It was a typical day for me as I came to work this morning. As I walked to my office to get the day started and could not help but think how different things were just a few years ago. You see a few years ago I was a patient in this clinic once but since my Kidney Transplant I have had the wonderful opportunity to come back not as a patient but as a Kidney Coach.
As I walked out on the floor to say hi to the patients, one of the machines started alarming BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, I went to see what was going on. Mrs. Ruth was one of the sweetest patients that we have but one that was dancing in her chair at the moment made her machine alarm. I go over to her chair to talk to her.
Now Mrs. Ruth you have to be still as much as possible while dialyzing, otherwise it’s a possible chance you can make your treatment longer, clot off your lines, or even worse infiltrate your arm.
Mrs. Ruth: “ Oh, I’m sorry Anthony , but I was jamming to my music on my AirPods! This Dialysis be boring man!! But I understand . Since you’re here you mind explaining to me the importance of labs and how you mentioned it saved your life when you were on Dialysis?
Sure, no problem, I will be happy to, let me go get some pamphlets out of my office for you to take home as well. As I walk back to my office Dwelyn stops me in the hallway.
Dwelyn: Hey Anthony got a quick question for you…. Sure, Dwelyn what’s up?…. Did you see the patient beside Mrs. Ruth, she is new here would you mind stopping by and sharing your story especially how the labs saved your life that always seems to help new patients…. Sure thing let me finish with Mrs. Ruth and I will talk to her.
Once in my office I grab a few pamphlets and a Kidney Trailblazer bag and head back out to the floor. Once I finish talking to Mrs. Ruth, I head over to talk to this new patient. What was her name oh yes that is right AW.
Hello AW, my name is Anthony, I am the Kidney Coach here at the Kidney Trails Dialysis Care Center. I heard that today is your first day here with us and the first day of dialysis…. Yes, it is Anthony, it is so nice to meet you. Dwelyn said you have an interesting story about how the labs saved your life.
I smile to myself because Dwelyn and the rest of the staff love to introduce me to patients this way. Ever since the ASCP Patient Champion Program came in to give a talk about how labs and pathology are involved in patient care and left us a pamphlet explaining their involvement. I really think they do this because I was one of the speakers talking about the labs. Oh well.
Yes, AW I would love to share with you my story. You see it was about 8 years ago that I found out how important labs were to my care. I was extremely sick and finally decided I better go see what was going on and went into the ER. Now I knew I had one issue and that was high blood pressure and figured that I just needed some meds and then I would be ok but during my visit in the ER the Doc wanted to run Blood work on me. Not my most favorite thing to do but I finally said ok. After the results came back I found out that I was in real trouble. You see my GFR was about 3-5 do you know what GFR is….Yes says AW it shows you how well your kidneys were working and yours wasn’t working too well was it.. That’s right and how do you say it? I was in some bombad trouble…. Well, after the doc read my labs to me it did not sound good. Every number that was supposed to be high was low and every number that was supposed to be low was high. I was a total mess and in stage 5 kidney failure and needed dialysis quickly.
As AW is listening her eyes got as big as saucers, she just realized that I was a dialysis patient…. You needed dialysis but you are young, I mean you can’t be older than 30 can you say how old were you when this happened? I was 22 when found this out.
AW looks at me and I wonder what she is thinking. She then says so how did the labs save your life. Did not dialysis save your life?
Yes, dialysis gave me another chance at life to live another day but if it were not for the labs I would not be here. Think of it this way, let’s say you are traveling on a journey and on the way you look around and don’t know where you are. What would you do?
Why look at a map or maybe one of those new fangled things what do you call them umm GPS…. Yes I reply, think of the labs as your medical GPS when you get your blood work done. The results show how well you are doing or in other words where you are at.
Hmm, that’s interesting I never thought of labs that way or realized how important they are AW says….. Without the labs we would not know that someone has kidney issues and that they need dialysis. We all would be lost with the labs and I am ever grateful for them.
Thanks for sharing Anthony I really appreciate it now I could not help noticing you have a bag in your hand I hate to ask is that for me. I smile yes it is AW this is a Kidney Trailblazer Bag to help you on your journey in it you will find. A KT Blanket, headphones, more information on the labs along with a journal, A goal map, and a book of quotes……Thank You so much Anthony, you don’t know how much this means to me. I don’t feel alone and feel more informed about dialysis and what all goes into it. This is a great clinic and I am thankful that I get to come here for my treatment. Your welcome AW if you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to ask……
As I step away I catch Dwelyn on the way back to my office. Hey, thanks for letting me know about AW. I can tell that this did a lot for her and I am glad I had the opportunity to talk to her for a little bit. No problem man, thanks for doing it Dwelyn said and he then looks thoughtful and says….. You know I was thinking, I believe that we are the only clinic that has a kidney coach and I can see the difference that it makes in our patients. I wished more clinics would follow suit. Me too Dwelyn. Just then my phone rings. I got to take this call. Once again thanks………………………….
Anthony E Reed
CEO Kidney trails/Speaker/ Master Kidney Coach