Epic Fail

So Mark is in kidney failure. How did that happen?

Turns out that diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, and Mark has been diabetic since he was about four years old.

If you remember from biology or anatomy class, our kidneys have the job of filtering wastes from our blood. Wastes are small and sift through microscopic holes in the form of urine, but the larger proteins and blood cells don’t fit through the holes and so stay in the blood. The kidneys squeeze the waste through its filtering system and the waste is excreted in our urine.

High levels of blood sugar from diabetes makes the system work overtime and eventually start to leak. Proteins leak into the urine and more and more waste ends up in the blood causing the kidneys to work even harder. As they work harder, they leak even more and finally cause the kidneys to fail. You might think of a kidney being angry at Mark’s body, so it decides to quit.

dancing kidney bean-01 Continue reading

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I Can’t Stop Drinking!

Recently, a young lady was overheard in a local restaurant saying to her companion, “You just can’t drink so much!” To which the man replied, “Once I start drinking, I can’t stop!”

What a sad discussion to try to avoid hearing from the next table a few feet away. Imagine the heartache of a couple struggling with a drinking problem. The problem with situations like this is we often don’t hear all of the conversation and are left to put pieces together based on what we do hear. We certainly don’t know the rest of the story.

The conversation above actually happened with Mark & Lisa recently. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, they weren’t talking about an alcohol drinking problem. The heinous substance? Plain ‘ole water. I imagine the eavesdroppers might be relieved to know that an intervention was not required.

Image

You see, Mark kidneys have turned into a funnel with an itty bitty whole at the bottom. And, a cork is clogging most of the passage way for the water to get through. You can imagine if someone poured a pitcher of water into the funnel, very little water would get through the bottom. Most would overflow out of the funnel. For your entertainment, I have constructed an illustration of said pitcher and funnel so you can get the idea. Continue reading

Dress Rehearsal

You don’t always get a do-over. Occasionally, we are met with opportunities that provide just one shot to get it right. When such is the case, like in weddings or plays or fire alarms, we are prone to rehearse to ensure our performance is flawless.

Mark at dialysis with daughters Kelley & Emlyn on Halloween Night

Mark at dialysis with daughters Kelley & Emlyn on Halloween Night

Last week Mark got a call from MCG telling him to get to the hospital. A donor kidney and pancreas were available, and the #1 person on the list wasn’t eligible. HIPPA requirements kept the hospital from disclosing why #1 was not available and Mark was temporarily moved from the  #2 to #1 slot. Mark left work and rushed to the hospital. Lisa left work and rushed to the hospital. Robin picked up their children, Kelley & Emlyn from school. Continue reading

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