From Vicki’s Perspective

Everything changed on July 19, 2012. I had just gotten home and settled my father in from his heart surgery the day before. I told Eddie that I would meet him for what I thought was a routine checkup. Little did I know, it would be the end of our world as we knew it. Eddie had been feeling under the weather. Maybe in hindsight, a little worse than “under the weather”. We had just come off of a cruise to Mexico where Eddie barely had the energy to get out of bed. Where every other person had their fill of sumptuous food, Eddie barely ate. He came off a seven day cruise 5 pounds lighter! Who does that? In two weeks, he lost over 20 pounds! I still did not get it. When the doctor told us after his kidney scan that his kidneys were scarred and shriveled beyond repair, I simply sat there, numb, shaking, thinking back on all the clues that I may have swept under the carpet in favor of a homeostasis that we had maintained for nearly a decade. OK, number 1, his urine was foamy and clear, NOT NORMAL. Definitely a sign of proteinuria. Number 2, extreme stress. Eddie is a triple A personality. Anyone will tell you that. Number 3, excess weight. We have both struggled with weight problems and yo-yo dieting. The guilt I feel for not pointing out all the warning signs. On the other hand, had I pointed them out, would they have been heeded? There is no way to know.

That brought us to Fresenius Medical Clinic in Fort Mill, SC, a top notch facility for kidney dialysis. They helped us assimilate to the process and help us integrate his treatment into our daily lives. It has been tough. Tougher on him than anyone. I am a nursing student and imagine my dismay to being assigned to the renal floor on my initial experience with hospital clinical rotation. Of course, the experience was very positive and very beneficial in Eddie’s at home care.