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wife's death & health issues, details for a pinned toot because it comes up often enough. 

Kelli was diagnosed with FSGS when she was in 3rd grade. It's a rare disease that basically makes your kidneys fall apart. Most/all of her other issues stem from that.

When I met her, she was on the tail end of her 2nd transplant. She lost it before we were married. She was nervous on our wedding day because she had to come from dialysis to the church and didn't want to get blood on her dress. (continued..)

wife's death & health issues, details for a pinned toot because it comes up often enough. 

She got her third and final transplant around our first anniversary.

Even one transplant requires your immune system to be severely weakened to prevent rejection, and Kelli got sick. A lot. In 2004 she came down with pneumonia. The local hospital recognized they couldn't handle a case as severe as hers so they shipped her up to Baltimore.

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wife's death & health issues, details for a pinned toot because it comes up often enough. 

Her stay in UMMC was .. not good, to say the least. She spent the entire time in the ICU, a significant amount of that in a medically induced coma.

She got foot drop.

She lost her kidney.

When she finally recovered enough to be awake, she still wasn't strong enough to breathe on her own or even walk.

She was transferred to a rehabilitation center a few blocks over. 10 months in medical centers.

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wife's death & health issues, details for a pinned toot because it comes up often enough. 

She never really recovered from that. There was a "crackle" in her lungs from excess fluid for the rest of her life, even with dialysis pulling most of it out.

She needed additional surgeries to fix her foot drop and sew closed her traecheostomy, which refused to "grow closed" like the doctors said it would.

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wife's death & health issues, details for a pinned toot because it comes up often enough. 

Time went on and things got worse.

She had to leave her manager position because she couldn't make the trip from the parking lot without being winded. We started having to use an O2 compressor at home and oxygen tanks when we traveled.

And any time there was any bug going around, she caught it.

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wife's death & health issues, details for a pinned toot because it comes up often enough. 

In 2014 I spent a month working without pay or medical insurance due to a mistake (not mine) on paperwork from me taking reduced hours because Kelli was too unwell to drive to dialysis and we lived too far away from her clinic for the "free" transport to take her.

We moved after that. I still live in the same small apartment right down the road from her clinic.

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wife's death & health issues, details for a pinned toot because it comes up often enough. 

She got weaker. The walker with a built in seat was replaced with a scooter after too many times when she didn't have the strength to get from the transport to our door. The driver wasn't allowed to help because you had to go around a corner and that blocked line of sight with the vehicle.

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wife's death & health issues, details for a pinned toot because it comes up often enough. 

In 2016 she had open sores on her ankles that refused to heal, in spite of seeing a specialist for treatment.

Then she developed abdominal pains.

Was it gas or a blockage caused by medications? Both were possible with what she took daily.

Was it an ovarian cyst returning? We'd had to deal with those before, too. Birth control can help with that, but she couldn't take that kind due to clotting issues.

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wife's death & health issues, details for a pinned toot because it comes up often enough. 

Nope, turns out it was her gall bladder, and it needed to come out. Oddly enough, the ambulance took her to the same hospital that said they couldn't help her back in 2004. Well, the same building. Since then the management and name had changed.

Nowadays there's a quick and "easy" way to remove a gall bladder. Unfortunately, if you've been having abdominal surgeries for decades, you get adhesions.

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wife's death & health issues, details for a pinned toot because it comes up often enough. 

Adhesions are usually not much of a problem, but they can get in the way. "Easy" gall bladder removal was out, old and more invasive method was done.

She died from complications a few days later.

I could barely look at her in the casket during the funeral without breaking down, so my last clear memory of seeing her is with the intubation tube still sticking out of her mouth.

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wife's death & health issues, details for a pinned toot because it comes up often enough. 

I have still not recovered from this. I likely never will.

I've stopped celebrating my birthday because that's the day she died and I spent that morning getting "happy birthday" messages while I was next to her corpse from people who hadn't yet heard.

Anyway, that's the thread. I have this here to reference when someone wonders why I am the way I am when it comes to related things.

Thank you for reading.

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Aaron Smith

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