Today, November 15, 2017, will be marked as one of the most unforgettable days in my life. A day filled with nervousness, anticipation, wrong notion, but ended up with a good result. I will tell you what I mean later but first, let me tell you what happened to me the last few months.
Due to the rapidly increasing level of creatinine in my blood, my doctor instructed me to undergo an AV Fistula creation procedure. He gave me the request and I went to the referred doctor immediately – Dr. Jose Yamamoto. As far as I know, this doctor is very popular and has a big name in the medical field. He is a cardiothoracic surgeon. According to what I’ve heard, he was one of the first doctors to perform a heart transplant in Asia. My Fistula was created last October 4 on my left wrist.
For curious people out there, an AV fistula is created (In layman’s term) by “shorting” your vein to your artery. This will force your “shorted” blood vessel to get bigger and larger so that it can withstand the big hemodialysis needles. So there’s no tube, hose, or anything foreign inserted in the body contrary to what others say.
A month passed and my fistula died. It failed to work. Dr. Yamamoto explained to me that it was because my veins are small and I failed to exercise my hand diligently. I was scheduled for a revision and because of my increasing creatinine levels, I was scheduled for an IJ catheter too. An IJ catheter is a tube coming out of the neck. The end of the tube is almost near the heart.
It was Monday, November 13, when my revised AV fistula was created. The procedure went smooth and fast. The surgeon played an Ed Sheeran Album while operating on me. We are all talking, laughing, and sharing stories. Stories like why do I need to go through dialysis, I’m so young for this kind of sickness, etc etc. To cut the story short, the avf revision was a breeze. The IJ is a different story. It hurts big time! All the procedure ended at 4:00 PM. We ate at Chowking and head back home.
9:00 AM. when we head out for NKTI. Dr. Chad Hizon instructed us to meet him before we go to the dialysis center. He wrote all of his orders and he instructed me to have a blood test. We went to Hi-precision Diagnostics, along East Avenue and let my blood tested. Since it’s a Holiday, the results were delayed. We have to get it the following morning. After the test, we went to St Benedict Dialysis Center. It’s also along East Avenue. We found this dialysis center because of Dr. Mike Manalaysay, a pediatric nephrologist, and a colleague in Kyani Philippines Incorporated. As we inquired about the payment, the admin staff asked for my PhilHealth. Fortunately, all the papers that I used in USTH were in me so I easily provided what is required.
I was anxious. I didn’t sleep well last night. The fact that my IJ catheter is very painful and uncomfortable, the picture of me sitting on a dialysis chair bugged me so much. I am very nervous. We had a light breakfast, fixed ourselves, and went to St Benedict.
The receptionist at the dialysis center is waiting for me. She is all welcoming and hospitable. In fact, they are all hospitable. Maybe they are just being nice to people who are most likely at the end of their road. Anyway, I’m still nervous. I can hear the beat of my pulse and my hand is cold. I went inside the treatment area to pee since the only CR is located there. I thought to myself, as I walked passed the patients hooked up to the machine, “will I look like them in the future? Alive but as is lifeless?” Fear struck me again. Then the nurse called me. Weighed me in and prepared me.
130/80, not my usual blood pressure. It’s higher than usual. Maybe because I’m afraid? She “undressed” my IJ and prepared it. She clipped the two tubes, in my IJ and started the machine. Then the familiar sound of the machine sounded. I didn’t feel anything but I began to feel drowsy and fell asleep. I woke up when the session is almost over and it felt great! The nurse unhooked me and gave a shot of EPO. An injection to raise my hemoglobin.
I should not have been afraid of dialysis in the first place. It felt good after the treatment. Although my IJ is very uncomfortable, I look forward to the time when my avf will mature and can be used as an access.
What Lies Ahead?
May the Lord God help us and make the transplant possible. We are still looking for a kidney donor and we’re still raising funds for my kidney transplant. If you would like to help, please don’t hesitate to click this link. Thank you for reading my story! God bless you!