In 2009, I was told that my kidneys were no longer functioning and that hemodialysis was the only option. I was taken in to surgery immediately and a catheter was placed on the upper right area of my chest. I was instructed to start dialysis the following Monday and would need to attend the 4-hour sessions 3 times each week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday all while working a full-time job as a bank teller for Wells Fargo. Eventually, the dialysis and full-time job got to be too much and I had to quit working in order to give my body the rest it needed in between dialysis sessions.
In 2011, I was given the option to have peritoneal dialysis in which I would have the machine inside of my home and the catheter would be placed in my stomach for fluid/waste removal. I would hook-up to the machine nightly as I slept and the dialysis process would be completed upon waking up or a short time after. This proved to be very beneficial as well as convenient and allowed me to enjoy the daytime rather than sitting in a chair receiving dialysis all afternoon. Months later, the convenience would come to a screeching halt after I was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with peritonitis. The catheter in my stomach needed to be immediately removed due to the infection and the hemodialysis catheter would need to be reinserted.
In 2014, I finally saw past my fear of needles and went through with the procedure to have a fistula inserted in to my right arm in order to receive dialysis through that device instead of the port in my chest. The catheter in my chest was working great, but the doctors feared that an infection of the port could cause serious problems as the port lead directly to my heart. The fistula, however, had many advantages and the fear of infection was greatly reduced. I have since been using the fistula each time and continue going to my treatments every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11a-3p. I continue to use the Woodbridge office for my treatments because I feel comfortable with the doctors and nurses there and they know my body and what is needed if I have any complications. Although the commute is sometimes hectic, it is worth it for those reasons.
I am currently on the list of patients to receive a kidney, hopefully, in the near future. I did receive a call on Tuesday, February 24 from my doctors at Georgetown Hospital who told me that I was a backup for a kidney and needed to get to the hospital as quickly as possible. After hours of waiting, however, I was told that the primary recipient received the transplant and I was returned to the list for future notifications.
During the waiting period inside of the hospital, I spoke directly to the financial advisor regarding the finances that needed to be in place in order for my future transplant to happen. The financial advisor informed me that in order to be discharged, the funds needed would have to include payment for the surgery, payment for the required prescriptions to ensure that the body accepts the new kidney, payment for the stay at the hospital (potentially 6 weeks after surgery, at least), and then also mentioned that these prices would rise daily depending on the time it takes to recover enough to be discharged. The only information that she gave me as far as the total cost was "thousands and thousands of dollars". I have taken it upon myself to calculate the approximate funds needed to make my surgery an overall success and leave me with medical bills that are far more manageable to pay, especially with the help of my family, friends, and any other caring people that would be willing to donate to my cause. The amount that you donate is not important. It is the fact that you cared enough to give what you could that matters to me. Thank you.
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