Well, it’s been a while, and life has gotten complicated…
Dad’s been doing ok on hemo dialysis as far as I know. At least, until about 3 weeks ago. He didn’t really have any nausea when he first started hemo, but it started kicking in intermittently after his sessions. About three weeks ago, it started being constant. He hasn’t really been able to eat anything due to it.
Yesterday, he had a minor eye surgery. A while back, he had an oil bubble put in his eye to help reattach his retina. The surgery yesterday was to remove it, because his retina has completely reattached. He wasn’t looking forward to it because he remembered waking up as they made the first incision in the first surgery. Yesterday was the same.
After he got home, he started getting really sick and throwing up uncontrollably. Because he hasn’t been able to keep much food down, he’s mostly dry heaving. My mom rushed him to our local ER (who won’t normally even speak to dialysis patients) and the doctors wouldn’t really listen when he tried to tell them this has been an ongoing problem for a few weeks. They told him that it was simply post-op anxiety. His oxygen level was also constantly fluctuating between 98 and 78. My mom said the machine beeped every time it dropped, and beeped so much that it finally shut itself off. No nurses ever came to check on it or him, which tells you something about the hospital in our town.
My mom called his regular dr who prescribed another anti-nausea med and an anti-anxiety med to help him sleep. After a few more episodes of dry heaving, he finally got to sleep last night. He had to be back at the eye dr this morning for a check up. They didn’t see anything wrong with his eye from the surgery. He was supposed to go to dialysis today as well, but was so sick that he didn’t go.
My mom received a phone call later in the day from a very concerned dialysis tech. Over the past two weeks, his hemoglobin levels have dropped from a 10.2 to 8.2. Now, anemia is very common for dialysis patients from what I understand. The kidneys produce a hormone called erythropoietin (EPO) which helps tell your bone marrow to make red blood cells. This helps keep you well oxygenated. He has been on a specialized Iron supplement since he started dialysis, as well as being given EPO shots as needed. Even with the EPO, his hemoglobin has dropped significantly over the last two weeks.
The tech wants my mom to take him to the hospital the next town over (where he’s spent much of his time, as well as had his surgeries done) and have blood tests ran immediately. I’m hoping that she will convince him to go in the morning and that they will be able to figure out what the problem is. I’m hoping that his hemoglobin levels being low is the cause of his sudden severe nausea and the returned shortness of breath. It would also explain the drop in oxygen levels, I would think.
I have read that in addition to the EPO, a blood transfusion may be required. Unfortunately, he had to have two when they created his fistula. The problem with this is that his blood type is kind of rare. He is B-. Only 2% of the population is B-, according to the Red Cross. Not to mention, they told us last time that he has some rare antigens. They were also cautious about the blood they gave him because he is diabetic and on dialysis. I am very worried for the future…
On the plus side, Honey and I got approved to buy a house, so on top of all this, we are trying to look at houses after work. Too bad it starts getting dark about the time I get off work.
Be well, dear readers. May the new year bring you more joy than the previous.