llewej irol (icarianbird) wrote,
llewej irol

I'm trying to figure out where to start the story, but it's just so long and I've put off writing it down for so long that it would take me all day to relay what is happening to me. I'll start from what seems to be a good beginning.

I failed my test.

The lab supervisor fought to try to get me an MLT position at work, but HR wasn't working with us on this one. Plus, we've got this whole "Just Culture" bullshit going on so what they do for me they will have to do for everyone else who has the same problems after me. Okay. I understand that. I'll have to say one thing for Earl though... he came through on his word. I'm putting in my two weeks notice Saturday night and by the end of September I will be at home. I'm actually looking forward to it because I need to be with my family right now. We're having a pretty tough time right now and it doesn't look to be getting any better any time soon.

My grandmother is having kidney problems again.

She's been having them for the past month or two. She went into the hospital in July with a creatinine of 12 (normal is around 0.8-1.3 in adults). Turns out she had a blood clot in her renal artery and that was stopping up that one good kidney she had left, choking it and killing it. Everything built up in her system - creatinine, potassium, just about anything you can think of that's not good for you in large doses - and so she had to have dialysis because she was nowhere near lucid. She had it once, twice, and everything seemed to clear up mentally. The third time they went to put her on dialysis, she nearly had a heart attack because they had filtered so much potassium out of her system that her muscles were trying to equalize. If you know anything about ions and blood chemistry, it's not hard to understand, but if you don't, I'm not going to explain any more than this - potassium out of blood, sodium moves out of cells, heart spazzes out. Doctors also had to figure out why she was having blood in her stool before they could give her anything for the clot in her artery so, once that was solved (she's just a little old so she leaks and she has hemorrhoids, nothing serious), they moved on to working on the kidney. Cleared that up eventually, to a degree, and shipped her off home with the thought that if her creatinine didn't drop she would be put on home dialysis until such a time that they could find an alternative. Her creatinine levels did drop eventually, but not quickly enough for her specialist and her PCP.

Last week, she began having problems with her blood pressure so the sent her back down here to her specialist. Thought it best to skip her PCP and go straight to her kidney doc since she had just gotten out of the hospital. Well, she was okay kinda. Not good, but okay. They decided to go ahead with the kidney bypass surgery that they had been talking about because my grandmother just did NOT want to have to do anymore dialysis. Period. That operation happened yesterday and, well, it did not work. I'll spare you the hours of hell that we've gone through sitting and waiting in CV-ICU to hear what had happened. Just know that I went to see her after the surgery, before we found out that it failed, and were told that she was radioactive because they did a scan with some radioactive dye and had to use extra on her so we had to wear gloves when we touched her. She was nowhere near lucid, in and out of consciousness randomly. She made no sense when she did come to and slipped right back into unconsciousness as quickly as she slid out of it. I tried to stay and see her, but I couldn't stand there and watch her twitch and mumble and snore as she went in and out of sleep. I was there only about ten minutes, having to walk away twice because I was starting to cry. Eventually, I just left because I couldn't handle it. It was either leave or just cry right there in the middle of CV. I chose the former and cried on the drive home instead.

Today, I went out to lunch with some of my co-workers. We sat at El Chico's for two and a half hours just talking and enjoying the time together. It was wonderful really. I got back to my apartment and saw my dad's car. He came in for their anniversary so that mom could stay here with her mom even though this is their day. I was going to go in and see him, but I realized that all the vehicles, minus his car, were gone so I figured they had all gone up for visitation at the hospital. So, I went to K-mart to buy an ink cartridge for my printer so I could print off my resignation letter for Sylvia. While I was there, I felt the need to call mom so I did.

I found out that they took my grandmother to dialysis this morning and, because she was being combative, they had to sedate her. This was all good and well, but when they tried to wake her from the sedation, she didn't come out of it. Now she's on a respirator and my mother, aunt, and grandfather are sitting in the CV-ICU waiting room, waiting to hear from the doctors. They've ordered a CT scan on her. Mom said something about looking for bleeding, but I think they're really looking for brain function. I'm wondering if they're trying to see if she's still there so they'll know if it's worth trying the surgery again. See... the first piece they used for the bypass collapsed and closed off. This was why her urine output went from some to none after the surgery. This was why they needed to take her to do dialysis. They happened to fix an abdominal aneurysm so we had hoped that she would be fine after this surgery, but now we're not sure. When dad and I came home this afternoon, he needed a nap and I needed laundry done, he and I talked and we both seemed to agree. Neither of us think that my grandmother is going to make it out of that hospital alive. I'm afraid that she is going to die this time and though I thought myself prepared for this, I now know that I am not.

My grandfather looks and acts as if he isn't worried when he knows someone is watching, but I saw the way he sat in that waiting room and I know he's upset. I can see it in the way he sits and stares at nothing, waiting helplessly to hear what might be happening to his wife. My mother and aunt are scared. We're all scared. And there's nothing we can do about it.

My family just came in and gave some news.

The kidney is gone. It's too late and too risky to try the surgery again anyway so they're just going to put her on dialysis. She's going to be on dialysis for the rest of her life, but people can live years on dialysis so it's okay. She's still not awake and the CT scan didn't show that she had a stroke, but if there's a clot anywhere it's not going to show up. She's going to be in ICU all weekend so there's no telling what's going to be going on. The doctors have no real clue what's going on, but one must always remember that medicine isn't an exact science. Never has been, never will be. She's still on the vent and she's moving, but she's not fully awake. I'm listening to my mother describe everything to my great aunt (grandma's sister) so that's how I'm getting more details.

So this is what's been going on with me. This is why I've been so aloof as of late.

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