Saturday, August 15, 2015

Requesting Prayers This Weekend

I need prayers, folks. On Monday I had my routine monthly blood tests, and on Wednesday a different doctor also took some blood. Today I get semi-panicked phone calls from both offices telling me that I'm highly uremic (there are a lot of toxins in my blood). My nephrologist wants me to do a few sessions of emergency hemodialysis.

"Go for the jugular!"

This is the scar I have from the last time I had emergency hemodialysis.



This is me the last time I had emergency hemodialysis.

To do it, you have to get a catheter (they call it a central line) pushed down your jugular vein directly to your heart, to attach to two little spigots that they use to pull the blood from your body and send it back again.

Due to the tricky maneuvering required for this, they do the surgery under conscious sedation with local anesthetic, so that you can respond to commands like, "Take a deep breath and hold it." Well, I have a very high tolerance for lidocaine, and I ended up feeling most of what was going on. What's worse, at the last minute the surgeon asked me if his intern could perform the operation (under his supervision), and I said yes. The intern turned out to be on his last day there, and was leaving to catch his flight after the surgery. Maybe he was rushing, I don't know, but he made some kind of mistake with the stitches, so he improvised. As a result, for the entire two weeks I had the line in, the stitches were pulling on my skin, so the whole area was inflamed and sore.

As long as it's in, you can't shower, you can't do any lifting or make any motions that could displace the line, you can't even turn your head all the way to the side. And having a three-year-old makes it even harder. So I really really don't want to do it.

I was feeling really ill on Monday, just beginning to recover from a week of illness, alone, away from home (different story, different time).  Wednesday was the first day I started to feel better. Thursday and today I've felt pretty normal. So I asked my nurse to let me take another blood test on Monday morning. If my creatinine and BUN are low enough, I might be off the hook.

If you could keep me in your prayers this weekend (and fast, if you wish), I would be very grateful. Thanks!