Yesterday I spent some time going over why we homeschool and why it is the right choice for our family. I mentioned kidney dialysis as one of the top five reasons we homeschool, so today, we are going to talk about kidneys!
“He does not look sick” and “I never would have known by looking at him”. Those two phrases are the ones I hear most often when people find out my hubby has kidney disease. I realized years ago, people are not very well informed when it comes to kidney disease. I was one of those people until I fell in love with a kidney patient.
It seems only appropriate I blog about kidney disease today, a dialysis day around our house.
My husband suffered from kidney failure when he was in college. The symptoms were not obvious with headaches being his number one reason for seeing a doctor. After his body rejected a donated kidney, in 2008 dialysis started again. At that time our oldest daughter was 8 months old.
Finally, in 2010 (our youngest was a newborn) we were able to transfer the three day a week treatments to a center an hour and a half closer to home! Yay! He still attends treatments in Fort Stockton, an hour and a half, one way. He also works full time, just as he has the entire time we have been married. He works so hard for our family every day even though he is fighting a silent killer. A killer no one can see.
Unlike chemotherapy, kidney dialysis does not make your hair fall out. It does not always leave the patient looking “sick”. It is a treatment option that, thankfully, keeps a kidney patient alive. Just like cancer, there is no cure for kidney disease. The treatment options are limited at this point but I am always catching wind of new breakthroughs.
In addition to dialysis, transplantation is another popular treatment option. Again, these are simply treatment options, not cures. There is no cure, not even a transplant. Each patient responds differently to certain treatments and the hubby feels most comfortable with dialysis as his go to treatment. After nearly 8 years of maintaining his health on dialysis, he knows how to stay on top of his game.
The side effects of dialysis are still very real despite knowing how to stay healthy. Most nephrologists (kidney doctors) recommend 7 hours as an ideal recovery period after each dialysis treatment. That is a long time to recover from a four hour treatment.
Every single day, kidney patients live full and happy lives, despite the toll kidney failure takes on their health, their lives and their families! There are many inspiring stories circulating about living happily and successfully with kidney failure and I hope to get this one out there!
The layers of kidney failure are many, more than I can go into in one post. I look forward to sharing our story with you so stay tuned! And finally, don’t neglect your kidneys! Kidney disease really is a silent killer and many times, the only way to know you have a problem is to get tested!