I am a 34 yr old wife and step-mother. I met my husband in 2005 and at the time I was working for a company that made therapy tools and special needs products. A few years later we decided that I would stay home and help take care of his daughter when he was at work since we could save on daycare and ever since then I guess you could say I have been a housewife. I offically became one on December 31 2010!

My husband was diagnosed with ESRD due to hypertension in Nov of 2016. He had a kidney biopsy that determined it was from high blood pressure and that itself caused a lot of complications. He developed Hematuria and a Pseudoaneurysm that caused numerous surgeries, catheters, transfusions, and hospital stays for months. The bleeding would subside for a couple days at a time till about the 3rd day of hemodialysis and he would end up right back in the hospital. He was on hemo for about 5 months then finally had a P.D. catheter put in for Peritoneal Dialysis, but it wasn't working as well as they wanted so they did a manual manipulation and it still wasn't working well. He was scheduled to have it worked on again and ended up getting pancreatitis so the doctor decided at the same time they fixed the catheter they would remove his gallbladder. That happened in April and he has been doing home dialysis since May. He still has some bad days where he is not feeling good, but nothing compared to what he was going through when he was doing hemo dialysis.

My role is being a caregiver for my husband. Everyday I make sure he has all his medication he needs and they get refilled when needed. Make sure he stays on track with his diet since he can no longer eat a lot of things he used too. Keep track of every doctors appointment and go with him to everyone. Being on peritoneal dialysis he can not lift anything over 10 pounds so I am the one to lift all the heavy things. Every night before bed I change his bandage to cover his entrance site for the catheter and help get everything set up to start dialysis treatment on his machine. He has to stay on the machine for 9hrs and in the mornings I help with getting him off of it. Occasionally if need be I'll help him with manual dialysis as well.

My life has changed a lot I would say. I went from doing my normal everyday things and having time alone when my husband was at work to not being able to do everything I did before and being with my husband 24/7 since Nov 2016. Things were really difficult in the beginning. I was doing everything from housework, yard work, driving everywhere making sure he had everything he needed. With him going in and out of the hospital if he he even coughed wrong I would panic. Since he has been on home dialysis he has slowly been doing more things to help out when he can which has been very helpful and things aren't as difficult as they were.

I would have to say I get my biggest support from my mother. She has been through a lot of medical issues with her family and has been a caregiver herself.

There have been so many really difficult days sometimes I want to scream and pull my hair out and I do get frustrated, but what gets me through them is knowing I still have my husband here with me. If he would have waited a day or two later to go to the doctor he might not have been here today. That's how bad he was. We just take everything day by day now.

 I feel others can support me by understanding that I will have my bad days just like everyone else, if I get frustrated please don't take it personal, and if I need to vent let me vent.

To other caregivers, this might be the hardest thing you have ever done, but you can not give up. Keep pushing forward and don't ever be afraid to ask for help.

Please get your kidneys checked out. You might not think this could happen to you. We didn't think anything of kidney disease and now our lives are changed forever because of it.

Please support Keri and her husband Brett

by visiting their GO FUND ME page here

Location: Irmo, South Carolina