Welcome One and All!

I started this blog to chronicle the my life as a renal patient. I started having issues back in 1983. I had an infection that hadn't been treated as an infection; it had been treated as pulled muscle as I had been working as a nanny at the time. Life went on and then I dealt with a series of infections of infections which resulted in 4 minor surgeries from 1985 to 87. Than I had 3 kids; dealing with minor infections along the way. This culminated in discovering in 1998 that I was in what the call Chronic Renal Failure, my right kidney was imploding, the left was starting to go as well.

I finally had the right kidney removed in 1999, which resulted in complications. I almost didn't make it. When I moved back to Edmonton from BC, I started seeing a nephorogist, Dr. Caldwell, from the U of A. In 2007 I had 75% renal function, fast-forward to today I have 13% and it is getting worse.

I decided I needed a place to share what I am going through for a variety of reasons:

1) to get out of my head and work through the anxiety and fear that I am feeling.

2) that somehow my ramblings can be of help to others.

3) most of all to share my journey with others and to help me share with my own family.

Great Sites for Information

Kidney Foundation of Canada

Kidney Foundation of Canada

National Kidney Foundation (USA)

National Kidney Foundation (USA)

(I will Post more as I find out more information.)

Here are some great foums and educational sites...

Kidney School
Kidney School
Kidney Friends Forum
Kidney Friends

Also there are some groups on Facebook:
Canadian Kidney Connection
Canadian Kidney Connection

Ontario’s Renal Community
Ontario’s Renal Community

I will add more as they come in. Cora

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Alberta Health Services Crisis (caution may be gross for squeamish stomaches)

I thought I should speak on this as it has been in the news a lot this last week...even calling in to question of an MLA's sanity by his own party! Dr. Raj Sherman is an ER doctor who is also an MLA for the ruling Conservative party. Dr. Sherman finally decided to take the government to task over the long emergency room wait times and believe me he is not exaggerating on this. I have numerous examples in my own life on er wait times.

Example 1:
It was June 2008, in fact we missed our 1st year anniversary, I developed what I thought was the stomach flu. I couldn't keep anything down, water, ginger ale, you name it, nothing would stay down. I have 3 days were I really don't remember anything because I was delusional. I finally requested to got to the ER. Not sure why we went to the U of A when we live closer to the Royal Alexandria, however we went. We got through triage at 8:00 pm. I still vomiting, bile mainly. We finally got into the er at 4:00 am.

We still had no idea what was causing the vomiting. Dr. Caldwell was called down, he finally showed at 8:00 am. They did some blood work and urine samples and finally came up with a urinary tract infection which required IV drugs, it was that bad. I stayed in the ER for 3 days as there were no beds available on the wards.

Example 2:
Fast forward to September 2009. I had been on antibiotics for various UTIs 10 times over a 9 month period. I was getting my 11th dosage when it was ordered that it had to be given by IV, oral meds weren't killing the bug. So off to the Royal Alex to start this. We arrived at 8:00 am like I had been told to except they had no idea why I was there (my GP at the time didn't have hospital privileges), so I had to see one of their drs. this was finally completed at 12:00 noon. I got my first dosage and was sent home. Next thing I know I am having diarrhea so bad I couldn't get off the toilet. We ended up calling an ambulance because I couldn't even walk to the car I was in so much pain.

So back to the Alex...we arrived at about 1:00 pm, I wasn't seen until almost 8:00 pm. I had not meds to stop the cramps, nothing. At 9:00 I was in the er and seen. The nurse administered Buscapan which was to help with the cramping, when all of a sudden I could feel my heart racing. I could see my husband just panicking when he saw numbers, etc before I passed out. The gave me something and I woke up to being moved closer to the nursers station, then I was moved to isolation when I was stabilized.

The next morning I was moved to a ward. By the way the ward is only supposed to have 4 people to the ward, there were 5. One was a patient that should have been on the psychiatric floor but there were no beds available. She had been in this room for a month...yes a month! I stayed there for 5 days. There were 2 people that should have been in a long term care facility but were in acute care because there were no beds for them. I was finally able to go home after 6 days in the hospital. I missed my husband and my cats. I just wanted to go home.

So the long and the short of it is that I now have IBS-D (Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Diarrhea dominance. It took 6 months to get it under control it is quite embarrassing if I have flare up away from home as i have no control at all with a flare up.

Example 3:
I am allergic to bees, wasps and hornets. I don't usually carry and epipen because when I have them I usually end up throwing them out because they haven't been used and they cost $100.00 to get just one. So I have gotten stung twice since moving back to AB from BC. Both times I ended up in the ER. Thank fully the first time the ambulance gave me meds right away and all was good. I waited 4 hrs in the ER, not bad I am figuring.

Fast forward to this last summer, I got stung on the Yellowhead Hwy while in our truck. Hubby takes me to the Alex (it was the closest to get to) to be only told that we had a 6 hr wait. We ended up leaving and I took Benadryl to deal with the swelling and we watched my breathing.  It just seems to get worse everytime.

This is what Dr. Sherman was complaining about. I am sure there are countless other horror stories out there as well.

There is the young woman who has breast cancer. The life saving drugs cost $4000.00/month and she has to make a choice to by the drugs which will bankrupt her family or to die?!?! Not a great choice there.


There was the woman who lost her battle to colon cancer because she was unable to get into the Cross Institute.

I am thankful for politicians who step up like Dr. Sherman who is now facing his own complications. I am hoping that people with be supportive of Dr. Sherman and speak out about their own concerns about Alberta Health Services. Ours need an overhaul to better serve the people who use it.

(I will be cross posting this to my main blog as well)


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