“Who du thunk”?

DustyMark's Journey, Uncategorized

Today we are at dialysis…and we are both super overwhelmed. The the stack of paperwork he is signing right now is bigger than the one that you had to sign at your house closing! The ways that they have to cover their butt is comical on some of the papers and very frustrating on others. I’m trying to see the positives…hidden advantages within this process but they haven’t popped out yet. (besides the fact that its helping to keep him alive which is a huge advantage). We like to be independent. Independent in our work and income, in our play, in our daily decisions and in our health. I am feeling like we are getting trapped.

Okay, now that I vented a bit…let us go back in time a little and I can walk you through how this all started. In hindsight, of course, we can see more “signs” of him not feeling well and that could go back more than 9 months but as far as more accute symptoms and warnings…that was more recent. He felt more tired than normal most of the summer and contributed that to “getting old”. His appetite went down as well and he just didn’t jump at the chance to play basketball or try to run Aly into the ground as often. We went on a 10 day youth group backpacking trip on July 22nd. Mark had been on this trip 2x before and knew what to expect. The part we loathed the most was the 22 hour van drive. We were told that all the water-filling, pan cleaning and backpack assistance would be put on the youth group so all we had to do was engage and help lead. I remember when it came time to eat at night Mark didn’t really want any. He ate very little for someone who just hiked miles and had minimal meals. I think he may have had minor discomfort in his abdomen/flank area, but honestly, I can’t remember super well.

We returned from that trip on July 31st and he went about his day executing flight exams and doing “all the things” but as the week progressed he wasn’t feeling well. On Thursday I came home from being away all day and and he was in the shower so I started late dinner. He quietly came out of the shower and hunched over, he walked to the bedroom and never came out. I assumed he went to bed, or maybe Cora told me he had. I don’t remember the details. By 9pm, he came out and said his side hurt really bad and it was radiating into his back and so we wondered if it was kidney related…but also maybe it could be appendicitis and either way we might need to have someone look at it. He was worried about his kidney but also concerned about not being able to work (he had a trip coming up) and so we thought the best move was ER but we both hate going to hospitals and especially dislike the ER. Our last experience was so frustrating.

We decided to go to Fremont because the distant was the same and it was bound to be less crazy and if was “only” the appendix then it’s something they can handle. There he received an ultra sound and then a CT scan without dye. You can’t give CT scan dye to people with only one kidney because the body can’t process it out well. **Back up a second**. He was also experiencing groin pain and pain down to the groin and the ultrasound was done there. The CT was at the kidney***. Okay. So they could see enlarged kidney and inflammation but without dye its hard to see details. I think they did see some sort of “mass” in that area but weren’t sure what it was. It didn’t seem to be a huge concern. Side note to the kidney picture: the lady was so thrilled with his kidney. She was like “its’ so big!” Your kidney is about 10cm and a donor’s will get to 12, maybe 12.5cm. I think she didn’t know that his kidney really was too big. 🙂 (she was transport..not a doctor or someone who is medical and reads scans) They told him he could go home but he HAD to follow up with a urologist in the morning and we were given that contact. So the next day, he called that office but it wasn’t easy to get ahold of who he needed to talk to. Another funny story for you. The person on the phone told him that it wasn’t that urgent of an issue and that they could see him next week. She said since there were no negative labs/reports on his other kidney, it wasn’t vital he come in that day. Mark chuckled and had to tell her, “I don’t have another kidney”. Once she was made aware (I’m thinking, read the chart people!) she realized it was more of an issue but still couldn’t get him in till the next week. Mark had a work trip planned so I think he was also trying to work around that so he could be reliable to his employer as well.

He came back from his trip on Tuesday night and I was in Chicago bringing Cora to college. Wednesday he saw Dr. Anema and was put into the doctors schedule for the next day as emergency stent procedure patient. Something was pressing onto the ureter and reeking havoc and he was sure a stent would help that. I came home late Wednesday night and took him to his procedure Thursday morning. The stent was placed and he felt much better…for about 8 hours. His pain increased over the weekend and I could see in his face, Sunday night, that things were not going great.

To Be Continued….

psalm 121: