April 14th, 2006
Quick recap... April 25th, 2001. Easter. Often a significant time in my story. As I recall (actually I just re-read my own story - I can hardly remember a thing these days!) I was experiencing a welcome improvement in my health, particularly my circulation. What happened after that defies logic, appears to make a mockery of my faith and just plain stinks, if you ask me. Which no-one does, by the way.
It was September, or perhaps late August, when I started having what I thought were migraine headaches. They seemed to start when I got cold shoulders at night while I was sleeping and my muscles went into spasm. I didn't go to the doctor straight away because I had a history of mysterious aches and pains and odd health problems with no obvious cause, however on reflection I should have gone much sooner. Hindsight is a wonderful thing - pity it comes too late.
One Sunday afternoon I suddenly decided it was serious and went to the emergency department of the hospital across the road from our house in Mannum. There I was told my blood pressure was dangerously high (it had been perfect all my life up until that point) and I was admitted to hospital.
A trip to Adelaide in the ambulance, a six hour stint lying on a narrow gurney in the corridor of the Royal Adelaide Hospital Emergency Department, and I was safely tucked up in a bed in the Renal Ward - feeling atrocious! A nurse took pity on me and moved me to a side room where it was quieter, and there I experienced my first 'warm blanket' treatment - what bliss for a kidney patient. Temperature control is a luxury the body seems to forgo while in crisis, and the warm blanket trick works wonders to help the patient relax.
Next day I endured a kidney biopsy (an unpleasant experience) and its aftermath (even more so), after which I received the totally devastating news that my kidneys had 'failed'. At this stage I didn't know it, but I would be needing dialysis before a year had passed.