An update on my sister…

I spent several days last week with my sister, in the hospital. (I posted as if I was home but no, I was not.) I haven’t ever specifically said why Christy has been in the hospital. Here is the abridged story:

She has polycystic kidney disease. PKD destroyed her kidneys and they were removed last September. Living without kidneys is not easy. She is, of course, on dialysis 3 times a week. Dialysis is time consuming and there are serious diet and fluid restrictions.

Many people still have at least some kidney function to go along with dialysis and that helps to control a variety of things. Like blood pressure. Without kidneys, her blood pressure can spike up very quickly to dangerous levels.

If her only problems were diet restrictions, time spent in dialysis, and blood pressure issues things would be pretty good. Unfortunately she’s had bouts of constant migraine pain (now less frequent), occasional seizures (none lately), and severe abdominal pain that the doctors could not nail down.

She was in the hospital for the abdominal pain and a blood infection. It was decided that she really had to have a colonoscopy. On top of everything else, my sister had to drink “the stuff”. I had a colonoscopy at 50 so this is something I know about. “The stuff” for those of you who have yet to have one is Golytely. If ever a product was mis-named, this is it.

As it turns out, though, it’s a good thing that she drank the stuff. The colonoscopy showed that she had been pretty well blocked and that many of her recent problems were related to that. The good news is that she’s feeling better! She is really tired and ready to not be in the hospital, but things are looking up.

I thought I’d share this with you for a variety of reasons. PKD is a disease that a lot of people have and not many people know about. There is not a cure. The PKD Foundation is dedicated to raising awareness and funds for research. I’m happy if this, in some small way, helps them.

We have a saying in our house – “Watch out for the beer truck.” We are referring to that thing (whatever it turns out to be) that you can’t see and that will eventually come at you. For Steve and me, it’s a reminder to take pleasure in every day. After all she’s been through, Christy does savor each day. If she can, so can I – and so can you!

Be happy and enjoy your life!

8 thoughts on “An update on my sister…

  1. Thanks for sharing about your sister. She is lucky to have you for a sister. I love the picture, you both look alike. I read your blog everyday and so you have become familiar. Blessings to you and her both.

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  2. Becky – you and Christy really look like sisters!! I will pray for her. I do know the prep for a colonoscopy is not fun. BUT, you’re so right. None of us knows when our last day will be – so we should always remember to live life like it is our last day, and let the people we love know they are important to us. In that vein – your applique class a few years ago in Syracuse, NY, where I was class “angel” was a wonderful learning experience! You are not only talented, but a very down to earth, really nice person.

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  3. thanks for bringing this disease to my attention. i have never heard of it. hopefully your sister will now be able to live more pain free. yours is a good attitude toward life. keep smiling! :o)

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  4. Becky- Thanks for your sharing about Christy, the pictures of you two are great. Christy I’m glad you are doing so well and go ahead and drink that horrible stuff as many times as you need to. I had a sister who waited to late to drink that stuff and she died of colon cancer December 1st. 2007 and I also had a best friend who died 1 month ago with colon cancer so to all of you wonderful ladies do not hesitate get out there get your colonoscopy it may save your life. Good luck Christy and get well soon. You are in my prayers.Nancy

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  5. It is wonderful of you to share you and your sisters story. So important for people to hear about these things and just as important for us to talk about them. Loved the pictures of the two of you! I think you are both blessed to be sisters and friends. It is so painful to watch loved ones have to deal with these types of diseases that reduce quality of life. My prayers are with her.

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  6. “Go lightly” yea, whadever! My dad recently had his regular 'adventure' with all that. Prayers going out for your sister, that she can find peace in God in her situation. My mother lived for a while with one kidney and no bladder, so I am somewhat acquainted with the 'inconveniences.' She went home to be with God the Father this past year, and I am comforted to know she is finally whole. All the best to you! ❤

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