From Appendicitis to Kidney Disease

homeI had never heard of PKD, or poly-cystic kidney disease, until I had to go to the hospital with appendicitis.

I woke up in the middle of the night in May of 2011 and had a stomach ache. I didn’t think much of it and went back to sleep. In the morning I still had the stomach ache so I figured it was gas, or something I had eaten that didn’t agree with me. As the day went on it got worse and I kept thinking I just needed to go to the bathroom.  A nice big fart would make me feel much better, or maybe if I stop eating, that will help. I felt like my gut was full of gas that just wouldn’t come out, and no matter what I did it didn’t get better.

I looked up appendicitis symptoms online, but I didn’t have sharp pain in my right side, nor did I have vomiting or diarrhea, so I thought maybe it wasn’t that. Actually it doesn’t have to feel that way (obviously), but I was reluctant to think it was anything but a gassy stomach.  I stayed in denial and kept hoping it would just go away. By evening time, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to sleep with the pain as it was, so I called my doctor’s emergency hotline and spoke with a nurse. She said I should go to the emergency room.

To make a long story short, in the emergency room they took me for a scan of my stomach to make sure it was appendicitis and that is when they discovered the cysts on my kidneys. I remember the ER doctor asking me if anyone in my family had poly-cystic kidney disease, and that was the first time I ever heard the term. I said I didn’t and quite honestly I was more concerned about the pain in my stomach at the time. He did say that it (PKD) was common and usually nothing to worry about, BUT I did have a lot of cysts. He made that last part about a lot of cysts sound like he’d never seen such a bad case!

I went on to have my appendix out, which was very inflamed, and I forgot all about the kidney cysts for a while. I had to recover from surgery with only a month to go before I was moving into a new house.  I had a lot going on in my life, so a new problem would just have to wait.

I looked up kidney disease and found the PKD website which answered a lot of my questions, but I still didn’t know who I had inherited it from. To this day I don’t know for sure, but my best guess is that my mother had it. She died from Alzheimers in 2008, so I’ll never know. But from all that I have read, PKD (my kind – there is another that is worse and affects children) is passed on from family. So that is how we get it. Because the cysts can be small and / or few, some people never even know they have it, and it never causes them problems. High blood pressure can be the first sign that there is a problem.

Eventually I did see my doctor and she went over the scan I’d had in 2011 to tell me I had one cyst that was around 4 inches big! And I had many more, with a growth on my liver as well. She put me on Lisinopril to help control my blood pressure and said that was the best thing I could do for my condition. That is why I went to a homeopath.

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