After Being Discharged With Kidney Failure
Last updated: February 2023
After being discharged from the hospital after my first kidney failure, it took forever for me to understand what I needed to do. I stayed in the hospital for at least two months and ended up receiving an eighty thousand dollar bill because I did not qualify for Medicaid at the time, since they felt as if my condition was not serious.
I did not have insurance at that time, so I had to go to a hospital where they would still treat you even though you have no insurance.
Going on a new medication
The medication they placed me on was called Cellcept, which is an immunosuppressive drug that can prevent organ rejection after transplant. According to Cellcept.com, "Rejection is when the body’s immune system perceives the new organ as a 'foreign' threat and attacks it." My doctor informed me that I shouldn't try to get pregnant on this medication. My doctor also told me that it could cause low blood cell counts, which is why I was on iron tablets, which have helped. It could also cause stomach problems, so my doctor would prescribe me carafate and protonix to help with that. They could also cause inflammatory reactions. This drug without insurance ran about eight thousand dollars, but I was lucky that they had a program where I could get it mailed to me for free.1
When you get sick, the bills don't stop
I didn’t understand that I needed to take it easy after my kidney failure, so I started working again, because in my eyes, I had to pay off medical bills and get back to a normal life. No one understands that even when you get sick, the bills do not stop. Responsibilities do not stop.
I came home to an eviction notice, which was very challenging. It was hard for people to understand that I could not control the condition I am living with. I ended up having to move back home with my husband's grandparents and they helped nurse me back to health. The medication I would take would cause me to have muscle spasms in my legs, hands, and feet. Which made the doctors prescribe me add another medication to help resolve it.
My family was my biggest support
The biggest mistake I made was not going back to see that specific nephrologist. I didn't know at the time that he had a clinic and didn't mind taking me on as a patient without insurance.
Those moments were the realization that hit me that I would be okay and that family can be your biggest support. I did not go through another kidney failure for about two years and I was happy with that.
I never stopped overexerting myself. I kept going and going and was not resting as much as I knew I should. It got so bad that in 2016, I had another kidney failure from another tragic situation. I was hit head on that year in a car collision and the stress on my body caused me another kidney failure.
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