My faithful friends. Thank you. The answer to my momentary lapse of courage was not “rejection” but “water”. Lots of water, in fact. After I wrote the last blog, I went and spread my concerns all out before God, and suddenly, as he often does when I bother to ask, he made the water influence on creatinine crystal clear. Honestly, I love my Lord for how he does that.
Over the weekend before that increased creatinine of 45, Jesse had played outside all day for both days. A wonderful gift of summer. However, on a normal day, Jesse needs to drink at least 2.4L of fluids. That’s a normal day …. i.e. a day when you are not sweating.
I seriously don’t know how healthy people do it. I mean, to be “healthy, you are supposed to drink an optimal 8-10 glasses of water a day. That’s only around 2L. I can’t even do that and I am a grown up (apparently). In the heat, you have to double it. The life of Jesse’s kidney now depends on it. Except he’s four. On Monday, Jesse’s creatinine was high because of that 2.3-2.4L he may have drunk, after you take out “the sweats of summer”, his mankid may only have registered 1.4L of water. And that’s not enough. Hence the birth of the water-witch.
On Wednesday, thanks to the witch, his creatinine was back to 37.
Yesterday we hit an all-time high of 3.1L fluid intake. It was not without its stress. We were at a golf course being the “living posters” for the Children’s Health Foundation annual golf fundraiser. Jesse was featured on the golf invitation, program etc etc. So they asked us if he would come and hit off the first golf ball; be there for a couple of cocktail receptions and a dinner at the end. After what they did for Jesse, we are happy to help the hospital raise money any way we can. However, yesterday it was roughly 45oC if you add in the humidity. Within 10 minutes of being outside, Jesse was streaming with sweat, his face was bright red, and I could see him visibly wilting. I started to get anxious. I am not easily anxious. But I was looking at each drop of sweat and thinking “that’s another 100ml I have to put back in….that’s 200ml….. 400ml ….. arrgghhh! Inside! Inside! We have to get inside!”
It was another realization of the new reality: we can’t spend a lot of time outside in summer. Or if we are outside, Jesse can’t be hot enough to sweat too much. What comes out has to go back in, and I died trying to get it all back in yesterday. We just cannot risk the damage to his kidney.
I am getting sneakier by the day to manage. Thanks to a dear friend in Switzerand (thank you Marianne!) and a dear friend in St Thomas (lovely Kimmy), we now have a fabulous collection of drink containers, all with their own kitschy appeal – skunk bottles, zippy straw bottles, green G.I Joe ones, really really long and skinny metal bottles, bottles with a loop so you can pop it on your belt, blue bottles, red ones and brown ones. We are also using juice boxes, “tang”, freezies, flavoured milk, slushies and fruit shakes as fluid-bribery. It’s kind of exhausting. It’s like trying to think up new games to amuse your four year old. Only his survival depends on it.
I now have to come up with a cunning plan for how we can go camping without sacrificing our water/non-sweat needs next week. We just bought a tent, and Indie and Jesse are currently playing inside it in the lounge room (because it’s wilting hot outside). They are desperately excited to go ‘real camping’. As the Mum, I am going to both make it happen, and protect that bloomin’ kidney at the same time. How though? That’s the question!