- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Kidney Failure in Children, What Causes This to Happen?
When Your World Falls Apart
I worked the same hours my kids went to school. My three boys had always been fairly healthy. We had a broken arm once, ear infections from time to time but nothing very serious.
My middle son who was about 10 years old had not felt well the night before and wanted to go to bed early. When I asked him what was wrong, he just said he didn't feel too good, he didn't want supper, just a little soup, He complained of a stomach ache. During the night he vomited once, so I told him no school in the morning. He didn't have a fever, he said OK, and went back to bed. The next morning I checked in on him early, and e did feel a little bit warm, so the other two boys went to school, and he stayed home. He still didn't want to eat, and around ten o'clock in the morning, he vomited again, but this time alarmed me horribly. He again didn't vomit much, but this time he threw up blood.
I didn't want to alarm him, but he already knew it wasn't good. I wrapped him up in a blanket, called my mother, and picked her up on our way to the emergency room. I felt a knot in my stomach, and I knew in my heart that all was not well.
I arrived at the emergency room, and they took him in right away. His blood pressure was very low, his fever was higher, and after one quick examination, they drew blood, and within the hour told me that my precious son was having kidney failure, and had to be transported to the nearest children's hospital by helicopter, and I would have to drive, and meet him there, for he had to get there as soon as possible. He would need dialysis, and surgery right away. He would probably be in surgery before I got there. What a sick feeling went through my body. I was scared but couldn't let on to him. I assured him that I would be there as soon as I could drive there./ It took him 10 or 15 minutes, and it took me about an hour and a half, or closer to two hours. I didn't even stop for clothing. I chased that helicopter there to the hospital, nearly 130 miles away.
I Could Not Believe My Eyes
When I next saw him he had tubes everywhere, and he was so pale and still it scared me. He was definitely one very sick little boy. What had happened? Why hadn't he showed any signs of this before yesterday?
As it turned out, he had gotten a very low grade infection, they all informed me, probably a throat infection, that was not bad enough to complain about, so he didn't. The infection went unchecked for lack of antibiotics, and settled in his kidneys. There it just sat and slowly turned his kidneys into scar tissue. The silent killer, for he did not feel badly through this whole thing, that they guessed he had for the past two weeks or so.;
He had to stay in the hospital until I learned how to give him dialysis at home for there was no dialysis unit for children anywhere in our area. It took me two weeks to learn it all, which they said was pretty much a record. He stayed in the hospital a total of two months, for we had to learn how to care for him, what he could and could not eat, and become completely educated about kidneys and how they functioned, and what we would be dealing with for the next months, and years to come.
As things turned out, I had to do peritoneal dialysis to him every single night through a tube that he had sticking out of his side. This was to remove all the vitamins and minerals he had in his bloodstream, that his kidneys could no longer filter out, therefore became toxic to him. For seven years, we did dialysis together every night. Then one day, we got a call from the hospital. His last labs had come up with an infection, and they wanted him down there right away, for a surgery to change his tube. Away we went.
The Surgery Was Scheduled for Nine A.M.
Again we went to the hospital, and again I was given a recliner to sleep in right next to him in his room. About ten o'clock that night, as we were getting ready to go to sleep, the doctors came in in a big rush. My heart jumped into my throat.....now what? They were smiling though, and I questioned them further.
We have a match, a kidney match for him, we just got the call and this whole thing could not have been timed better. What started out as a surgery to exchange tubing, was going to turn into a surgery that would change his life, and mine too. It had been a very long seven years waiting for this kidney, for he was a rather rare blood type. But at last his day had come, and instead of nine, his surgery had been moved up to five-thirty in the morning.
It was a long surgery, that lasted about 8 hours. The kidney was from a 32 year old man who had had a drunk driving accident. The kidney was a little large for him, but the doctors said it should be alright.
He had his transplant, and the kidney continued to work. It took the doctors about a week of hospital stay to make sure everything was OK, and to get his anti-rejection meds dosage correct.
My son went on after that, and got his GED for he had been too sick to finish high school. He then went to ITT Tech and got two BA's, one in electrical engineering, and the other in tech. communications. and did so in three years. He is now managing his own department doing wireless electronics experiments for a private corp. and is doing very well. We went through a lot together, and I have to brag, he did not complain very much at all. I was very worried, but thank God for modern medicine, for he is now fine.