Sharp Blue: Renal failure


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On Sunday, my dad was very sleepy, but we thought this was just the after-effects of the radiotherapy. My mum, sister and I went home at about 7pm to catch up on the housework because he seemed more or less okay when he was awake. We got a phone call at 2am from a nurse telling us that he was asking for us and “some other things have happened”. When we got back to the Oncology Centre, we were told that he was suffering from kidney failure. Nevertheless, by about 6am he seemed to have stabilised a bit so Vikki and I went home to get some sleep. At 8am, our mum phoned to tell us to go back to the ward as soon as possible because he was so agitated that he was much worse and they were suggesting sedating him, after which he wouldn’t be able to speak.

In the end, the pain subsided a bit and he calmed down enough that they didn’t sedate him. Vik and I spent about seven hours with him at the hospital before we just couldn’t stay awake any longer. After a few hours of sleep, one of Vikki’s friends gave us a lift back to the hospital. (Yes, that’s right: yesterday I got up three times to hurry to the hospital.) Once more, he wasn’t awake very much and when he was he wasn’t very coherent. He also failed to pass any urine all day, which is a bad sign. Because his body wasn’t flushing out toxins, then started to poison him, a condition visible by the blotchy rash that appeared all over his body, and the pain. In the end, though, we just couldn’t hold out and had to go home to get more sleep.

Today, he might be the tiniest bit better. Again, he hasn’t been properly awake much, but when he has been he’s sometimes been quite lucid (other times, he’s settled on a phrase that he’s repeated over and over, or been hallucinating). On the other hand, the rash has started to fade and he’s passed about 200ml of urine. Almost his whole family has been in to see him today, which he found pretty tiring. Several times, he’s thought that he was about to die (one time, he told us he was in Heaven, then said that he was too early and had been sent back).

I don’t even know if he’ll still be alive when I wake up tomorrow, but I’ve hit the point at which I can’t manage on almost no sleep. We’ve said all our goodbyes already, so anything more will be a bonus. But, of course, I never stop hoping he’ll recover, at least for a little while longer.

He’s a fighter, that’s for sure. I’m so proud of him for never giving up, and always putting everyone before himself (he seems to have spent much of today trying to resolve family feuds or telling us to look after each other or wanting us to go to sleep). I just don’t know how long his extraordinary endurance and luck can hold out.

I’ll write more when I can. I don’t know when that will be.

*hugs Rich*

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