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!