My story starts early in my life. As a teenager, I always seemed to have inferior bladder control, in comparison to my friends. Through my working years, I frequented the doctor often, for bladder and urinary tract infections. In 1999, after a visit to the doctor and getting antibiotics for my infection, I began to vomit. With a revisit to the doctor, and a blood test, the real problem came into focus.
When the doctor told me, “I have seen folks with better test results than yours pass on in 4 days”, I knew I was really in trouble. Afterwards, my urologist drained the equivalent of 7 two-liter bottles of fluid from my bladder (that is more than 3.5 gallons). Because of long-term backed up pressure from my bladder, and uncontrolled blood pressure, my kidneys had sustained severe damage.
Normally, a person’s creatine level is between .6 and 1.2 mg/dl for an adult male. Mine was 12-14 mg/dl; Ten times the normal level. I fought hard and avoided the need for dialysis for nearly ten years. 2009 brought me to the place where I could no longer avoid dialysis. Through the education program by Puget Sound Kidney Center, in Everett, WA., I learned the different types of dialysis available. To me the most interesting seemed to be Peritoneal Dialysis.
I spent a week in the hospital, during which time I had two surgeries. The first was for a catheter placement in my chest for hemodialysis and the second for placement of the catheter into my peritoneal cavity. I would need to be on hemodialysis for a month while the catheter in my abdomen “seasoned”.
I cannot say enough about the loving care that the Kidney Center provides for everyone on hemodialysis. After my abdominal catheter seasoned, I started Peritoneal dialysis, (having been trained in the procedures) while on “hemo”. Again, all the nurses and staff are not only very supportive, but also very loving as they minister to your needs.
Today, it has been more than two and a half years on peritoneal dialysis for me. For the first time in twenty years I am free of daily high blood pressure medications. My doctor says it is because of effective dialysis. This whole process has truly given me a healthy perspective on life; when I thought my life was nearly at an end, because of the condition of my kidneys. I can only encourage anyone reading this, that is confronted with a similar need. not to be discouraged, but to be encouraged, as dealing with this need is far from the last important decision and test you will ever face.
Webmaster’s note: Our friend, Sherman, has passed away, His outlook on life with kidney failure and dialysis, and his warm, friendly personality will be greatly missed.