Kidney Transplant

Here’s the deal, since I don’t want to have to repeat this 2252 times and sound like a broken record.

My mom was diagnosed with renal failure in 2004 or 2005ish and has been on dialysis since then. There were a quite a few times over the past few years where she was really sick with related illnesses – infections and complications from numerous surgeries, pneumonia, etc. – and came close to dying. As much as she annoys me, like, 90% of the time, she’s still my mom so I felt obligated to try to help if I could- especially after almost seeing her die a few times. A majority of you would probably do the same in my situation.

I made the decision to donate my kidney to her and took the appropriate steps and tests in order to find out if I could. Over the past two to three years, I have gone through the testing process three separate times at two different hospitals, and finally it is to the point where a date for the transplant is scheduled: Tuesday, December 29th- TOMORROW. The transplant nefrologist (kidney doctor) and surgeon told me that I will probably be in the hospital for 2-3 days, and the recovery period where I can’t drive and do other stuff is approximately 4-5 weeks but maybe a little shorter.

Have I gotten “cold feet” about the whole process? Absolutely. I’m tired of going for these damn tests over and over and over again, and I’m tired of this one nurse/transplant coordinator constantly calling me with news about something else I have to do. Most of the time, it’s bad news or an inconvenience. I went to New Brunswick for blood labs on Christmas Eve and was called by the doctor right after I came back from the tests, and he freaked me out with the possibility that I might be at risk for diabetes, because my glucose levels have been high… or that the test could have been an anomaly.

I don’t want to think about the pain, or the fact that they will be moving my intestines aside in order to get to my kidney and cut it out (that’s what I was told – actual words – from the surgeon.) Frankly… all I wanted to know before the surgery is that I would be really, really doped up before and after they cut into me, and I would be drifting away into a magical world of sugar and gumdrops with penguins and rainbows… but no. I was given a play-by-play of what was going to happen, including the fact that my intestines would be moved aside and that there were two arteries to be cut on my left kidney. It is good to be informed… I guess. I think they make it out to be worse than it probably is.

Also, I’m not thrilled about missing New Years Eve – one of my favourite holidays – and being out of commission for my 21st birthday. Don’t tell me that I’m “doing a great thing for my mom, so it’s okay” because it’s not- it sucks, and this was the only time I could schedule the transplant and be okay to go back to school at the end of January. If I moved it back a week, it would be a few days before my birthday; if I moved it back two weeks, there might not be enough recovering time. If I move it all the way into summer, there is a chance that my mom could get really sick again like she tends to over the winter months and not be healthy enough, and also it would interfere with any plans to maybe have a summer internship somewhere. See my predicament?

Overall, I’m more nervous than I’ve ever been about this, partly because it is almost D-day and party because I’m almost TOO informed about the process- lol. I’ll probably be okay, unless I am in the small percentage of donors that die, but I don’t think that will be the case. I’m just not thrilled about missing celebrating my birthday and NYE, and the possibility of pain and whatnot. By no means am I scrounging for sympathy, because I know a few of you have gone through equally as intensive surgeries in your lifetimes, so I’m just writing this to keep people informed and express how I’m feeling. If anyone has questions about anything, feel free to ask me, but that’s about the gist of it.

One thought on “Kidney Transplant”

  1. Thanks for the info, Anna. This is a noble thing you’re doing, especially because you have to sacrifice so much personally. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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