Do you know how well your kidneys are functioning? I didn’t.
For more than 48 years – the majority my life – my kidney health was declining and I didn’t know it. In hindsight, I guess I should have suspected the root cause, since periodic intense pain in my lower right side troubled me since at least the age of 10.
But I have high pain tolerance. But this was so severe, it left me curled up in a ball on the floor. I am told that women who give birth experience something similar during labor. At times, I felt intense labor-like pain for up to two weeks straight. It was brutal!
Numerous tests over many years and much speculation ruled out kidney stones, kidney infection, muscle spasms and more. Finally, my personal physician scheduled an ultrasound to get to the bottom of the pain. An unscheduled trip to the emergency room prior to the ultrasound appointment finally solved the puzzle.
It’s odd to me that something as routine as an ultrasound, which is primarily used these days to check the sex of babies while they are still in the womb, did not exist “back in the day.” I am thankful the tool is available now, since the ultrasound revealed I had kidney disease.
Subsequent CT scans revealed that one of my ureter tubes, which goes between the kidney and bladder, did not form correctly. As a result, the ureter tube periodically clogged, causing the kidney to fill, which prevented it from draining, and often came close to bursting. The result was intense pain. After so many incidences of failing to properly flow, my kidney had slowly decayed until all that remained was a shell. So, eventually, the kidney had to go.
When a person is thrown into a life-threatening situation he has two options:
Deal with it.
I chose option number one, doing what needed to be done to prepare for a Nephrectomy.
Kidney removal is a trial by fire. You learn rather quickly. You do your due diligence. You find answers and get second opinions to make sure you are pursuing the best course of action. The fact I didn’t have insurance made things more difficult. USC Medical Center emerged as my only option. But acceptance into the county medical system takes time and involves lots of pitfalls. But once you are admitted, the heavens open and you’re in medical heaven – the best care by far – second to none!
I am very grateful to USC Medical Center for helping me handle a life-threatening situation. And I hope to share my stories through videos. Some of my stores are gut wrenching. Others are humorous. In fact, when I recall everything, I see nothing but humor. After all — what’s life without humor?
Please follow my videos learn from my experiences, laugh at me or with me. I will share my knowledge of what in hopes I’ll be able to help others along the way. The best advice I can give is to get to know your kidney health. A simple blood test can reveal how well your kidneys are functioning. So, ask your doctor for a test. It will be time well spent.
Dennis Rogers Racing History (Brief record)
1968 – 1976 District 37 Races
1976 — Married and started Family
1976 – 81 Moved to Washington State, Raced Eastern Washington
1981 Moved Back to SoCal, Raising Family
1987 – 90 Headed Yokohama Pit Support, 3 Remote Pits, SCORE and HDRA
1991 Co-Driver/Navigator Ultra Wheel Class 1
1991 SCORE Class 1 Champion with Jimmy Smith
1992 – 1993 Co-Driver/Navigator Terrible Herbst Class 1
1993 – 2008 Remote Pit Captain Terrible Herbst Motorsports
2006 Rider Terrible Herbst 2 Wheel Division, Baja 1000, 7th of 52 entries
2007 Rider Terrible Herbst 2 Wheel Division, Baja 1000, 4th of 58 entries
2008 Remote Pit Captain BJ Baldwin Motorsports
2010 – 2011 Race Coordinator Lawrence Equipment Motorsports
2011 – Checkers Off Road Race Team, Pit Support Club
2013 Kidney Removal
2016- Training, physical, endurance and motorcycle seat time for 2017 Baja 1000