Updated: Sep 8, 2021
This is a very fresh story and situation that happened to my wife but while I was standing right there doctors, nurses every team member running to her side and how helpless I felt.
Let’s give a little back story my wife Shannon has polycystic kidney disease. She has been on Hemo Dialysis for almost two years now. Most recently she had the catheter placed to switch to Peritoneal Dialysis a couple of weeks ago. Which leads into what caused the situation.
Shannon had a appointment to flush and check the line for Peritoneal on Friday which was perfect but the call came and the hospital needed to change the appointment to Thursday. Now not a big deal right but my heart said not a good idea at all. You see Thursday from 7 am till 11 am is Hemo time and they wanted us to leave and head directly to the other hospital for the appointment. So that is what we did I picked her up and bought her a drink and something to eat on the drive to give her some of her strength back. After about 15 minute drive we arrived.
The walk from the car to the hospital clinic I could tell she was still weak we stopped for a minute and made our way after a very short check in we were taken to the room to start the procedure. I was asked to sit in the hallway with the door open just due to Covid safety but I was involved in all conversations at this point. The time comes that they need to close the door to do the procedure. I am left in the empty hall to wait.
Some time goes by and then the door flies open this is when I know something is going wrong and quickly. The nurse runs out of the room screaming names to come to the room. I look at my wife who is crying I ask what is wrong she speaks the words “It hurts” and I see the sign that this is not good. You see Shannon has a window into her body right at her cheek bone it is normally very red and when she is going to crash she goes white all colour disappears. That is what I saw and the next second the nurse was back in the room and her head dropped she was out.
I then heard the scariest words I could ever hear and it was ringing from the roof to the basement of the hospital.
“CODE BLUE HOME DIALYSIS 1ST FLOOR” “CODE BLUE HOME DIALYSIS 1ST FLOOR”
My brain said oh wow I hope that person is ok. Then in a flash kicked in that it was Shannon what in the world is going on. I was in the room two nurses helping her one asking me to help move some equipment into the hall. Then asking me to stand in the hallway. Then people running from all directions wondering where to go and as calm as I could I yelled out “Right here room 12” team member after team member doctors nurses and others I had no clue what their job was. I was not sure what was happening in the room but I had two staff members come to me and check on me to see that I was ok. As this was going on I heard the voice of an angle. “CODE BLUE HOME DIALYSIS NOW CLEAR” then it repeated. I knew at this point she was going to be ok. The crash cart never made it to her room these were all good signs.
Like above I was pushed out of the room so I am unsure what was going on inside and when I asked Shannon after she as well was unsure with no real memory of what happened. When I was in the hallway talking to the team members they were asking me questions. I told them that this appointment was not a good idea and that “THEY” caused her blood pressure to drop very quickly and that is what happened. I said she just did Hemo and now she is here it is too much on her body. They asked if I was ok and they let me see my wife who was coming around. The staff stated that her blood pressure had dropped but she was ok, they also stated that I was one of the calmest people they have ever seen in a code blue situation.
The reason I was so calm number one I knew what was happening had I seen the crash cart or tubes getting put in her then I would have been a lot more panicked. I also had and have trust in her team. But as a companion and a caregiver I have learned that it is truly important to understand what is happening with the person you are caring for. Understand all the procedures that they do all the medicines they take. You are their voice when they don’t have one.
See with all that has happened to me in the Kidney Community in the last year reading stories sharing stories, watching interviews it is you the kidney warrior I have to thank if it was not for you telling your stories and sharing with the world I would have never been educated.
Shannon recovered from her crash and we were send home about an hour later. This was just a close call and we are grateful for the outcome.
Consider telling your story you never know who you can help. Each and every Kidney Warrior may have similar issues but each and every story is unique to each individual.