Today I learned about dialysis. I’ll be honest and let you all know that I really didn’t want to learn about dialysis. I knew about it vaguely, in the back of my mind, but it was never something that I wanted to actually know about. Especially since I’m learning about it due to Lee.
I’m sure I mentioned yesterday that his kidneys weren’t working properly, and the goal was that once the gallbladder was removed his kidneys would be able to start processing and filtering his blood. I may not have mentioned that the gallbladder had been seeping, leaking into his body, and his liver was congested. The doctors did mention that his insides were goopy, not the most medical of terms, but accurate nevertheless! Since his heart hasn’t been beating very strongly, and the seeping of the gallbladder, congestion of the liver and the kidneys not working, he has some goop in him.
We found out early this morning that his kidney function had not improved, had in fact gone down some. So, dialysis was the next step. Now, normal dialysis is where you go in, sit in your chair and they hook you up to the machine for several hours and your blood is cleansed. (Okay, there are five different types of dialysis, and I’m not going to get that technical.) This process would be too hard on Lee’s body, it wouldn’t be able to handle the stress of the procedure and his blood pressure wouldn’t be able to maintain.
Lee will be getting Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy. CRRT is much more gentle than regular dialysis. Instead of doing it in a couple of hours, they will take 24 hours and more to clean his blood. This is a very slow and gentle process, and for ICU patients, it is the preferred method as it allows the doctors to continue to treat everything else at the same time without having to worry about waste product and fluid build up from the failing kidneys. Lee has his own machine in his room and he’s going to be hooked up and monitored 24/7 while he is going through this treatment.
In order to undergo the CRRT, Lee had to have another procedure done today – he had local anesthesia and they installed a port. His blood work came back with indicators that the port they wanted wasn’t going to work, so they have installed a temporary port. When the nurse told us that was what they were doing, mom and I looked at each other and were like “that works for us, as he shouldn’t be on this long enough for the temporary port to wear out.”. As they were getting ready to take Lee down to have the port installed, mom asked him if he needed anything else. He looked at here and nodded and replied “I need the doctors to quit finding stuff wrong with me so that I can go home.”
We are right there with you Lee. Right there with you!!
As with everything, there are risks. As such, I’m not going to Google it. You know how I feel about that (Google Is Not Your Friend!).
Today, during one of his lucid moments, I got in for a picture with him. He wasn’t all that pleased… 😉