© 2019 Kidney Art Works 

Wake Up Call

May 9, 2015

Yesterday I went to work like normal and throughout the day I had hiccups. I held my breath and did everything you could think of in order to get rid of them, but nothing. I got home that day and went straight to bed because I had these annoying hiccups and I figured I would just sleep it off and in the morning I would be fine.  

 

I woke up and I still had hiccups.  I didn’t want to go to the doctor, much less the ER, and I told my sister to just take me to the minute clinic at Target and she said yes. She started driving and that's when I realized that she had lied to me and we were heading in the direction of the hospital. I was pissed off because she lied to me and wanted to get out of the car, but she locked the doors as if that would prevent me from getting out. I finally gave in and when we got to the hospital. I was a pale yellow and by this time the hiccups were getting so bad that my entire body was shaking and I couldn't even properly talk. My brother had to hold me up because my entire body was shaking, even when I was asked to do a urine test so that they could check my kidney function (he held the cup). 

 

My brother talked to the doctor who was wearing cowboy boots so I baptized him as the cowboy doctor. We were in the ER for a long time and finally, my mom made my brother tell the doctors that I had previously received a transplant and that I had stopped taking my medications.

 

"Are you suicidal, man?!" Said the cowboy doctor. "What's wrong with you? Well, I'm going to try and help you out and pray that you didn't lose your kidney." 

 

By night time, they finally managed to put me on a stretcher. My whole family was there and they had worried looks on their faces, just hoping and praying for the best. A group of doctors finally came to see me 12 hours after I first stepped in the ER and told me that their priority was to stabilize me because my bloodstream was toxic, they gave me anti-rejection meds to see if my transplanted kidney would react. At this point, they were just hoping that I would make it through the night.  I knew there was something wrong with me, but I just didn't know how bad it was.  

 

At about 1:30 a.m. a Hispanic doctor tells me, "Mr. Sandoval, you lost your kidney, you are in need of a new transplant and you will need a catheter for dialysis. I will see you in the morning, so try to have a good night's sleep." At this point, my body went cold and my fears had become a reality. I was so scared to do dialysis again because I didn't want to deal with it. I started talking to God, the Buddha, and the universe because there was still so much that I had to do with my life. Please tell me that this is just a bad dream and then I opened my eyes and faced my reality.  

 

I didn't even know how to break this to my family. I called my sister and told her that my worst fear had become a reality and we both started crying and she told me that whatever happens, we'll figure it out. When I woke up a nurse tells me that I look Indian or Philippino, but not Mexican and that apparently my shakes/hiccups were gone.

 

The doctor came in with 2 interns and they placed a catheter on my thigh.  The girl that put in my catheter was so proud because it was the first one that she had ever done. It hurt like hell and I could feel the entire line going through my leg. 

 

A dialysis tech came in, he had a really thick accent since he was from Africa and he tells me, "Don't worry my friend, I'm here to make sure this is as painless as possible. You're too young to go through this my friend, you will on the machine for 4 hours and you will need a blood transfusion."

 

He explained that the blood transfusion was going to remove the toxins from my blood and I couldn't even look at the machine without having an anxiety attack, which was slowly pulling the toxic blood out of my body. It would go from pink to dark red, to purple, and I tried to hold back my tears from my face.

 

The tech grabbed my leg and told me that it's ok to cry and to be afraid and that people who live on dialysis live a normal life. "You have to be strong for your family and I will pray you get well soon, just be glad you came before something serious happened. Pray and God will take of the rest, he knows why this happened and I will see you tomorrow. They will need to install a new catheter in your chest."

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