Surgery is tomorrow. (Update – got surgery!)
If my kidney gets removed, I guess I'll have to fix the title of this post.
My kidney problems started after I got my thyroid removed due to cancer. My potassium and calcium levels got all jacked up, kidney stones started crashing into the walls of my ureters like crashing waves.
The doctors in Arizona acted like I was being dramatic, overreacting, and seeking pain pills (I wasn't – I use cannabis to manage my pain), so they didn't treat me very kindly.
For more than 3 years, I dealt with being degraded and treated like crap by just about every medical professional I came into contact with – and there were a lot, as I was in and out of the hospital frequently.
Unfortunately, in addition to them being assholes, they also caused scarring in my ureter because they left a stent in for too long and it calcified; so they yanked it out anyway, causing scars to form.
The scar tissue continue to grow as I had more kidney stones and stents. I had 7 stent surgeries total.
The last procedure I had in the States, I also got c. diff, which almost killed me and I'm convinced is one of THE most horrible things ever. The doctors, of course, dismissed that as well until I ended up hospitalized.
We moved to Mexico, I got yet another stent surgery, and things were fine for almost a year. The kidney pain came back, and I ignored it for a few months – hindsight is 20/20 and I should've just went to the doctor, but because of all the shit I deal with in the States, I was afraid to go and get treated like crap again.
Logically I knew that the care I received here was 100x better than the care back in the US, but I still had some PTSD from it.
However, I live in a very small town in Mexico now… so it requires traveling to see specialists and get scans. We had to drive all the way to Tijuana (3 hours) to get a renal scan, but thankfully our doctor is in Ensenada (1 hour from our house) so surgery will be closer.
Before driving to Tijuana, I had to get a CT scan in Ensenada. Their CT scan machine limit was 250lbs and I'm about 300lbs, so they couldn't scan me. They also didn't have a scale to weigh me, to see how much I did weigh, so we could find a place that could scan me.
My friend walked me to a grocery store, they took me to the back, and weighed me on what looked like a cattle scale.
*insert horrified emoji here*
But even being surrounded by 10 people who each weighed like 120lbs soaking wet, nobody was outwardly judging or making remarks. In the States, I felt judged every time I walked in to get weighed anywhere.
I love it here.
After a bunch of visits with specialists, kidney scans, and enough blood taken to keep a vampire satiated for a few months if not years, the doctors told me I needed to have my kidney removed.
The first indication of this was during the first ultrasound of my kidney. The tech goes “your kidney isn't working” – oh wow, okay. So much for waiting weeks to hear results LOL.
Unfortunately, he was correct. My right kidney was not working, because the ureter was blocked – again.
We saw 3 different urologists to talk about my surgery options. They all said the same things, that most likely, my kidney would need to be removed.
The doctor we decided to go with is the same doctor who did my last ureter stent surgery. He knows our goal is to save my kidney, if possible, because if I lose one kidney, the stones could just start forming in the other… causing this whole problem again, but with no backup kidney left!
April 20th, 2023
Today, I got an EKG and bloodwork. Surgery is tomorrow. I'll either wake up with two kidneys, or wake up with one, but whatever happens, I know there are amazing things on the other side of it. 🙂
Tomorrow, I have surgery. There are a few options of what may happen.
They can cut the scar tissue out of my ureter and reconnect it, like in the image above, but the scar tissue is 3cm long and with the extra they'd have to cut, it would be 4cm, so they think it would be too tight/too much tension on the ureter if they go that route.
They can reroute the ureter to the other side, like in the image above, but only if the scar tissue isn't too high up – which we think it is, so this option probably isn't viable.
However, if it IS viable, I'll need a temporary ureterostomy.
If the ureterostomy works, it'll drain the kidney and I'll keep the bag in for 7 days. Then, I'll go back and he will reroute my right ureter over to the left ureter and connect the two.
If those options don't work, the doctor will remove my kidney. However, I don't feel like this is what should happen – I am a big believer in instincts and this feels like a huge NEW start for me – my tarot cards even said so! 😉
I pulled my cards for surgery and immediately *gasped* because, well Hell. The Tower is never a good card LOL but if you read the cards together, it shows The Tower – a painful change (surgery?) – and Death, which in my experience, has always meant rebirth.
I've read cards for 20+ years and never have I pulled the Death card and it meant actual death, so that's reassuring. 🙂 The Tower is a very painful card and I've been feeling a LOT of pain lately, so I hope that this next chapter in life means less pain and more fun and creativity.
We just got my kidney scans back, literally as I was typing this, and the scans look like there is a little hope left to save my right kidney!!!
Still not sure how it's going to happen, but I have a good feeling about going into this surgery tomorrow and I'm going to keep my hopes as high as Snoop.