Monday Morning October 12 2009
This date used to be Columbus Day. We used to get a day off from school, I believe, although memory does not serve as well on that score as I'd like.
Rick and I are celebrating momentous things this morning: he's home from the hospital, and he's alive. Yay.
Although, as Rick says, this thing is not over by a long shot.
He went into the hospital a week ago today, in acute renal failure. His kidneys were shutting down.
This has happened before. Back in 1997 he ended up in renal failure when he thought he would “work through” prostate cancer as if it was a cramped muscle. The kidney problem landed him in the hospital, which is where they discovered the prostate cancer.
This time he got bladder cancer first, and then renal failure.
The docs are mystified. They don't know why he went into renal failure, or why he got better, which they said they did not expect. I of course have opinions about both: I think that the cancer surgeries, cancer treatments, and stress from overwork, which he did because he was stressed about money, all accumulated until his weak points – his damaged kidneys – caved in. I think he got better because he has hundreds of people praying for him all over the world, and because he finally got some rest in the hospital.
Rick says, yeah, sure, all of that, but the docs are looking for something “more sinister.” His blood was taken twice a day while he was in the hospital, and they ruled out a blockage, and they sent blood away for some in-depth lab tests, the results of which we're still awaiting. He was released with instructions to have blood work every other day, to monitor his electrolyte levels, and he'll be going in to see Dr. Oliver, the nephrologist, on Wednesday. He's still in renal failure - “underlying kidney disease which has been exacerbated” by something unknown – but he's feeling better and doing better. Except for the cold he caught from our grand daughter, but that will pass, also.
Meanwhile, I've pulled out the Renal Cookbook that I bought the first time we went through this. We have to get religious about his diet now – no fooling. It's a whole new world. The renal diet tends to be in many ways exactly the opposite of what I am told to eat. It's OK for him to eat sugar and white flour, for example.
It is too overwhelming to think about everything right now. We're on the one-day-at-a-time plan at the moment. Rick rests a lot, which is good. I'm trying to get through that “hit between the eyes by a two by four” feeling.
Rick is feeling very happy about quitting smoking this morning. He had cut back to almost nothing before this hospital stay, and of course could not smoke while hospitalized. This morning he is feeling downright sassy about being able to chug up to the paper box and back without huffing and puffing.
We are OK, or as OK as we can be with Rick, as he says, “functionally dead.”
Like it says in the old talking blues about hard luck, I'm just waiting around to see what happens next.
More later, of course.