I’m Not Really A Doctor, I Just Like Rubber Gloves

Marc is in the hospital.  Again.  I was really hopeful that we’d make it through April without having any overnight stays.  *Sigh*.  Wrong.

On Monday (the 17th) we went to LifeLabs to get some bloodwork done for Marc as he had a scheduled appointment with his gastroenterologist on Tuesday.  Soooo… went and did that. Marc wasn’t up to errands so I took him home right afterward.  He was feeling okay. Just tired as usual.

I did my usual routine of baking for Trivia Night at McCabe’s (I host every Monday night.. .it’s fun and I give everyone who plays a cookie because I believe bribery works. It does.)  When I got home, Marc was ok.  In bed watching TV. Nothing unusual.

Tuesday morning… my phone had been turned down as I was busy hosting Monday night, so I missed a call from the Dr’s office.  I figured it was just a reminder about the appointment so I didn’t check the voicemail right away.  However, when I did, it was Dr. Wu’s assistant Rachelle informing me that I was to take Marc to emergency.  IMMEDIATELY.  His potassium levels were far too high and he needed to go.  NOW.

I called her back to let her know I got the message and we were heading out the door.  We opted to go to St. Mary’s (FREE WIFI ya know…) I brought my computer so I could do some work.. Marc brought his tablet.   We figured it might be a few hours in the hospital receiving treatment and then hopefully home.


marc needs a new liver
have to gown up to see Marc due to the MRSA. Don’t I LOOK like a Dr?

The most common cause of high potassium in the body is kidney failure.  Other things can cause it, but in this case…. because Marc’s liver doesn’t function well or much at all, his kidneys have to work harder and… overwork can cause failure.  We got to emergency and they got him a bed in the ER pretty quickly.  Then more blood, more monitors, more waiting.  His sodium levels too low, potassium too high.  Marc was previously hospitalized at Christmas for kidney failure, so all precautions must be made.

They hooked him up and proceeded to treat him with albumin (blood protein), calcium, and honestly, I can’t remember what else at the moment.  Some really gross stuff that he had to drink (“I think it’s coffee flavoured!” said the nurse.  No, it is not.  Tastes like crap. It’s crap flavoured.)

The doctors determined that he needed to spend the night.  Because he needed to be on a heart monitor, they couldn’t find him a room immediately, but they did admit him and he spent the night sleeping in the ER.  This, of course, after he had me go purchase him a burger and fries…. that’s him taking advantage of his low sodium.  Such a health nut! haha

When I got home I spent half the night awake worrying.  That’s my job these days.  Worrying and keeping him comfortable.  I’m exhausted most of the time.

This morning the nurse said he’d likely be sent home because his potassium and sodium levels were back in check.  However… his creatinine levels are still way high… creatinine is waste product that is usually expelled through the kidneys.  So if it’s high… .impaired kidney function.

Both high potassium and high creatinine can come from muscle wasting as well. Any of you who’ve known Marc for years always knew him to be a pretty big guy.  He isn’t anymore.  He is skin and bones. He’s very weak.  He often needs my help just to get off the couch.  It’s really tough.

So Marc is being checked in for a few days now.  No one but doctors know what “few” means.  However… he needs to get better so he needs to be in the hospital at the moment.  I came home for a while to get some work done.  But mostly to be by myself as I don’t like to cry in front of Marc.

This is pretty scary.  I don’t wish this on anyone.  Ever.  It’s really fucking hard. The waiting is hard. Worrying about money is hard – he can’t work obviously and it’s hard for me to even get the dishes done the way things are going.  I worry about what we are going to do if they prescribe him more expensive meds (one costs $1500+)

So, waiting on a proper room.  Day by day. We shall see what tomorrow’s blood work shows. And hopefully a donor is found soon.

For information on Liver Transplant click here. 

For information on how to become a Living Donor click here.

Please sign your donor card. Even if you’re gone, you could still save a life.

**Rachel Hammell started a GoFundMe for Marc. He can’t work any longer and it’s tough for me to be outside of the house – doctor’s appointments, making sure he’s okay and taking his meds, etc. Now that we don’t have benefits, it’s going to be expensive. If you can help, we thank you very much.**



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Laurie Kovacs says:

    Beth my heart is with you and Marc if there is anything at all that I can do please let me know. We pray everyday that soon there will be a liver donor. Try to stay strong and your postings are awesome keeping us up to date.


  2. Hi Beth: Many years ago I had a friend who had flesh eating disease. After several months of treatment his liver started to shut down. Doctors gave him less than a week to live. They had no answer. I had told him about a drink that might help him. He started taking it 3-4 times per day, and in 3 days his liver function returned to normal. Doctors said it was the most remarkable cure they had ever seen. He refused to tell them what he had taken, so it ended there. Naturally there are no promises in holistic medicine, but sometimes if you give the body what it needs, it will do the rest. The recipe is very simple: 1 tablespoon unsulphured blackstrap molasses, juice of half a lemon and a pinch of cayenne pepper in a glass of warm water. Drink all day long. The molasses is loaded with minerals, and could well rebalance Marc’s potassium levels.


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