Helping My Dad through Kidney Failure

My Dad's Current Health

My dad has Stage 5 Chronic Kidney Disease, and as of September 1st, 2020, his kidneys function below 7% and require dialysis to maintain his health. He is unable to work until his condition improves (current ETA 1-2 months minimum). By being diabetic and having inflamed gout conditions, he is pretty weak and has missed his initial dialysis training and treatments because of exhaustion, which means he needs extra help from a loved one or caretaker.

My Plan to Help My Dad and Family

At the moment, I am living in Las Vegas but will be visiting and staying in Southern California to be his temporary caretaker. He lives with my grandma who also has health issues and relied on my dad to get to doctor appointments and run errands like grocery shopping and going to mass on Sundays. Now that my dad is mostly on bed-rest, my brother and sister are working tirelessly to manage picking up/dropping off my dad and grandma to appointments and their personal work & school obligations.

By traveling to California to be a temporary caretaker, I can reduce the obstacles and stress my siblings, father, and grandma face. I can also assist my dad in his biggest struggle - his lack of accountability. Even with diabetes, chronic gout condition, and Stage 5 Chronic Kidney Disease, my brother has caught my dad ordering bad takeout food and soda this past week. Doctors have made it clear that if he doesn't take care of himself now, he might not make it for a kidney transplant. By being there physically, I can intervene and help change his stubborn, bad habits before it's too late and will also encourage him to accept therapy services from a licensed mental health professional.

I want to be a solid foundation for my family to lean on, however, I would be lying if I didn't say I'm concerned and worried about working less, which means less money to help with any emergency costs and even less money to pay my necessary bills.

Biggest immediate need: 2 AC units in my dad and grandma's bedroom. There is no central air conditioning at my dad's house, and my dad opted for peritoneal dialysis which means he has to do dialysis treatments at home. These dialysis fluids must be regulated at room-temperature and cannot be done without the AC units. These units will also increase the quality of life and health generally for both my dad and grandma.

Other needs the funds will support my dad in are copayment costs for doctor visits, grocery shopping, gas costs, professional therapy costs (if my dad is willing), and any potential help in paying their necessary bills (rent, utilities, etc.) or emergency costs (unexpected emergency/urgent visits, medicine costs, etc.). My siblings and I are also looking into kidney compatibility for a potential kidney transplant for our dad.

Since my dad is on medical leave and I will be staying temporarily in California to help, I am most likely going to focus most of my energy caretaking. This means less time for live-streaming and contract work, which means less money for my bills and needs. Depending on his health progress, I may stay in California for 2 weeks up to a month or even longer. I have expanded the donation goal to accept money for my dad's fundraising goals and to assist with my upcoming expenses.

Upcoming expenses: Unfortunately, sometimes the statement 'when it rains, it pours' is true. I have to move out of my current apartment by October 9th which means I will be traveling back and forth from California and Vegas to get my stuff moved to my new apartment. (My new lease is in Vegas, I most likely won't be 'officially' moved in for several weeks as I am prioritizing my dad's health). I was initially planning to enlist a friend or two's help, however, I would like to hire professional movers so the move can be completed quickly and easily. By getting professional movers, I can spend minimal time and stress worrying about my belongings so I can get back to California and assist my dad and family. Things are just things, people cannot be replaced.

Update: After some thought, I am considering breaking the lease and applying for an apartment in California, to be close to my family. If I decide that route, I will be charged cancellation fees and have to pay new application fees and maneuver a cross-state move.

How you can help

Times are difficult for everyone, especially right now. If you are in a position to donate, your contribution would be life-changing for me and my family. Please donate as much you feel comfortable with, any amount makes a significant impact. You can also support by sharing this post, please don't feel obligated to contribute if you cannot afford to.

My dad is also a very spiritual person (a born again Christian). If you can share any kind words about praying for him, he would be moved. I hope with our combined efforts and support he will start honoring his health and live more intentionally.

Update: I forgot to mention that he is registered on the Kidney Transplant waitlist in California and Nevada. His blood type is O+. A kind soul was offering their kidney but is incompatible. If by a miracle, there is someone compatible and able to donate, we are considering all options and support. 

Last notes

I will be posting follow-up updates on my Twitter  (@MissAyalah) and Ko-fi (@MissAyalah). If you have any questions, please feel to reach out to me directly.

Thank you again for taking the time to read. Your support through donations, shares, thoughts, and prayers for my dad and family's well-being mean more than I can express.

If you would like to donate, please press the support button at the end of this post.

Here are some clips of me and my dad:

Meet My Dad video 

Rick Rolled by My Dad clip 
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