May 14, 2017


If you’re friends with me on Facebook or in my group then you already know all this but I wanted to share it everywhere so that more of you will know.
As I’ve said previously I haven’t been feeling very good. I thought it was just allergies but when it got to the point that I was unable to keep down most meals I knew something more was going on. I don’t have a primary care doctor since our insurance changed and no one is covered where I live. So I went to the emergency room. I was thinking based on my symptoms that it was my gallbladder. That’s what the urgent care I went to thought too, but the ultrasound they sent me for showed nothing wrong.
So to the emergency room I went.
When the emergency room doctor looked at my ultrasounds it became obvious something was wrong with my kidneys. (The Urgent Care did an ultrasound on my kidneys, gallbladder, liver, and something else I can’t remember)
The ER doctor ordered blood work for me.
It came back and he came flying into the room, pale with this horrified look on his face. “How can you be talking to me?” he asked. I looked at him blankly. “With numbers like this you should be on the floor. You shouldn’t be able to do anything. I’m redoing the blood work to make sure this is right.”
So they redid it. It was the same.
He came into the room with this sad look, head lowered. I knew in my gut I wasn’t going to like what he said.
“Your kidneys are failing. Both of them. The kidney specialist will be by to see you soon.” And then he was gone after dropping this bomb on me.
He came back a little while later and asked me more questions and said the kidney doctor would look over everything and confirm whether or not he was right. That gave me a little hope that maybe, just maybe he was wrong, but I knew in my gut that this was really happening.
Sure enough, the kidney doctor/specialist came in and confirmed that I have end stage kidney disease.
I asked her what would’ve happened if I hadn’t come in that day.
She gave me a sad look, “Well, a few more days and you would’ve dropped dead. You would’ve had a heart attack most likely.”
I asked her how she knew this was what it was and not something else.
“Based on your numbers that shows us this has been happening for a while. That’s how we know it’s chronic. Once you start dialysis and have a transplant you’re going to feel like a whole new person. You’re going to realize this has been affecting you for years.”
You’re probably asking how someone at 23 years old has end stage kidney disease with kidney failure. Well, as a child I had bladder infection after bladder infection. Seriously, I’d get one, get rid of it, and have one a week later. It was constant. I spent most of my childhood sick. And the problem was I didn’t get the normal symptoms. So by the time we knew I had one I was SICK with super high fevers. I met with a kidney specialist (a different one from now) when I was about 16 and he said one of my kidneys didn’t even function and the other was small, both riddled with scar tissue. He told me to take care of my good kidney and I tried, but apparently I didn’t do a good enough job. Something tells me this was inevitable though.
I have a long road ahead of me. I’ll be on dialysis for a few months to get the toxins out of my system. When my kidney doctor (who is amazing by the way) says my numbers are good, she’ll send me to UVA to be tested for a transplant. At that time they’ll ask if I have any living donors and my parents will be tested. Hopefully one of them will be a match and if all goes well this will be over in a few months. It’s going to be rough and I have my good moments and bad moments about this whole thing. It still feels like a really bad dream. Unfortunately I’ve had to cancel my two upcoming signings (Royal Book Bash in the DMV and Indies in Indy) I’m very sorry to do this to you guys but I know you’ll understand. I might have to cancel Glass City Author Event as well, but I’m hoping the transplant will happen this summer and I’ll be healed by then but if it ends up being later I’ll have to reconsider. For all of you that have already reached out to me, thank you so much. Your kind words have meant more to me during this time than you’ll ever know. I love you all and I hope to finally get to work on Broken Hearts and get that to you soon. Writing is my happy place so I don’t plan on letting this stop me.

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Micalea SmeltzerHi. I’m Micalea. Ma-call-e-uh. Weird name, I know. My mom must’ve known I was going to be odd even in the womb. I’ve written a lot of books. Like a lot. Don’t ask me how many, I don’t remember at this point.

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