Friday the 13th

Hello everyone, I would like to apologize for all those that follow this blog regularly. I have not written on here in awhile. I was in the hospital for a short time and I just haven’t felt like writing, but now I am back. :)
Wow what a day this was! I woke up from my slumber to find that I could not breathe, I was choking and gasping for air. I was suffocating and was fighting for dear life. I was spitting up blood which made matters worse. My heart felt like it was pumping one million beats a minute. I was almost certain that I was going to die. I was also hooked up to my dialysis machine which I had to disconnect from before the treatment was over. The way the peritoneal dialysis works is it sends a sugar solution into your body usually through a Catheter that is inserted in your stomach. “The walls of your abdominal cavity are lined with a membrane called the peritoneum, which allows waste products and extra fluid to pass from your blood into the dialysis solution. The solution contains a sugar called dextrose that will pull wastes and extra fluid into the abdominal cavity. These wastes and fluid then leave your body when the dialysis solution is drained. The used solution, containing wastes and extra fluid, is then thrown away. The process of draining and filling is called an exchange and takes about 30 to 40 minutes. The period the dialysis solution is in your abdomen is called the dwell time. A typical schedule calls for four exchanges a day, each with a dwell time of 4 to 6 hours. Different types of PD have different schedules of daily exchanges.”[Peritoneal Dialysis]

But when this sugar water stays in your body for awhile it brings up your sugar levels in your blood which may make it look like you have diabetes. When you have too much sugar in your body this will make you thirsty and you may drink more. If you are on dialysis this can be a bad thing because your body will begin to have too much fluid build up in your body. But if the dialysis solution doesn't stay in your body long enough it doesn't clean your blood like it should, so it's a hard balance to find.

Thank God, my parents were home, and they were there to help give me a ride to the hospital. My pride got the best of me I walked out to the car myself, I probably should of let my father help carry me, but nope not me. (I know, I'm a knuckle head!) When I got to the hospital, they hooked up some oxygen to my face and after a few hours I wasn't spitting up blood any longer. I was feeling much better, I could actually breathe. After a couple of X-rays, they found that there was so much fluid built up around my lungs which caused my lungs to feel so overwhelmed which lead me to spit up the blood.

The dialysis was actually part of the reason why I had this little episode. See the problem I have, is the sugar solution doesn’t always drain out and I start to collect this fluid all over my body, in places such as my legs, groin, and chest cavity. This is what happened to me here, the fluid was actually collecting around my lungs and it was choking my body from the inside out, thus making me spit up blood. Not only that all this fluid as put a lot of pressure on my heart which is bad because I already have heart failure. What was the answer? Well to get this fluid out of my body and quick!

So I was on dialysis for pretty much two days none stop. I have been trying to tell my doctors that quicker exchanges pulls more off than the longer ones. I have also told them that the longer dwells are bad because I absorb a lot of it. It’s funny how you can tell doctors things and they just don’t seem to listen. Another thing I thought was discouraging, was that they were didn’t have all the supplies needed to get proper treatment. What I mean is they didn’t have a scale to weigh the manual dialysis bags. They were using other means to weigh these bags such as a baby incubator. This was on the ICU floor, which is the Intensive Care Unit for those that don't know what that means.

When I was doing better I got to go on another floor, which had a Fresenius dialysis machine. I was supposed to be hooked up to this machine to help get rid of the fluid but a lot of the times I would be getting hooked up very late. This was because they didn’t have any drain bags, in which I would be on dialysis throughout the morning of the next day. The one night I was about to walk out because I was supposed to get care and wasn’t really getting any help concerning my dialysis. I mean I could of taken better care of myself doing the dialysis.

I thought the nurses were great and are very unappreciated for what they do, day in and day out. I have no complaints about them, but the supply team of HUP needs some work. I mean they should have the right amount of dialysis supplies and even if they didn’t they could borrow it from CHOP like they did, but they could of done it a little quicker especially if they knew they didn’t have enough. I was a little discouraged with HUP but than when I think about this, I am sure there are worse off places that have to deal with even less supplies to make ends meet.

I will be writing a letter to help document this, so that hopefully others will not have to go through this. It really should not be happening at one of America's top ten hospitals.

While in the hospital, I had a nurse who said it was refreshing to have a patient like me, always having a smile on my face and high in spirits. I have also done most of the work to take care of myself such as setting up the dialysis. I think that it is my job to be that refreshing patient who is always smiling no matter what may be wrong with me. To be that patient that is always happy, to make all those who see me to say "Wow! What is wrong with that guy? Why is he so happy?"

The Hand of God

"The Lord will perfect that which concerns me..." [Psalm 138:8 KJV]

I've certainly seen God's hand in my life. One day I was on my way home from a long tiring trip from the dialysis center. My mother was with me and she was worrying about how we were going to get all these dialysis boxes into our house. While we were at the dialysis center in Philadelphia, a supply truck was dropping off the different supplies I needed at the house so I could use for dialysis. My mother was wondering how we were going to get all these boxes into the house, there were two weeks worth, I just told my mother we would do it, we just have to take our time.

As we came pulling up to our house, there was a whole bunch of boxes just sitting there in front of the front step. About 30 boxes or so 10 pounds each. I was pretty tired because of all my health issues plus the trip to the dialysis center, yeah I know, poor excuses.

I just told my mother we would take our time. Than out of nowhere, our next door neighbor, Ishmael, comes over with a box cart. He is such a nice guy! He's like, "I see you have all these boxes here, and I got this box cart and I want to help you guys!" I was very appreciative and was just thinking how great God is and was thankful for the helping hand. So what would of taken us a lot longer took us about five minutes with our next door neighbor's help! Thanks Ishmael!

Sometimes we ask God for something, and we wonder if he heard us. Than sometimes it takes longer than we expect and we may get discouraged. Other times we may not like the answers we do get, such as cancer, but that is our cross and we have to carry it the best we can. Than other times he answers right away and when that happens, it is an awesome feeling! It's almost if, you could see the hand of God, right before you!