that point, I was just hoping for the best, and preparing for the worst.

The doctor's visit the next day wasn't as bad as what I had imagined, it was worse, way worse!
The doc took a brief glance at my lab results and immediately asked me if I was prepared to be admitted then and there. In reality, I don't know why he even bothered asking because I really had no other choice.

Then, his lips uttered four of the most painful words anyone's ever said to me, “You're kidneys are shut.” My serum creatinine was way above 25, which meant my kidneys weren't filtering the waste products they were supposed to. In fact, they were barely functioning at all.

Since then, time and again, I could catch myself wondering how things would've played out had I been diagnosed years earlier. Would I have been better prepared? How would I handle those years knowing that one day I may need to have dialysis? Or would it have even been possible to stop the progression of the disease.

I guess it's just human nature to look back.

Happening the way it did, I didn't really have time to even gather myself after the initial shock of being told my kidneys weren't functioning well enough to support my life. The next thing I knew, I was filling up the forms in the hospital's admitting department, going up to the room, getting in touch with the insurance people then interrogated by a number of different doctors.

When the last doctor left, I finally had an hour of much needed peace and quiet. That hour went by much faster than it usually does, and before I knew it, I was wheeled into the hospital's dialysis unit to have a catheter inserter in my abdomen.

One of the life lessons I learned since that fateful day is that when adversity strikes, you quickly realize who you really are, and what the real personalities of the the people who surround you are.

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  1. Know the feeling - went to the doctor not feeling well - took blood tests - phoned me back - must come see him, the same words: your kidneys is not working - it's awful

  2. Yup, probably the worst day of my life.