Sick Kidney Fog

Before her kidney transplant I would see Shirl at times sit and stare at the wall looking as though she was deep in thought.

I often asked her what she was thinking of and without hesitation she would answer ‘Nothing.’ For me that would be almost impossible but after the kidney transplant I have been able to confirm that because of her failing poly-cystic kidneys she was often living in a mental fog. I don’t know if the urologists and renal specialists are aware of this happening but one time I saw this fog influence a life threatening decision.

Anyone battling any type of kidney disease gets used to the regular UTI’s and related infections which can quickly turn into something more serious like Septicemia becoming a major problem. I had become familiar with Shirl’s symptoms during these steps so one time in 1987 she had a UTI become a kidney infection in less than a couple of hours so I took her to the hospital. By the time we got through the emergency triage getting blood tests then seeing a doctor she had blood poisoning. Now by this time Shirl had really had enough, not only having to go through these processes so many times but feeling the effects of the symptoms she made it clear to the hospital staff that she just wanted to go home and lay down then against everyone’s recommendations and wishes signed herself out of hospital.

It then took me another 15 minutes or so on our very slow drive home to convince her that she had actually made the decision to go home to die. At the halfway point she realised what she had done so I took her back to the hospital where she was admitted spending 3 days straight on a high volume high dose antibiotic I.V. drip before she started to recover. The trip back to the Lyell Mac only took 3 minutes were the triage then only took 2 minutes as they had already told me to call an ambulance once she was unconscious and couldn’t argue.

Comments are closed.