Friday, February 22, 2013


"Trust your hunches. They're usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level." ~Joyce Brothers

I'd been feeling sleepy...tired...exhausted.  Just sitting at my desk was a chore. Keeping my eyes open while sitting at my desk was a struggle.  I tugged at every last bit of energy I could to keep myself from doing the unspeakable:  falling asleep at my desk. I wanted badly to just lay my head down and rest my eyes.  Instead, I got up for my third cup of coffee.  Finally, I thought, these years of going to bed at 12:30 A.M. and waking up at 8 A.M. were finally catching up to me.  I texted Ben to tell him we needed to change our bedtime schedule.  I drank some coffee.  I felt like I was going to be sick.  Smaller sips, I thought.  This has to work.

Lunch time, I had prepared homemade minestrone soup the night before and packed it for lunch.  I was starving and looking forward to it.  I warmed the soup and took it to my Guild meeting. I ate quietly at the end of the table.  Something...was wrong.  I was about to vomit.  I surpressed it and kept eating.  Maybe I didn't heat the soup enough.  I finished the bowl and was thankful...I didn't upchuck right at the table. 

After Friday's mishap at Lab Corps, I knew I had to go do my lab work anyways.   My next appointment wasn't for a month.  Why did  I think I wouldn't make it until then?  Something told me I might not make it until then.  I should do my lab work.  "I should do my lab work, right?" I said to Ben on Tuesday night.  "Sure, babe."  "Yeah?" I asked.  "Even though the appointment's not for a while.  If something's wrong, I think the doctor will call."  I was hopeful.  But something told me, a tiny voice whispered, the doctor will call.

I woke up on Wednesday morning, nauseated.  It was deadline day.  I had to get my blood drawn and then go to work to help with the issue.  But I felt so sick.  Nevermind, I thought.  I drank some tea and wrote in my journal.  Half an hour passed and I was ready for a shower.  There it was again, that nausea.  Maybe I'm just hungry.  I went to the fridge and ate three pieces of a honeydew that I'd chopped up on Sunday.  Surpressed the bile, for a moment.  I got dressed and made my breakfast: plain oatmeal with a swirl of mapel syrup, and a tall glass of milk.  One of my favorite meals.  I read the news on my phone in between scoops of oatmeal.  There was the feeling again.  What was going on.  The cat glared at me while I ate, following the spoon from the bowl to my lips.  One more bite, I thought, I can make it through one more bite. I jumped out of my seat and ran to the bathroom, head buried deep into the toilet.  It took two minutes for the morning's breakfast, my favorite meal, to leave my body completely through my mouth.  I sat on the bathroom floor gasping for air.  The cat looked at me from just outside the door, wondering what I was doing.  I was wondering the same thing. 

I called Ben.  "You should work from home today," he said.  "I can't.  It's deadline day." I had a lab appointment, nonfasting.  I had to get something in my stomach quickly.  I finished the three tablespoons of oatmeal left in the bowl and headed out the door. 

I arrived at Lab Corps around 8 A.M. No wait this time.  It was meant to be, I thought.  I gave what urine I had and prepared to be drawn.  "You nervous?"  The nurse asked.  Why would she ask that?  I've been here many times.  "No," I said.  I lied. For the first time in years, I was nervous.  Ouch!  The needle entered my arm.  It hurt.  For the first time in years, it hurt. 

I went to work. I wore a tan blazer with my jeans.  My arm was, throbbing.  What was going on?  I took of my blazer.  The gauze was soaked in blood from the draw.  Not typical. I removed the gauze and tape and the vein was swollen, bruised.  Something's not right.  Something hadn't been right, for a while. 

I worked from home on Thursday, Feb.21.  I wanted to be at home.  My phone rang.  It was just who I expected.  My kidney doctor.  "How are you feeling?"  He knew I wasn't feeling well. He could tell.  My voice cracked, "Tired.  And I vomited yesterday."  I knew what was coming next.  "OK, I got your blood work this morning," he said.  It's not good."  

By the end of the conversation, my appointment from March 13 had been moved up to Feb. 26 at 9 A.M.  The possibility that I'd be able to avoid dialysis before my transplant...gone.  Fear, restored.  Hope, no where to be seen.  The future of everything...uncertain. 

I hung up the phone, sat in my apartment alone, and cried until I gave myself a migraine.