Lindsey Backmeyer lives in Kamloops; Jana Tremblay resides in Robson, B.C., across the Columbia River from Castlegar.
Each has a child in need of a kidney transplant.
In Lindsey’s case, it’s her daughter, Ferris, who has kidney disease. Ferris, 3, has been on dialysis since she was 14 months old. She was doing peritoneal dialysis (PD) until a couple of weeks ago when an infection brought an end to that, at least for now, and forced a transition to hemodialysis. They now are in Vancouver and the transition is ongoing, although, if all goes well, a return to PD is in the future.
Jana’s son, Zach, is 17. His time with PD ended early this year when it began to lose its effectiveness. The two of them ended up in Vancouver for about three months as Zach was moved from PD to hemo. Back home, he now makes the half-hour trip to Trail in order to do hemo.
As things have turned out, Ferris’s transition, which admittedly is in its early days, has had some ups and downs. She is being treated as an out-patient, as she lives with her parents, Lindsey and Pat, in a suite in Kitsilano. They take her to B.C. Children’s Hospital four times a week for hemo.
On Monday, Lindsey wrote on Facebook about some of the the trials and tribulations . . .
“Well Saturday morning’s dialysis tuckered her out and I have a feeling we’ve found her ‘dry’ weight. She definitely had more energy Friday than she has the past couple days. Isn’t wanting to be on her feet for more than a few minutes at a time. Wanted to go to the park (Sunday) but only lasted a few minutes before wanting to go back to the ‘brown house.’
“She’s been extra ‘yelly’ which usually tells me she’s just not feeling that great. Still starving and eating constantly while she’s awake. Tolerating all her feeds plus extra.”
Then, Lindsey added:
“She had a crap sleep (Sunday) night ’cause she was itching so much. Her (phosphorous) has been low and urea is being managed much lower than what we saw on PD so I’m not too sure what’s up there. I took the Mepore dressings off her tummy as her skin has reacted badly to it before and she was pulling on them. Hopefully that helps ’cause the one on her chest is not going away . . . and it’s itchy, too.”
This is where things get interesting, because it seems that, despite the age difference, Ferris is experiencing some of the same things that Zach has gone through and continues to experience. That allows Jana to pass on some of her experiences to Lindsey.
Such as . . .
“The dressing change was traumatic for Zach and he’s 17. He said it’s tender for the first few weeks and itchy when they do it does feel a little better. But it’s very anxiety inducting to have them messing with it.”
With Ferris not yet able to clearly express those kinds of feelings, you can bet that Jana’s words have Lindsey at least having a sense of what her daughter is feeling.
“She has been so itchy the last 24 hours,” Lindsey wrote, “and the central line dressing is definitely one of the itchy spots . . .”
Jana responded: “Zach was, too, his first few weeks of hemo . . . maybe the body adjusting. He’s still nervous about it and not a fan, but definitely better than he was.”
Lindsey then added: “The dressing change was awful and I can’t help but think I could just do it myself while she’s asleep and it would have gone so much better. And the dressing would actually have stuck. She was so mad and sweaty, it didn’t stick good at all . . .”
It turns out Jana has seen that show before, too. As she wrote: “Yes, Zach sweats his off, too . . . we always end up taping him up before dressing-change day.”
At the end of the day, the two mothers have a lot in common. But there is one thing above all else . . .
Here’s how Lindsey closed her Monday musings:
“Ummm oh yeah and this girl could really use a kidney . . . just sayin’.”
So could Zach.
If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:
Living Kidney Donor Program
St. Paul’s Hospital
6A Providence Building
1081 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6
Toll free: 1-877-922-9822