As we watch Hocus Pocus (as we do each year) and the kids carving pumpkins in the kitchen, I think back to just 1 year ago where on Halloween day my doctor called to tell me to get to the ER as soon as possible... I was in acute renal failure.
To take you all back, I had temporary loop ileostomy surgery in September and was recovering at home while waiting for permanent ileostomy and proctectomy surgery (aka Barbie/Ken butt). I needed to wait as I had multiple fistulas with my perianal disease and the temporary ostomy diverted stool away from the rectum in hopes to calm it down. During my recovery at home, and unknown to me, I was losing too much liquid through my ostomy. Was it watery? Yes. Did I know any better? No. I called my surgeon several times and was told it was part of the recovery. But when I started to have dizzy spells, nausea, vomiting and passed out, I called my doctor requesting blood work. The next day he called, it came back showing a GFR of 4 (low) and creatinine of 1049 (high) and to get to the hospital asap and he will call ahead for them to expect me. I was in acute renal failure because of my ostomy. I went by ambulance in case I passed out along the way, but I didn't.
I was put on drugs and saline as soon as I entered the ER and was waiting for a call from my surgeon at a different hospital. I was in this ER for Halloween waiting and the next day I was transferred via ambulance to another hospital to treat my kidneys and await my other surgeries.
Fast forward 1 year. The ostomy and proctectomy surgeries went well (6 hours). I spent 27 days in hospital including my first time in the HICU (High Intensity Care Unit) because of my kidneys and blood transfusions. It has taken 11 months for my GFR and creatinine to come back to "normal". Still low, but way out of danger and looks like no kidney damage. I now have a new doctor to add to my list, a nephrologist. Side note... all my doctors (family, surgeon, specialist, nephrologist, and urologist) are all women and I thank them all.
It was 1 year ago when I got scared again for my health. The thought of renal failure on top of everything else I've been through with Crohn's scared the hell out of me. I was so close to either needing dialysis or a kidney transplant. I am glad I requested blood work.