Sunday, April 19, 2009

Two years ago, when this journey began

I am so thankful for my blogging buddies Andrea and Di. They both have helped me write more to this story by asking questions and I just want them to know I am grateful.

Andrea's questions
When and how did you find out that Marty's kidneys were bad? I know it's been a while, but were there signs or symptoms?

The story began two years ago this month. Marty had been seeing his doctor every few months and finally gotten the insulin pump. His hemoglobin A1C was the lowest it has ever been and things were looking good. We had noticed his blood pressure steadily rising and thought it was due to his high stress job. He started taking blood pressure meds and noticed that he was constantly coughing and congested. He needed a refill on his prescription and told me "Find me a new doctor." which prompted me to ask "Can't you just go to doctor D one more time?" and he said "No!". It was very strange for him to make such a request. A doctor recommended by a friend came into mind and I was able to get him switched that same day.

We went in the next day and one of the first things the doctor did was remove a blood pressure medication he had been taking. Come to find out that it was causing Marty to cough and constantly feel like he was sick. I guess blood pressure drugs ending in pril, can do that to you. That was the first sign the other doctor wasn't on top of things. Then he proceeded to prescribe Marty 3 more blood pressure meds and a patch he would have to wear continually.

The next day was a Wednesday and he got up to go get his blood work done. We got a call at three o'clock the same day from his doctor. He wanted to see us the next morning and we immediately knew it was not good news. Our biggest fear was that Marty's kidneys were failing and it was something that I had long prayed would not happen. He had been so upset about turning 30 a few months before and come to find out that was why. His dad experienced Kidney failure at the same exact age.

The next day came and the doctor confirmed our worst fears, Marty was in End Stage Renal failure. He immediately referred us to a endocrinologist and a nephrologist. He also scheduled a renal ultrasound with dye. Thank God for his mercy, we saw the endocronlogist who confirmed the diagnosis but told us to not get the ultrasound. He informed us that any test that injects dye is very hard on the kidneys. If you already have renal failure it will cause your kidneys to completely shut down.

Besides the high blood pressure, Marty really did not have any symptoms. The symptoms of high blood pressure often mask the symptoms of renal failure. He did have some swelling in his ankles. We just did not notice the swelling because he has thick ankles normally. His other doctor had been sending us postcards informing us that his creatnine, BUN and protein were high. But when he went in the doctor never mentioned renal failure or warned him of anything. The other doctor completely missed the whole thing and dropped the ball. If Marty had not felt he needed a new doctor, who knows what would have happened. We know that God's hand was upon us and leading us to the new doctor.

We were shell shocked, our world crumbled down before our very eyes. Suddenly our future was clouded and we could not see anything very clear. We realized that so many things were now out of our control. We immedialtely started praying and asking everyone around us for prayer. One of our friends told me she was praying "That God would be glorified through Marty." and so far I think that has happened.

We started meeting with a nephrologist and following a strict renal diet. We found out Marty had about 30% kidney function left. We fought hard to preserve whatever was left and prayed that he would never have to go on dialysis. We immediately asked for a referral to transplant and knew we wanted a kidney/pancreas transplant. We wanted to go to LA and even ignored advice that Stanford was better. Only when we got a letter from Stanford did we decide that maybe God was leading us there instead.

We were able to hold off dialysis for a year and a half. One of the only reasons he went on was because he needed a angiogram. The dye in the angiogram would kill off his kidney function and he could only get it once he was on dialysis.

I didn't start blogging about it right away. But once I did, all the posts are labeled either kidney disease or transplant. Someday, we will be able to look back and see all the wonderful answered prayer and miracles that have happened. Right now, we aren't looking back and we are taking things one day at a time.