Friday, July 25, 2014

Dehydration Situation

So I went to the hospital last week. My second home.  Actually, I'm not gonna claim that. I DO love my wonderful team of transplant doctors/nurses etc and I actually enjoy seeing them and talking to them.  However, I think I'd prefer to enjoy their company at home, or at a nice restaurant.  Not at the hospital.

Don't get me wrong, it's not like I have to do heavy lifting at the hospital. I literally sit in a bed with my arm stretched outward, watching television or eating.   But being in the hospital can still be stressful. I try to look at the situation with my rose-shades on.  At the end of the day, though, I know that the hospital stay is costing me money, time away from my job, and time away from other things I may have wanted to do.  And then there's the stressing about when you actually get to leave the hospital.  Because ONCE YOU CHECK YOURSELF IN, YOU CAN'T CHECK YOURSELF OUT!  At least, not if you want your insurance to pay for it.  

But yeah, the doctors can keep you there for as long as they want if you're still not in tip top shape to go home.  So there's always that worry:  how much work will I really have to miss?  Eight hours or eight days?  And how much will this cost;  $200 or $2000?  And how many episodes "Scandal" am I going to miss?  None, because they have cable in the room. Duh.  

Anyhoo, I went to the hospital last week because I haven't been drinking enough water.  Can you believe that? Even after all of this when I told you that you should drink a ton of water to stay healthy.  Look at that. I don't even take my own advice. I should just delete this entire blog.

But it was an honest accident.  Recently, I started taking more pills.  It got really, really hot outside and apparently I didn't notice because I'm obsessed with summer and being HOT. I started working out five days a week at the ass crack of dawn.  I started walking around outside at lunch. I started getting busy and doing more fun things and not drinking as much water because...activities and FUN. And laziness. And forgetfulness. And stupidity.  And...and...excuses!  Lots of them.  I'm the Jenga champion of excuses, laying one carefully--VERY CAREFULLY--on top of the other. 

When am I going to remember that having a chronic illness or a chronic health problem means my health has to be a priority.  Taking care of myself can't be an afterthought like it might be for some really healthy people.  I can't look at people without health problems and scowl and HISS and spit (suddenly I'm a feral cat).  I can compare myself to the "healthies" and think "OH but they don't walk around with three gallons of water."  I need to focus on doing what's right for MY body.

So guess what all those excuses for not drinking water led to?  Fatigue.  Nausea.  Headaches. Stuff that I just passed off at first as "Jewel and Ben's super late bedtime" effects. Oh, and then I had weird circulation issues.  Tongue dryness.  Then my blood work told the tale and sang the song of what was going on inside my body:  high creatinine (2.5. Yoooo. Not good.), high potassium, low kidney function.  

I'm not sure if skimping on drinking water did ALL of this but I know it's part of the problem.  I needed water.  A lot of it. So my doctors instructed me to go to the hospital and get IV fluids in hopes that all those levels would go down a LOT.  I don't know if they did that much.  But going to the hospital was a big wake up call for me.  Sometimes I complain about being 27 and having to take my blood pressure, and not eat that much salt, and take pills, and drink 3 liters of water a day, at a minimum.  And I complain about doing all this and how I'm STILL not being completely OK. But I seriously need to cut that s&*t out.

I'm here. I'm still alive.  And I'm hydrated!  And my skin looks GREAT.  And I want to do things the right way.   I don't want to be that person who loses their donor kidney because they didn't drink enough water. 

So now every single morning, before I leave for work, I drink a liter of water.   This is not easy.  But it's not that hard either.