Krisna Reece

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It Has Been A Rough Year

I am adding this additional chapter to my introduction, because after I initially wrote the introduction, it was very difficult to come back to it and try to make sense of all that I have experienced through the various stages of my life and the trials that I have endured or overcome.  I wish ...


The Birth of Charles Leonard Wiggins

The story has already been written for awhile on my blog "From the heart of Praise, Prayer and Perseverance. 0; Here is a link to that posting, Below are the pictures of the blessed event.   http://fromthehea rt-dotwigg.blogsp other-2-prayer-re ml


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Krisna's Story > Chapters > My Teenage Years

"My Teenage Years: My Kidney Fails" 


Date Range: 09/01/1984 To 10/31/1988   Comments: 0   Views: 3,793
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     I started 7th grade in the Fall of 1984 when I was twelve.  I missed a lot of school that year due to a family crisis.  One of my sisters was molested by at least three friends of my mom but my mom accused my dad.  He was arrested and the state kept him out of our lives for six years.  I don't know why she did what she did.  Maybe it has something to do with her mental illness.  I believe she was determined to keep our dad away because she was letting her boyfriends whip me and my sisters with a belt for no good reason.  My dad told them if they ever laid another hand on us girls he'd come after them.  My dad didn't believe in using anything but his hand to spank us.  And he didn't spank us very often.  He was extremely protective of me because of my kidney transplant.  My kidney that he had given me was in my abdomen and any blow to the area could send it into rejection.  My mom was also angry with my dad for divorcing her but she refused to get help for her Bipolar Disorder.  So, he had no choice. 

     My dad was our stable parent and when the state kept him away from us I fell apart!  Children's Protective Services was involved in our lives from the moment my mom accused my dad.  My mom was mentally ill and it showed.  Our house was always a mess.  I've seen a show on television called "Hoarders" and that's how our house was the whole time I was growing up.  She would leave dirty dishes in the sink for weeks and wet laundry would sit in a basket for days and become mildewed.  Then we'd have to wear those clothes to school.  I got a copy of all the reports from CPS when I was in my 20's and it said all through them that I was a surrogate mother to my sisters and "The children should be removed from the home."  The only reason they didn't remove us was because my doctor was afraid it would send me over the edge if I were separated from my sisters.

     I missed so much school that I wound up failing the entire year.  I was extremely insecure in Junior High and Senior High School.  I know a lot of it has to do with the fact that I missed a lot of school.  When I finally went back, I did not know very many people.  I was super shy and I kept to myself a lot.  I managed to pass 7th grade the second time around.  I barely passed P.E. though.  The teacher was a jerk to me because I couldn't participate in most things.  So, he'd give me a hard time even though I had a note from my doctor! 

     My mom would constantly accuse me of talking to someone outside my window.  She would say I was talking to my dad outside my window or that I was sneaking guys in and out my window.  She also said people were watching us through the windows at night.  At one point she had us girls so freaked out I began getting migraines every single day.  She was also abusive at times.  Both physically and mentally.  She told me repeatedly she wished she never had me.  She said the same thing to my sisters.

     Once my mom made the accusations against my dad Children's Protective Services became involve in our family.  They would make unannounced visits to check and make sure she was taking proper care of us and the house.  Of course she never did but CPS never removed us.  At one time they brought in a nice older lady named JoAnn to help my mom with light chores and to keep my mom company.  This was because CPS had figured out that my mom had been letting me stay home in 7th grade, my first time around, to keep herself company.  JoAnn became attached to us girls and starting having us over one at a time.  During the summer she would let us spend a week at her house one at a time.  Her adult daughter, Becky, lived with her mom and dad.  She was in her 20's and just getting started in her career.  JoAnn and her husband, Dick, had three sons too.  Two of her sons were married.  Joann's daughter, Becky, would sometimes take me over to her sister in law, Debbie's, apartment or the two of them would take to do girl stuff.  They were fun to hang out with.  JoAnn and Dick and her family would also have my mom, my sisters and I over for dinner sometimes.  I remember one barbecue that we were all at.  JoAnn did a lot of crafts and for my 16th birthday she made me a porcelain doll.  I am still in touch with JoAnn to this day.

     There was one social worker who was a real bitch.  She believed my mom's accusations against my dad.  I told this woman repeatedly my mom mentally ill but she didn't believe me or my sisters.  The sister who was molested had told authorities who really molested her and they chose to believe my mom instead of the person who was molested.  This particular social worker wrote numerous reports saying us girls should be removed from the home but she didn't want to give us to out paternal grandmother.  Even after the charges against my dad were dropped and the no contact order dropped.  This woman led us and my dad to believe the no contact order was still in effect.  She would come and bitch me out if I was home from school.  She even did this once the morning I was scheduled to have surgery.  The surgery had to be rescheduled because my blood pressure was too high.  She came to the house once while I was recovering from surgery and got my blood pressure up high enough I wound up having to be admitted.  She was eventually replaced.  I don't know the exact reason.  I do know that my doctor at the time was nicknamed "The Barracuda".

     By 9th grade I had slowly improved my attendance.  This year I was determined to make it almost the whole year.  I only missed few days during the first semester.  Right before spring break my doctor told me that my parathyroid glands had become overactive.  Parathyroids are located on the corners of your thyroid and are supposed to regulate the amount of Calcium in your blood.  Mine became overactive and started pulling Calcium from my bones.  This was a side effect of the Imuran I'd been taking for my transplant.  My doctor said, "We'll do it over spring break so you won't have to miss any school."  I was 15 and looked anorexic but it was really the loss of bone mass. 

     On March 3, 1987 I had my parathyroids taken out of my neck.  The surgeon then cut one up and placed part of one in my left arm with some clips to help them find it later if needed.  Unfortunately things didn't go as my doctor had hoped.  I never made it back to school that year.  I had a tutor but I could only handle three classes.  My Calcium level was dangerously low.  My doctor wanted me to get IV Calcium five days a week.  The injections took five or six hours and I had to be hooked up to a heart monitor because doing it faster could cause cardiac arrest.  My doctor had me get a catheter put in the artery in my chest.  I kept getting infections so bad I would have seizures.  I would spend a week in the hospital then be home for a week and then another seizure and back to the hospital.  It sucked.

     During one of the surgeries for a catheter and when I was still 15 I had a dialysis access placed in my lower right arm.  The access called a Fistula was made by bringing my artery up and connecting it to the vein.  This was so the vein would get larger so they could put the very large dialysis needles in.  My kidney had gone into irreversible rejection so both my doctor and myself knew it was only a matter of time.  

     I had a lot of trouble with low Calcium but one in particular always comes to mind.  My doctor, Jean Nokes, had been my doctor since three years after my kidney transplant.  She always had me get labs drawn before going to my appointment.  This was so she would get them back while I was still there.  One day while I was sitting in the exam room the nurse brought my labs in.  Dr. Nokes looks at them and says, "I think I want you to go over to the Oncology unit and get some IV Calcium.  On second thought, I think I'll walk you over there."  My Calcium was 3.4 which was extremely low.  Low Calcium can cause muscle weakness, seizures and cardiac arrest since the heart is a big muscle.  I still have trouble with low Calcium but it hasn't been down that low in quite some time.  I have to take special vitamin D that has already been activated.  This is because the kidneys normally activate it so your body can use it. 

     During the summer after 9th grade I hung out with Amy, Travis K., Brian, Bobby and my next door neighbor's granddaughter, Mandi.  Mandi was from Montana but spent the summers with her grandparents.  Her grandparents were the same couple whose house had burned down when I was six.  We had a neighborhood wide water balloon fight.  You never knew when walked around a corner if someone was going to throw a water balloon at you.  It was the best summer I've ever had! 

     That fall I started 10th grade.  The school district had to pass me because my absences had been due to illness.  I was behind in credits though.  I went the first day and stayed home sick then went the third day and stayed home sick again.  This time I decided to go see my doctor thinking I just had the flu or something.  I was wrong.  She said, "I'm admitting you to the hospital because you need dialysis today!"  I had to have emergency surgery to have a special dialysis catheter placed in my chest opposite to the other catheter.  I hadn't been doing the exercises on my Fistula to develop it so it wasn't ready to put needles in.  I was 16 going on 17.  My kidney had lasted eight and a half years.  My doctor wanted me dialyzed immediately after I got the catheter.  Unfortunately they used heparin during dialysis to keep the artificial kidney on the machine from clotting.  This made the area where the catheter had been placed bleed non stop.  My mom would send me to the doctor by myself in a cab that the state would pay for.  She never came to visit me at the the hospital so she would call Children's Protective Services and get them to let my dad come visit me.  I remember my dad sitting there for hours holding pressure on it trying to keep it from bleeding to death.  I sat there playing Nintendo the whole time.  The hospital had one for the kids to play and also a VCR and TV.  I knew it was serious but I was trying to keep my mind off it.  I wound up needing a blood transfusion.  My dad would do a direct donor thing the blood bank used to do.  Meaning my dad would go down and donate blood that was earmarked for me.  The blood bank stopped doing it a few years back because it was too expensive or so they say.  I still don't see how it could be more expensive.  My dad has always been there for me and for my sisters as well.

     The Pediatric ward had a Super Nintendo.  Everyone who wanted to play had to sign up for one-hour slots and they only had Super Mario Brothers/Duck Hunt game that came with it.  I had made friends with a 16 year old boy named Michael.  We were the only two old enough to play it for a while.  When other kids who were old enough were there Michael and I would sign up back to back so we could play for two hours.  His family had bought some games for us to play.  They also had a VCR and Michael and I used to watch movies that his family brought.  I remember watching "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" and "Little Shop of Horrors" with him. 

     Michael had been born with congestive heart failure.  On the morning of Halloween 1988 he had sent a family member over to my room to ask me to come to his room.  I couldn't go right then because I had to do dialysis.  He passed away while I was hooked up to the machine.  I cried off and on for weeks.  Prior to that day he had sent his siblings over to decorate my room.  I still have those decorations.  I think that was the first death that I really remember affecting me.

     Not all the time with my mom was bad.  For a long time we a monthly tradition.  When we would get pain we would go to the mall and have pizza and walk around and maybe get some small toy.  I also remember both me and my mom signing up for classes at a local craft store.  My mom took a Macrame class and took a class to learn how to make 3-dimensional pictures.  I would take several copies of pictures printed on tag board and cut pieces of some of them out and use silicone to raise them up.  I would by unfinished wood frames.  I would sand and stain the frames.  Then I would put spray glue on the inside of the back of the frame and stick the first layer down.  Then add layers to make the picture.  I still have them.  The best one is the unicorn one that hangs on my living room wall.  I was allowed to sit with my mom while she learned to macrame so I learned how to do it too.  I also taught myself how to do counted cross stitch around the same time.  My mom had embroidered every since I could remember.  She her own stitch that she used that was a combination of two different stitches.  She also sewed.  She used to make barbie clothes and doll clothes.  They were always outdated patterns but when I was little I didn't care.  She used to sell them at my grade school Christmas Bazaars.  That was back when they could actually call them Christmas Bazaars.  When I was real young she used to make me summer clothes.  I had shorts, halter tops and hats that matched.  And she made Kari some clothes too.  She didn't always pick the best fabric though. 

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