In the last few months, my kidneys have gotten suddenly worse. I sped through Stage 4 (see the CKD glossary) between -- well, I missed my quarterly blood test in the fall, so I have to guess, but based on when I started feeling worse, I'd say November -- and February. I started feeling even greater fatigue, getting headaches all the time, having trouble sleeping, and just feeling generally yucky.
Last week I passed into Stage 5 (kidney failure). My blood pressure got up to 191/116 despite being on three different blood pressure medications, and I started retaining water and feeling not only tired, but weak, and frequently cold. It's an interesting thing to be dying (as far as my body knows), without being going to die. If I didn't have access to transplant and/or dialysis, this would be the beginning of the end.
I've been blessed with an amazing support system. Several members of my immediate family have already expressed a desire to be evaluated as potential live donors. My husband arranges his schedule around my doctor appointments and does most of the shopping and other errands. Members of my family (including in-laws) who live more than an hour away make the effort to come see me and help out a couple times a month. And our wonderful, amazing ward members -- particularly the Relief Society -- have been virtually stampeding to help. They bring dinner at least three nights a week (with attention to my dietary restrictions), clean the apartment, do my laundry and dishes, play with the baby, and keep me company. They also held a ward fast (a day of fasting and prayer) in behalf of me and other ward members with serious health problems on March 2, and they're going to repeat it on April 13.
I've been thinking about it, and it seems like it's really a blessing for this to happen suddenly now, instead of dragging out over a period of years. The sooner my kidneys fail, the sooner I get a transplant. The sooner I get a transplant, the sooner I feel better. The sooner I feel better, the sooner we can think about adopting! Plus, I've been making so many friends through the people who have been serving me.
I feel a great deal of peace and hope. I know that things will turn out all right, and I know that I am greatly loved by my Father in Heaven, my Savior Jesus Christ, and my friends and family here.