News from Resaw

We always take this site and this fandom seriously as a community.  All of our readers are important to us; so we wanted to share a special bit of personal news from our long time friend Resaw.

So after the jump, a post from Resaw.

Dear Chuck This friends,

Some of you may be aware that I have been living with kidney disease for a number of years. A milestone of sorts is coming up, soon, though, so I thought it about time to bring everyone up to date. I hope you’ll excuse the personal indulgence.

My nephrologist has come to the conclusion that I will probably need to go onto dialysis this year as my kidney function is deteriorating at a fairly fast pace recently. In advance of that need, this Friday, July 18, I will be undergoing a procedure to insert a catheter into my abdomen to the right of and a little lower than my belly button. That will facilitate my preferred choice of dialysis, which is called peritoneal dialysis (PD). The peritoneum is a lining of the abdominal cavity, but as used in PD serves as an effective filter for drawing wastes from one’s body.

When dialysis becomes necessary, I will have a machine beside my bed that will have a bag of sugary fluid in it. I will hook up that machine to the catheter and while I sleep, it will pump this fluid into my belly, let it dwell there for a while, pump it out and pump some more fluid in over several cycles, and effectively remove the waste from my body, performing the function that my kidneys will no longer be able to.

There are a number of reasons why I prefer this to the traditional means of dialysis, so-called hemodialysis at a hospital clinic.

1. PD means I can lead a more or less normal daytime life; I can still work a full-time job, if I want.
2. PD can be done daily rather than 3 times a week in the clinic version of hemodialysis, so my blood is cleaner.
3. My diet is not as restricted on PD vs. hemodialysis.
4. The machine can be packed in a carry-on case to take on an airplane or in a car, and the supplier of the fluid and related equipment can ship it anywhere in the world, so travel remains a possibility even after beginning PD.

Despite all that, I find the prospect of dialysis daunting, to say the least. But, at least I have this option until a possible kidney transplant comes along. And given that the doctors said 30 years ago that I had 10-15 years before my kidneys would fail, I’ve done pretty well, and for that I am grateful.

Regarding transplantation, generally speaking there is a seven-to-nine year wait in order to receive a kidney from a so-called “cadaver” donor. Compatibility is important, of course, as is the health of the donor kidneys from the deceased person.

Another option is a live donor from someone who would donate directly to me. Before I say anything further about that, I want to be clear that kidney donors are very carefully screened for not just compatibility, but for their own health and also for any of the ethical considerations related to live kidney donation. Donations offered for reasons of guilt, coercion, or even bribery are ruled out. Having said that, in God’s infinite wisdom, we each have two kidneys and most of us can thrive quite well on one, so live donation is a possibility.

If this is of any interest to you at all, for a personal take on the matter I would suggest you read Carol Penner’s blog, An Undesignated Donor <http://anundesignateddonor.blogspot.ca/>, in which she describes her journey to donating a kidney to someone she doesn’t know. If you want to explore this further, you may also want to look at a Youtube video put out by the London Health Sciences Centre, Living Kidney Donation <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XI7uYdwyQE>. You can also check out more detailed information at the website for the hospital’s Living Kidney Donation program here <http://www.lhsc.on.ca/Patients_Families_Visitors/MOTP/Kidney_Transplant/Living_Donation.htm>.

Thank you for the opportunity to share.

 

Russ Sawatsky
London, Ontario, Canada

Obviously, we can all hope and pray for the best for Russ.  We sure have appreciated his participation and many thoughtful comments these last couple years.

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About atcDave

I'm 53 years old and live in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I'm happily married to Jodie. I've been an air traffic controller for 30 years; grew up in the Chicago area, and am still a fanatic for pizza and the Chicago Bears. My main interest is military history, and my related hobbies include scale model building and strategy games.
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26 Responses to News from Resaw

  1. joe says:

    One of the constant themes in Chuck was the importance of family. And one of the greatest things the cast and crew ever did was to make us, the fans, feel like part of that family. You just reminded me of that feeling, Russ.

    Our thoughts are with you.

    • resaw says:

      Thanks Joe …and Dave. Yes, there is a comfort in sharing with others and in knowing that there is emotional and spiritual support “out there.” Who would have thought it would have come via a TV series. Much appreciated.

  2. thinkling says:

    Russ, I’m so sorry to hear all this. Somehow I didn’t know. I’ve also never heard of this type of dialysis. While no dialysis is good, this certainly sounds better than the hemodialysis, for a number of reasons. Anyway, I do wish you the best and will keep you in my prayers.

    • resaw says:

      Ah well, Thinkling, there is no reason that you should necessarily have known. I didn’t “advertise” widely. But, because of the way organ transplantation can help not just me but all those who can benefit from such procedures, I thought that sharing a little bit about what I’m going through might be an encouragement to others to consider organ and tissue donation. As my kidney transplant program patient handbook says on the cover: “Don’t Take Your Organs to Heaven…Heaven Knows We Need Them Here” (thus ends the Public Service Announcement). Thank you for your prayers.

    • Wilf says:

      Hi Russ. I’m so sorry to hear about your current problems. Like thinkling, I haven’t heard of PD. One of my and my wife’s closest friends, whom I’ve known from school days (over 50 years!) had a kidney removed due to a tumour about 3 years ago. His other kidney then started to deterioriate and then failed and he is now on haemodialysis 3 times per week. It sure takes it out of him, in time, effort, energy and diet-wise and your PD option certainly seems to be considerably less of a burden in those respects. I do hope it all goes well for you.

      • resaw says:

        Thank you, Wilf. My understanding is that the type of dialysis one chooses depends both on the person’s own wishes and the determination of the dialysis staff of the capacity of the person to manage the necessary self-care involved in PD. I keep on being told by the kidney clinic staff that I am “young” (55) in comparison to many other patients, so that apparently gives me some options not available to some others.

  3. revdr says:

    resaw; You have my prayers and the sincerest of hopes that things will improve for you. I admire your strength and your unwavering courage. Please keep us all updated.

    • resaw says:

      Thank you, revdr. You are ascribing to me more strength and courage than I am currently feeling at the moment, but I find that such resources come in the company of others, like from this group, and for that reason I am very grateful.

  4. oldresorter says:

    Hang in there resaw!

    A liitle personal story if you can bear with it, a few of the details are a bit fuzzy, but the main point remains frozen in my mind forever.

    I got a call in 1986 that my then 58 year old father (my age right now) was sick and that I should rush home. I got the call at 10 at night. My wife and I drove thru the night for the 6 hr drive, got to my parents house at 4am, only to find a note to go to the hospital, another hour drive. We arrived at the hosptial just in time to see him being rushed to the roof of the hosptial, to be flight for lifed to a bigger hospital. He was in a coma. I was speechless and probably somewhat in shock, as he was one of the healthiest people I ever met. As he rolled by us, I reached out and shook his big toe, and said Hang in there dad.

    Well, after about a year of being hospitalized and such, he finally made it home. He’s still alive today, although he lives with some handicaps as result of his illness (French Polio or ‘Guillain Barre’ is what he had), he found all kinds of new ways to contribute. He’s the local history expert, has written a half dozen books or so. he sand my mom still live in their same home, garden, he cuts his lawn using the riding mower.

    But, I’m not trying to bore you, I have a point, a hopeful one. When he woke up from his coma, I think it took about two weeks b4 he did, he said he couldn’t remember anything. No white lights, not anything. But, he said he did remember someone pulling his toe and saying ‘hang in there.’

    True story, so I hope those words work as well for you as they did for him! Good luck!

    • resaw says:

      Thanks for the story of your father old resorter. I’m sure we could all be more generous with words of encouragement. Who knows how significant they might turn out to be! (at least that’s the lesson I’m taking).

  5. anthropocene says:

    Russ, you are a friend and inspiration and you are often in my thoughts.

    • resaw says:

      Thanks, Anthro. I must say, I have been feeling quite inspired myself by the messages today. How grateful I am for the friendships (like yours) begun and sustained through a mutual interest and a blog about a TV show!

  6. olddarth says:

    Hi Russ.

    My wife’s brother has lived with this type of dialysis. He choose this type over the more traditional method for the same reasons you did. Eventually he got a transplant and has been doing well ever since.

    Best wishes that a similar journey lies in your future too.

    Live Long and Prosper.

    Lou

  7. Justin says:

    Russ, I wish you a safe, least hectic journey down this road you are going down on.

  8. macnab13 says:

    Thank you for sharing the donor information and some very timely life perspective, Russ.

    Saving a spot around the campfire for you.

    • resaw says:

      Thanks, Mac. And I must say, there’s been a lot of perspective shared on this forum over the years that has been life broadening, and affirming, for me as well.

  9. Douglas Wilson says:

    I’ve followed this site for about 6 months now but haven’t felt ready to comment on any of the posts. However I can speak from experience having been on Peritoneal Dialysis (APD) as the machine swap type of pd is called in the UK for almost 5 years.

    I was on dialysis from mid 2005 to Oct 2010 when I got a cadaver transplant. I won’t say life was easy but you get used to it, and if your kidney function has been low for some time then you should find you have much more energy once the dialysis starts. The diet wasn’t too restrictive. You can eat most things as long as you don’t overdo it.

    I hope this helps.

    • resaw says:

      Wow, thank you for commenting about your experience, Douglas. The Chuck This community is more amazing every day.

  10. noblz says:

    Good luck to you Russ! Keep us posted on your progress.

    Other Dave

    • resaw says:

      Thanks, noblz Dave. Will do. You’ve all been very gracious with your words of encouragement. I’m grateful, and feel rather strengthened for the journey!

  11. resaw says:

    Well, I’m alive and well, albeit in some pain after the procedure. Thanks again for all your kind words of support and your prayers.

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