Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Going into surgery tomorrow morning.
I've been missing in action from my blog not just because we've been busy with the process of getting closer to adopting Boo (although that's been in the works and still is), but lately I've been even more busy going to various doctors and specialists and having tests run, for some health issues that have been recently discovered.
I think long ago I mentioned that I have only 1 kidney (my right one was removed when I was 2 years old).
Well, at an annual physical, it was discovered that I had over-the-top high blood pressure, which is not normal for me. My blood pressure has always been within normal ranges, until recently.
My Primary Care Physician (who I think is awesome) was alarmed and acted aggressively by ordering all sorts of tests on me. She started with blood work and focused on my kidney, telling me that sudden high blood pressure was often a sign of kidney problems and, since I only have one, she was quickly starting to look there.
After all the tests were run (including an ultrasound, a cat scan, and x-rays), it was determined that I have two very large stag horn kidney stones in my one remaining kidney. Left unattended, they are ticking time bombs waiting to go off and the results will not be pretty.
I was referred to a urologist and a nephrologist, and they even consulted with other doctors in their field and it was collectively decided that I needed to have surgery to attempt to have the stones removed (they're too large to pass on their own or be dissolved by medicine and lithotripsy is not a viable option in my case) while I'm in relative good health and not in a crisis situation.
So, tomorrow I go under the knife for a rather invasive surgery that involves cutting into my one remaining kidney. The surgeon did her job very well in informing me of the risks (internal bleeding, infection, accidental damage of other internal organs, renal failure, need for dialysis, even death). As Oronzo and I sat there and listened to her spell all of this out and then signed the paper listing all of these risks, the terror set in.
I'm terrified. I'm terrified that things will go wrong and that I won't wake up from this surgery and I'll never see my kids or husband again. I'm terrified that I'll wake up from surgery and have no kidney left. I'm terrified of all the worst case scenarios.
And it's a bit surreal to have to sit down and explain to your 4 1/2 year old and 2 1/2 year old children that Mommy has an owie in her kidney and has to go to the hospital for an operation to make it all better. The picture I've attached is the one I showed Snuggle Bug because, bless his heart, he's a worrier and I knew that giving him a visual image would help him process. I thought about crossing out the right kidney, that's missing, but thought that might just confuse him.
And today I spent the day filling out Durable Health Care & Mental Health Power of Attorney forms, as well as Living Will forms. I'm 41 years old and I'm having to face the reality that these forms need to be filled out now, not some day, but NOW.
So, please, if some of you are still reading after my long absence from blogging, please say a prayer for me and my family tomorrow, that all will go well.
I'll be heading in to the OR at about 8:30 AM so that the radiologist people can prep me for the surgeon who starts her procedure at 10 AM. The surgeon told me that the procedure normally takes under 2 hours, but she suspects mine will be longer so she booked the OR for 4 hours!
Thank you! God willing, all will go well and I'll be able to provide you all with an update over the weekend or early next week, depending on how well my healing is going.