And so lay I, soaking the sheets with my sweat and non-sensical murmurings, having emptied everything down to the tips of my toes from the sour-y, acidic, tongue-filled hole from which nothing had gone down for 12 hours or more.
Three blankets and a heating pad weren’t enough. My husband beside me, with all of his body heat that typically makes me throw off the bedspread, was not enough. All I wanted was my mommy. My husband and child were too busy swapping colds to bother with me much. I needed someone to think for me, do for me, hear me when I actually had a lucid moment to ask for water.
My husband returned to my side, present, realizing what I was too incoherent to recognize it, even though we have been through this far too many times; even though it is this very thing that caused me to lose my 1st transplanted kidney – it was a UTI turned into a kidney infection. And my GOD it was a bad one. Even my native (congenital) kidneys hurt. The one transplanted in 07 hurt (that also doesn’t work anymore). And, of course, the most recent – and working but declining – one as well. But not as much as the others, so I hoped it would not be touched by the scar tissue that took the 1st one.
With the help of pain pills, I dragged my febrile self out of bed and put on a sweatshirt and a ball cap and shoes. It was all I could do to get in the car. While the lab techs drew my blood I had to ‘take a break’ and vomit. IN PUBLIC! Mortifying. That’s just how bad off I was, to vomit in public. I could hardly stand the drive, as I could not lie down and cover up but before returning home we had to pick up the prescription.
I am so thankful my darling husband recognized the signs before I ended up right back in the emergency room. And that I have a very good doctor (9 hours away with normal driving without a toddler) who understands that the local hospital is not equipped to care for me and thus will take my word when I say I have a kidney infection.
The point of this story? I have a few, actually:
- Whoever you are, even if you are in perfect health, stay hydrated! (no that wasn’t it in my case)
- If you are a kidney transplant patient, do not ignore it when ‘something feels off’ (I did – even tho I lost my 1st kidney from scar tissue build up due to this horribly painful and debilitating illness )
- If you are family to someone who has a kidney infection, help them! (it hurts far more than you know)
“And that’s about all I have to say about that.” ~Forest Gump