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Well, I guess it’s finally time to do this. I have been putting this off for a long time because I am not the kind of person who gripes and complains about his problems to anybody, especially on Facebook. I believe my friends and family see me as a fun guy with a good sense of humor. I am known as a jokester and a prankster and I love to make people laugh. But on the inside, the side I don’t let people see is quite different lately.
Depression, pain, helplessness, and sometimes lost. If it wasn’t for my Daughter in my life, I probably wouldn’t have had the strength to go on. Then again, I don’t let people see this side of me. I pretend I am fine and make a positive attitude. My life was turned upside down about 7 years ago. I found out my kidneys were no longer functioning. I have a hereditary disease known as PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease). There is no cure.
Read more: Hiding Depression From My Family
I was ignoring all the symptoms because I was working to provide for my family for a new job that paid half as much as the previous one I was laid off from. I have been out of work for a year prior to starting with a new company, so when I was so out of breath from walking 1/4 mile from parking to the job site, I thought it was because I was out of shape.
I figured I will get stronger the longer I worked, but it was the opposite. I was getting weaker and more out of breath. I hadn’t even noticed my breathing getting worse until my friends started keeping a close eye on me. Then I couldn’t sleep anymore because of the tinnitus in my ears. A ringing so loud, it sounded like I was in a deep swamp filled with buzzing insects chirping and buzzing very loud.
My eyes got really sensitive to light. I was blinded by the sunlight after work. Sometimes I don’t know how I drove home safely because it hurts to look at the road in the daytime. It wasn’t until I started vomiting in the morning and losing my voice, I decided to go to the doctor. The doctor referred me to a pulmonary doctor because he thought I had emphysema from smoking.
Two weeks later, I saw the lung doctor and she immediately sent me to the ER. I was admitted and while sitting in my room, joking around with two of my friends that came to visit, the doctors received my blood test results from the labs. The next thing I saw, several doctors and nurses rushed into my room and put me on a rolling bed and rushed me away.
Read more: I Knew Something was Not Right, I Just Didn’t Know the Diagnosis
I almost died. The doctors told me if I was 20 minutes later at the ER, I would be dead. I was intubated and put in a medically induced coma for 10 days while doctors tried to save my life.
Well, it worked, but now I have to spend the rest of my life being treated on dialysis or get a kidney transplant. As I am ineligible for the national donor waiting list, I must receive an organ from a living donor.
Now here I am. I receive Dialysis treatments 3 times a week for 4 hours each time. The needles are painful and the thought of depending on a machine to keep me alive is depressing. It keeps me alive but really isn’t living. I have to control how much fluid I drink because I don’t urinate. I have to take medicine with everything I eat to control the phosphorus in my blood. I have to watch my potassium and salt intake also.
I keep fighting this chronic disease so my daughter will not know what it is like to grow up without a daddy. She keeps me going. It breaks my heart sometimes because I can’t do a lot of things with her, due to being tired and drained, literally, from dialysis.
Read more: My Daughter is my Motivation
Just trying to stay alive is exhausting. Plus the toll it takes on my body, I am only able to sleep about an hour at a time. So this is the hardest thing I have to do. I have to ask for help. I need someone to save my life and help me be the best daddy I can be.