No warning signs… no nothing…
Soaking wet bed, horrible back pain and a stomach that feels so bloated. I feel like I gain 30 pounds over night. This is the story of my second kidney infection in two months, so a trip to HUP is in my future. I promise, Mom. We need to figure out why this is happening. I actually haven’t had a kidney infection in 6 years, so two in a row is slightly concerning to me. Seriously just slightly. For some reason, I think my organs are for me, not against me. Haven’t they proved that?
My bladder and kidneys have always been such a pain. From a young age, I suffered from bladder infections and then kidney infections. In 7th grade, my kidney infection was so severe that I spiked a fever of 106.3. Looking back, it is a miracle I survived that fever. Especially because my parents didn’t take me to the hospital right away. I love to bring that up to them occasionally. I cheated death and then cheated it again. 😀
In high school, to prevent surgery, I was given the option to catheterize myself three times a day to prevent having surgery on my bladder. The doctors discovered that I had a diverticulum. Basically, it was a pocket that developed on the side of my bladder and the urine would store itself there. Because of this, my bladder was never emptying properly. The urine would eventually travel to my kidneys and cause infection.
I was SO mad. I did not want to self-cath. How weird and embarrassing is that? I walked out of CHOP that day on fire. Sorry Mom. The doctors and nurses spent a good majority of their day threatening me and explaining to me that this issue needed to be resolved. They informed me that it was serious. It could prevent me from having kids in the future (who cares), I could lose a kidney (you only need one) or I would have my bladder removed and carry a bag with me everywhere I go. Hot. (Can they even do that, I thought?) That last threat beat the teenage attitude right out of me.
I agreed to self-cath. Side note: The CHOP doc who treated me over 20 years ago saw Camryn last year for an appointment. He remembered me…well. After two years and a lot of follow-up appointments, it actually worked and the surgery was cancelled. I was happy, but bitter that they were right. Those docs and nurses sure know their stuff.
I will always be prone to annoying UTIs, but 3 pregnancies proved that my kidneys were awesome.
After delivering Aubrey and Courtney, my kidneys shut down. One of my first medical memories at HUP, was being on dialysis and that terrified me. All of the memories from my childhood came flooding back. I will never forget staring at that machine, unable to talk because of the trach, tears streaming down my face, terrified that I was going to have to deal with this again, but obviously worse now. What if I already lost a kidney and they haven’t told me yet? Side note again: They tell the patient things VERY slowly in the ICU. They don’t want to freak you out and cause agitation.
My kidneys took a hit and were the last organ to recover, but we were granted a miracle that they did. From my recollection, dialysis didn’t last long. Thank God.
Every time a nurse tried to cath me at HUP, I begged to do it myself. Because of how weak I was, that would have been impossible, but it was a full circle moment for me and I wanted to be in control. My pride was gone. Plus, things are so much easier when you do them yourself. I proved independence so many years before and during my journey, I despised that I was dependent on everyone for everything.
Another side note: I started writing this over the summer. Appointment at HUP scheduled.