I hope someone here will find this story inspiring especially if you are really struggling.
All 25 years of my life I was very healthy. I hardly ever went to the doctor, in fact I can't tell you the last time I even went to the doctor because it was so long ago. May 20, 2009 will be a forever day change in my life. I'm here to tell you all about it!
It started with the winter of 2009. I started to get tired all the time, no matter how much sleep I got on some days I felt I got no sleep at all and all I wanted to do was sleep some more. It was blah weather as winters are, stressful at the work place, etc. so I just assumed that my tiredness was normal, especially since I had no other symptems at the time. The only thing that kept me going was a pack of 20 ounce bottles of mountainDu, in fact that’s all I drank it seemed like, that and iced tea.
In February I started having occasional itching and burning in the urine but played that off as basically whatever it was it will go away. It did go away but came back again. Also that month I started getting a weird taste in my mouth which I just thought it was from things that I was eating and drinking. I would also get heartburn real easily too which I never had, but just thought I was getting heartburn and that was that, it would get really bad too like someone was stabbing me in the chest. All of this went on until April when more symptoms came one of them being wrestless legs, it was the weirdest feeling.
In April 2009 which is the same month that the swine flue was introduced I started missing work do to feeling ill, I had wrestless legs, really bad to severe cramps all over my body, and my heart would beat rapidly at times. I would even have periods where I’d just pass out, one of them being while I was in the shower, so crash bang I went and found myself on the bottom of the tub, this actually happened several times and I didn’t tell anyone, shame on me right? I ignored all of this because I didn't have a family doctor and really didn't want one. I also thought it was all swine flue or some type of flue I was getting. I just lived with the symptoms and still went to work accept on days I was feeling really bad, I would leave work early or just plain call off, go home and sleep, I know what you all are thinking, this guy is crazy! Well it gets worse.
The month of May was even worse. I started getting shortness of breath and didn't have the energy to even walk up and down my steps but I still did it but very slowly, I even struggled unloading my dishwasher. It got so bad one Saturday I was taking out the trash and I couldn’t take but 2 steps before I had to rest, it was a warm humid day so that didn’t help matters any. On the morning of May 13, I was having shortness of breath at work and I was not even up and moving, I was just sitting at my cube taking calls. I decided to go down to the nurse who checked my vitals and all were fine, however she suggested that I go get checked out. I left work about noon that day and went to the closest urgent care. They took my vidles which were fine, did a chest x-ray which was fine then they drew some blood and said they would call me back with the results, I actually started feeling better that afternoon.
That evening I started getting nauseated and called off work the next day. The urgent care called me back and said they wanted me to come in for another blood test because it appeared I had anemia because my red bloodcell count was low. I thought man this is more than anemia, so I asked for a doctor referral and they gave me one and I liked her so I kept her as my family doctor but ended up leaving her do to no longer accepting medicare. The nausea did go away for a couple of days but I was getting to where I couldn't fall a sleep at all.
On May 17, 2009 I felt ok for the most part of the day, even went to my birthday party that afternoon until evening when I passed out in the shower again, and started to get even more nauseated then before and didn't feel like eating nothing but liquids and sleeping. Monday morning I felt so sick I wanted to go to the hospital but was afraid for some reason to call 911. I couldn’t even stand up without gasping for air but somehow I managed to and go down stairs to get something to eat. Then I made an appointment with my family doctor and just tolerated the symptems until she could get me in which included gasping for air, could hardly walk, etc.
On May 19 I went to my family doctor where she determined I had a significant amount of blood loss and gave me some possible causes of where it might of been coming from. She would call me back when she got the results and sent me on my way with antibiotics for the nausea which didn’t help, again all I could do is ly around, could bairley walk, I was the sickest I’ve ever been in my whole entire life, the cramps were so bad, I cried out for help knowing that no one lived with me so no one could hear me, I guess I was crying out to god to call me an ambulance or something.
On the morning of May 20, 2009 I was lying there in my bed when my phone rings. "Troy we got your test results and I'm afraid the news isn't good. Your kidneys have stopped working, I have a kidney specialist who is admitting you to the hospital, you may have to start dialysis today. The nausea you've been experiencing and the bad taste in your mouth is because you have a lot of toxins that have built up inside of you, If you wait too long it will be to late," so yes basically in other words she was telling me if I wait too much longer I was going to die. Let me tell you after that call I felt releaf and at peace with god. I heard god tell me "Troy you are going to be alright, we will get through this." I believed him because I know god isn’t going to give a person anymore than they can handle. I wasn’t even scared even though my life was on the edge! Now that is faith!
When I went into the hospital I was so near death in fact they told me I should of been in a coma, but I never told family and friends that because I didn't want to scare them anymore then they probably were. My hemoglobin was at 5, yes as low as 5! They told me that they have never heard of anyone that has survived with numbers so low like that. They had to start an i v right away. I also started dialysis that day like the doctor said. After a couple of dialysis sessions and blood transfusions, I felt way better and was able to sleep a lot better and was feeling more like myself again.
I had several tests while I was there including a kidney biopsy which determined that I did indeed have a kidney disease. When I was told this I still stayed myself, nothing changed because I knew god was in control and he was going to see me through.
I continued on dialysis 3 times a week and still lived my life to the fullest as god would want me to, in fact I was told that do to me being so young with no other health issues, that I actually had a life expectancy of a normal person if you can believe that one considering the shape I was in predialysis. I was accepted and put as an active statis on the transplant waiting list on April 5, 2010.
On the Evening of Dec 8, 2012 after dialysis, I had went to a Christmas party with some friends, it was so loud in there it was hard to hear my phone, and yes I should of put it on vibrate. Finally I did hear a my sister calling me so I answered. "Did you get a hold of OSU?" she asked, "No, why?" "I believe they have a kidney for you, you need to call so and so." And gave me the number. At that time though I had a lot of missed calls, so I called the number back. "Can you make it here in an hour?" the nurse asked. "There’s a possible kidney for you and the surgery will take place in the morning." "Yes, I said, I’m on my way." It turns out that I was the backup call for someone else who was to get the kidney which I must admit I was a bit disappointed but was ok with it if it was meant to be it was meant to be and if it wasn’t it wasn’t. They did the pretesting, took my blood, etc. It was about midnight that night when my nurse came in and I was talking to my mom when she asked me if I was the backup so I asked my nurse "I’m the backup right?" "No she said, we have bumped you to the top of the list, you are getting the kidney!" I was so excited I hardly got any sleep that night. That morning one of the doctors came in and installed a central line so that they could draw my blood and pass meds without having to stick me. I also got a chest x-ray, I passed the preop and was ready to receive my new gift! Soon after I was taken to the operating room where they hooked me up to blood pressure cuffs, monitors, etc, I was on my way!
The surgery which only seemed like 10 minutes to me, took 2 hours and went very well! When I woke up my throat was all dry and very sore but other than that I was feeling great! The first thing I asked was "Is it working?" "Yes you had a successful surgery." The nurse said.
I had Minimal pain from the surgery and what pain I did have was very well controlled by the hospital staff.
I spent about 6 days in the hospital under the care of the wonderful OSU staff. My numbers got better and better each day! My surgeon told me that I had the best kidney on the transplant floor which made me very happy!
I’m currently a month and a half post transplant and things are going very well! I get my blood drawn twice a week and have my first hospital followup on 1/28 which is coming up very soon!
I must say and no I’m not bragging, throughout this jerny I consider myself a very blessed person, without support of my friends, family and god I don’t think I would have been where I am today if it wasn’t for them. I also want to thank my donor family, even if we never meet I want to thank you for the choice that you made to save my life and know that I will cherish my gift of life for ever and ever and promise to take good care of it.
Even with a transplant I still have kidney disease and always will, hopefully their will be a cure someday, but until then I will live my life to the fullest and cherish my new kidney day in and day out!
In closing, I strongly encourage everyone to become a registered donor, all you have to do is say yes at the BMV, and save a life! As we all know organs don’t grow on trees so saying no to organ donation is not accepted! I myself have become a registered donor and I’m darn proud of it!
Interesting story, Troy. Thank you for sharing.
By the way, have you lately read Ephesians 2:10? There is a question we must ask God after we read that verse. And oh is He faithful to answer!