Welcome to Crystal's Personal Page

My story

Friday, February 24th, 2012 around 7am my body gave out on me. While overweight and with high blood pressure, I've never been diabetic. So, kidney disease out of nowhere is kinda crazy.

I had to sit down to brush my teeth because my body just stalled out. When I got back to my bedroom, I realized I'd be late for work. Just as I picked up the phone to call in late, I realized I wasn't going to make it to work and started an email to my employment manager to let him know I wasn't going in to work and would be heading to the emergency room with an asthma attack. I've never had such a terrible time catching my breath.

In the time it took to google the closest hospital, I started sweating and realized I wouldn't make it to my car. I couldn't even get more dressed than adding socks to the nightgown. In deciding that I had to call 911, I also tried to figure out how the hell I was going to get to the front door which was deadbolted. I gasped my roommate's name and had her call. I guess pitch and projection count for something since she actually heard me and came rushing to my room.

The next few (more like 12) hours is still kind of a blur. The relatively hot EMTs arrived, I think pretty quickly, and got me to the ambulance. I kept trying to focus on slowing my breathing so I could catch my breath. That and hoping they would knock me out so I wouldn't be so scared. When they gave me nitroglycerin on the way, I guess that freaked me out. But it also made sense. How do I explain that it just didn't surprise me that my heart was failing. I was finding out my secret suspicions were accurate.

Ambulance and ER were a blur with my desire to breathe. It took a few hours, but my breathing became less labored and I stopped sweating. I managed to send out some texts to family members in the area and my parents were called.

I like how despite how hard they try to keep you from using a cell phone in the hospital, no one says a thing when you're the patient.

It felt like it was nighttime by the time I got admitted, but I don't think it was. People showed up and came to me in the ICU. They wouldn't let me eat because they were afraid I might vomit. I was pumped full of drugs to lower my blood pressure and take off the fluid. I was septic and both my heart & kidneys were failing.

I spent the next twenty-one days in the hospital. I started dialysis while they searched for the reason my body gave out. A bone marrow biopsy, kidney biopsy, insertion of the dialysis catheter in my jugular and peritoneal dialysis catheter in my abdomen.


Why we are Taking Action

One in eight U.S. adults has kidney disease and 90% don't even know it. Many people are unaware that kidney disease can be prevented, which is why I am participating in the American Kidney Fund's Virtual Walk.  I will join the American Kidney Fund in an effort to make sure our family, friends and colleagues are all aware of this silent killer. We are working together in fight against kidney disease by creating awareness and helping to raise money for programs and services.

Join us in Taking Action

Last year, the American Kidney Fund provided assistance to almost one in four dialysis patients. This year, we will be walking to raise money and awareness for those living with kidney disease. You can join me in the fight against kidney disease by supporting my personal fundraising efforts. Your contribution, whether it is $20 or $2,000, will help fund the programs that provide financial assistance to people living with kidney disease.