We’ve had a long week. Well, that’s putting it mildly. Late Tuesday/early Wednesday, Keith was talking to Kayleigh and suddenly started to feel off. She took his blood pressures and it was…low…like consider calling an ambulance low. I went into emergency mode and got it up to a respectable level pretty quickly, but it was still low. We ended up having kind of a party with everyone in the house up – including the 12-year-old who can and has, slept through fire alarms. I stayed up with him and was pleased to see that everything seemed fine by early afternoon.
Only it wasn’t. Basically, we rinsed and repeated at various times to varying degrees for the next few days. Both Keith and I were having some stomach problems, so I thought maybe we had some sort of bug and kicked into “So You May Have a Stomach Bug while on Dialysis” mode, and things were…Stable. Ish.
Slowly he got worse and worse. He was sleeping more and more, zoning out, and generally not being at all helpful answering questions about how he was feeling or doing the things he does himself (like test his blood).
Flash forward to today and a sudden trip to the clinic. Blood tests were had and we learned that his hemoglobin levels dropped by a little more than 3 points (not .3, more like -3.4 or something) since the middle of last month when his number was excellent. Much lower and he would have gotten to have his first blood transfusion. Instead, he a shot of Procrit – a man-made protein that helps the body produce red blood cells, and a bag of fluids just to be sure he wasn’t dehydrated.
Low hemoglobin is extremely common in kidney dialysis patients. This isn’t the first time his has been low, but it is the first time that it’s been this low or dropped like a rock. The question is why it dropped the way it did. He didn’t have any injuries, so he hasn’t been bleeding visibly. Could he have something going on internally? Yes, but he doesn’t really have any other symptoms for a serious internal bleed. Could he have an ulcer or something we don’t know about? Sure, but we need to do some more tests to know. Could it just be a strange thing that we can’t explain and in the end chalk up to strange kidney dialysis crap? Yep, it could be that.
Keith should be feeling a little better soon, but it’s mostly a wait and see. For now, he’s going to have to have someone with him most (more like all) of the time until we know he’s a little more stable and stands up without falling down. We’ll have to find a “Keith-sitter” when we have to go out. Kayleigh and I will probably be splitting sleeping out in the living room with him until we know he’s not going to have a problem in the middle of the night that someone needs to be awake for. (Rebecca is using her sleep away camp scholarship this week, but even if she were home there would be no keeping her awake or waking her up).
We’ve gotten a lot of comments on the message I posted to Facebook that something was going on, so as soon as I know more or have an update I’ll update. Thanks for the prayers and good wishes everyone!