As good as things were going with Blake health-wise, we hit a bump in the road last Thursday. I took Blake down to Iowa City for his monthly check-up and they ended-up admitting him to the hospital and we didn’t get to come home until Saturday night.
Blake’s iron was low last month, so they started having us do iron infusions. During these, your blood pressure can drop, so the nurse checks it periodically throughout the hour-long procedure. The blood pressure machine was turned away from me, so I couldn’t see it, but I heard the nurse on the phone out in the hall with the dialysis team talking about how high his blood pressure was. She came in and took it one more time before we headed to our dialysis appointment and it was 150-something. For those of you that know anything about blood pressure, that’s a high systolic number even for an adult. That means poor Blake’s little heart was just working entirely too hard.
We got to dialysis and they took his BP again, this time on a different type of machine. It was down to 108. I thought, ‘Good. We’re going to be just fine.’ Then we got his labs back…
It seems his hemoglobin was down to 7. Now it’s not unusual for people with kidney issues to have low hemoglobin levels. It’s just another thing that those amazing organs help the body with. A normal hemoglobin is 12-14, so Blake was at half of what he should have been (he’s usually around 9 and the doctors are ok with that).
The next thing you know Blake’s doctor is telling me how he is going to have to stay the night for observation because his BP is too high, blood pressure too low and they can tell that he is retaining fluids. All that, just that fast!
I think I stood there in shock. I know a lot of other kids with kidney issues are in and out of the hospital a lot, but because Blake had been doing so well, we haven’t had to deal with that. The doctor informed me that Blake is their little dialysis superstar and we are doing a wonderful job of caring for him.
They ended up putting Blakers on some BP medications, made him do a couple of 17-hour dialysis treatments to rid him of all that fluid and gave him a blood transfusion to help with his low hemoglobin. Whew!! It was a crazy couple of days. My husband and I both took our turns down there and bringing him home Saturday night felt so good. I think Blake thought so too, because I’m certain he kept looking around his hospital room looking for his brothers and sister.
The power of facebook is amazing sometimes. I put on there the situation and I had so many friends telling me they were sending prayers. It lifted my spirits immediately. I am a firm believer that the power of prayer got us to where we are today. We even had three families help out by bringing us meals. It makes me tear up thinking about what an amazing community we live in. You all have been so supportive and I literally cannot thank you enough. It means the world to our family!
As sad as I was about our situation, there’s nothing like a trip to the hospital in Iowa City to make you have that moment where you think, ‘I could have things so much worse.’ I literally have a moment every single time down there where I see a child or adult who I know is having a truly difficult time. I’m thankful that all we have to deal with is “just” Blake’s kidneys. There is a transplant in his future. He will be on medications his whole life. That’s just how it’s going to be. It’s not going to be easy, but things are going to get better, slowly but surely. Positive thinking, prayers and Blake’s smile get me through, but that’s just the way I see it.