Where do I even start? I know there are many of you out there who are wondering exactly what's been going on this week. I didn't post all over Facebook because Anthony is a pretty private person. Since this is our family blog and I'm not sure anyone really reads it anyway it's going to be documented here.
Wednesday, January 18 Anthony had an appointment with Dr. Todd Arensman, our family doctor. He had been feeling bad for a while. He was finishing up a 10 day dose of lots of antibiotic, Levaquin. He still didn't feel right and was really really tired. But he's been tired for a while, and who's not? He works 40+ hours a week, has a toddler, rides his bike, and his wife is pregnant. How could he not be tired? Anyway, he actually went to the doctor cause he thought it could be mono or an ulcer or something. He had been nauseous for a few days and hadn't slept well in a while even though he was tired. Todd just told him to come in for blood work and said he'd call him back with his results.
Thursday, Jan 19 Anthony calls me at school, on the school phone. That's never good. It's like 10:40am and he says "Don't freak out, but Todd called me and my blood levels were so high that he wants me to go straight to the hospital and be admitted for more tests." Right...like I'm not gonna freak out! Thankfully, I have a wonderful 2nd grade team who took care of my kids because I just left. I had to go with Anthony. There was now way he was going to the hospital without me. Neither one of us were very concerned and he just wanted to get out of there.
We sat in this tiny room at Frye Hospital waiting and waiting, and waiting. They drew blood, lots of blood. We sat and waited some more. They came for an ultrasound of his abdomen and a CT of his chest. I was allowed to sit in there while he had his ultrasound. I thought that was only fair. He has seen my insides plenty of times! We had an ultrasound tech who was training but she was very talkative. Probably more than she should have been. She found his spleen and liver pretty quickly and showed them to us. She tried to find his kidneys on both sides and she couldn't. That can't ever be good. She left the room to get a more experienced technician. This new tech found his right kidney pretty quickly, but it was rather small. At least to my untrained eye. This tech wasn't talking. He flipped over to look for his left kidney and the picture she found was very different. VERY different. In fact, I couldn't even see anything that looked like what she had just measured for the right kidney. She measured something, but it didn't look like anything to me. She started asking questions about why he was in the hospital...was it kidney related...had he been in an accident...had he been sick. She said she'd been doing this for a long time and neither one of his kidneys look normal.
They wheeled him to CT to wait for his scan and we're both very quiet. I tried to explain to Anthony what I had seen on the screen but we obviously didn't know what any of it meant. At this point I'm getting really nervous and I can tell Anthony's solid interior is cracking. He's starting to be extra jittery and wiggly.
We go back upstairs to wait for new from the neferologist. Finally, Dr. Paul comes in and tells us that Anthony's test results are extremely high and that according to his tests Anthony was in acute kidney failure. Probably exacerbated by the high dose of antibiotics he'd been on. Good news is that means it's reversible and he needs to flush his system and his tests should come back with better results. Maybe dialysis a few times just to kick start his system and he'd be good. We were a little upset by this news, but felt very good that it was something with a pretty easy fix. Anthony asked a billion questions, of course. We both asked for the results of his ultrasound and his CT scan. Dr. Paul hadn't looked at them yet but he said he would go straight to look at them.
I know this is getting long, but here's the deal.
Dr. Paul comes back about 30-45 minutes later and Anthony's parents had come to visit and were there with Lincoln. Dr. Paul asks if he can speak freely and in front of everyone. We didn't think anything of it. He starts his talk with "I've been doing this a long time..." That's never good. He said Anthony's kidneys weren't functioning. Almost at all. After looking at the ultrasound pictures he said his left kidney is pretty much shrivled and useless. His right kidney is very small and not doing much. We have no idea how it happened. It isn't something that happened last week, or last month, or even last year. There had to be some kind of trauma, or something to cause it, but we can't figure it out. So Dr. Paul stands there telling us that Anthony is now in chronic kidney failure, it's not reversible, and he's going to need a kidney transplant.
Out of nowhere.
He just didn't feel good and was tired.
And now he needs a new kidney?!
This news was more overwhelming than I can say. We were all shocked and didn't really know what to say. It felt like a giant rock had just landed on my chest and I couldn't breathe. How could this happen? He's so active and healthy. This can't be right.
We struggled through the evening and Anthony enjoyed his first night in a hospital. We sat for hours on Friday, the 20th waiting to hear what was going to happen. He had a porta-cath inserted into his heart above his clavicle for his dialysis. He then received his first dialysis treatment.
The first of who knows how many.
Luckily a sweet church member was his dialysis nurse, Alice Lackey. She showed us the machine, what it does, how it works, and what the process is really doing. Needless to say this was not one of either of our finest moments. It's quite scary to see your love tied to all those tubes, wires, and machines. It's a very scary sight. And when you know he, too is scared it only makes it worse.
We didn't know what to expect. He was on dialysis for 2 hours and was going CRAZY by the end. He's not really one to sit still! Then the doctor comes in and tells him tomorrow's treatment will be 3 1/2 hours, and then the rest of them will be 4 hour treatments. WOW! After dialysis he had better color and felt a little better, enough to eat something. He hadn't eaten in at least 2 days. After that he was extremely light-headed, and very tired. He needed to rest. He's never a good sleeper but he actually said he slept well. However, he slept from about 8pm-4am and was wide awake! I had been coming home at night with Lincoln so we could all try to rest.
He had dialysis again on Saturday morning and felt a little feisty afterwards. He texted me about 4 times in 10 minutes telling me I needed to hurry up and bring him some KFC mashed potatoes!
Thankfully he was finally discharged on Saturday afternoon. He was scheduled for dialysis Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday until further notice. He now has to decide what to do. He can continue on dialysis until a kidney becomes available. Or he can have a different kind of catheter inserted to his stomach to do dialysis at home...and still continue regular schedule and work and whatever he feels like he can do.
This is all just an initial plan. We're believing in God for a miracle. His right kidney could get it's act together and come back to life. God can heal him. We believe that.
Otherwise, he's on dialysis until something else happens.
What a ridiculous weekend. We've been overwhelmed, exhausted, and so much more. We've been visited, and prayed for, and hugged on.
So today we've rested. Anthony really wanted to go to church. We made it to church and then lunch before he got really tired and just wanted to be home. No visitors today so we got to be lazy. Well, as lazy as you can be with Lincoln around. He's not working this week because of his tiredness and the dialysis schedule. He's hoping to go back a while on Friday and then see how it goes and how he feels after the few more dialysis treatments. If they don't make him crazy tired and light headed he feels like he can work next week. We shall see.
Thank you for all of your prayers. Please don't stop.