Adventures of a Kidney Donor

April 21, 2011

Home for a Wayward Kidney?

Filed under: Anne's Ramblings — by anne315 @ 1:32 pm
Tags: , ,

Chad called from U of M and is as frustrated as I am about how long this kidney matching business is taking. I had my big tests in May 2010 and entered the altruistic donation program last August after Jackie got her kidney in a different program. He asked if I would be willing to change to a list that isn’t a kidney donation chain, instead I will be matched with a list of people who have been waiting for a kidney for a long time. No chain involved.

Why not?  I am going to do it of course.  At least someone will get a kidney who needs it. It won’t be a “pay it forward” deal but that’s OK. Things should move along more quickly now because they will just match me to one person instead of having to line up a recipient plus another donor to participate in a chain. So…hopefully this Summer I will FINALLY donate.

I saw a news segment this week about a woman who gave a kidney to a stranger and they showed the man being able to swim with his kids for the first time in years. Sniff sniff! Hopefully I can do something like that for someone.

The bigger news is that Jackie is having one (and possibly both if time allows) of her older kidneys removed on Monday. Bummer that she has to experience both the putting IN and taking OUT of kidneys but she has a great attitude.  She wants to do everything she can to ensure the health of her new kidney (which has been with her one year this July.) She will do very well but we are both looking forward to this hurdle being over.

If you don’t know, most kidney recipients have THREE kidneys. The new one is placed in the front and the old ones are left in the body so that the recipient doesn’t have to undergo even more surgery. Usually the old kidneys atrophy and aren’t a problem but if they cause trouble after a transplant they are removed.

So good thoughts to Jackie for Monday!!! My hero!

Go to List of Resources on Kidney Donation

1 Comment »

  1. Hi there Anne315, My name is Stephanie, and my son was worked up with you at UofM last year. You were accepted by Chad and his committee, but my son was refused by them. Not that we did not match, because we did; they said his anatomy was too difficult of a surgical procedure. Whatever. We took the case to Mayo Clinic, and they worked us up and said the surgery was no problem for them; they actually were astounded that UofM could not do that surgery, yes it was more difficult than normal, but not a problem. As it turned out, we returned from Mayo to decide on when we should arrange to have the surgery done there, when 3 weeks later, I received a call from Univ.of Toledo (Ohio) with a 4 out of 6 match (my son was 3 out of 6). This was truly a miracle, and the surgeon there Dr. Michael Rees, was spectacular. He is the Superman of kidney transplants. He graduated from Cambridge Univ. in London, with a M.D. and a PhD., then came back and did his residency at UofM. He has done approximately 500 transplants, and he is the one that began the “Paired Exchange Transplant Procedure.” He has been on CNN, People magazine, etc. etc. He definitely gained my confidence, and of course, I did receive this angel’s kidney.

    I have not felt this good in 10 years. I am 58 years old, and feel like a million now. I had forgotten what it felt like to be normal again. My kidneys were failing for 6 years, and my life was so difficult during those years. I was so weak and exhausted, it was a fight to put one foot in front of the other. I continued to work through all of this, but I had not a bit more energy to do one more thing. At lunch, when my co-workers would go to eat, I would take out my pillow from under my desk, and sleep for 40 minutes with my head on my desk. If I didn’t do this, I would not be able to make it through the afternoon and drive home. Everyone would say “oh there’s nothing wrong with you, you look just fine….” On the outside I may have looked normal, but my whole body felt rusty. My mouth felt and smelled of ammonia. I felt like I was freezing all the time, and I would shiver constantly. The thought of getting out of the shower during the winter was a harrowing experience, I was so cold, my teeth would chatter.

    As far as I am concerned, my donor and her family are angels. In the grief of their loss, they gave me the gift of life. Everyday I bless her and ask God to give her a special place in heaven. I also ask God to watch over her loved ones, that had such a big heart to allow her organs to save the life of others.

    I know that giving up your kidney must be frightening, but I just want you to know that you will be giving another human being the gift of life. That human will be reborn, as I have been, and it will be because of the generous heart of another human, as you are. Of course, to receive a kidney from a living donor is the ultimate gift; a live donor is the ideal in a successful prognosis. Just know that you will change the life of another, and they will bless you forever. God bless you for your generous heart and your compassion for the life of another.

    Good luck to you. May another live once again through your gift.

    From another gift of life recipient.

    Comment by Stephanie Dallakian — April 21, 2011 @ 9:24 pm |Reply

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