Adventures of a Kidney Donor

June 21, 2011

Yippee Skippy, a Kidney Date!

Filed under: Anne's Ramblings,Medical — by anne315 @ 5:54 pm

I have a tentative surgery date in August!!!  Chad, my coordinator from University of Michigan called and it is a go! I have to have some more testing at U of M next week because it has been 14 months since my big tests. They want to do some bloodwork, an EKG and chest x-ray. I have to meet with the one of nephrologists and talk to the social worker again.  My sis (primary caregiver) will take me.  As always, They are very careful and double checking that I still want to do it. I imagine that is the rule for the donation team.

Heck yes I want to do it!  I was afraid people would think I was making this whole thing up because it has been so bloody long. I have been thinking about the recipient all day. If I am thrilled, imagine how they must feel! Chad said this person is excited. Wow, hopefully only about seven more weeks of dialysis for him or her. Woo–hoo! So happy that someone will be free of that. When I think of  Jackie and Kiersten I am so grateful they have been freed from dialysis.

Next challenge: lose some weight so they have less of me to slice through…Sorry to be so graphic but…

Go to Resources on Kidney Donation

May 18, 2011

Hope for the Wayward Kidney?

Filed under: Anne's Ramblings,Medical — by anne315 @ 5:26 pm
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Dr. Shuvo Roy and the artificial kidney

 Chad called from U of M and he thinks FINALLY he may have a good kidney match for me!  I have been yapping about this for a year and people will think I have been making it up so I hope this time it’s a go. I am trying not to get too excited yet. I will have one more blood test next week to make absolutely sure. Oh great, another round with the humorless phlebotomist who never remembers me at the lab! At least she draws blood well.

The thing that touched me the most is that Chad said the person is very excited! I am trying not to get TOO excited in case it falls through. What a cool thing if someone will be off dialysis. I have been thinking about this person all day. As they go to dialysis are they thinking “Soon I will be free of this!” Are they excitedly talking to their family? Wow.

In other news Kiersten (one of my kidney heroes) sent me this link about developing an artificial kidney to replace dialysis. 

The device, which would include thousands of microscopic filters as well as a bioreactor to mimic the metabolic and water-balancing roles of a real kidney, is being developed in a collaborative effort by engineers, biologists and physicians nationwide, led by Shuvo Roy, PhD, in the UCSF  (The University of California, San Francisco)Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences…

 How cool is that? It is still years away but what an exciting concept.

 Go to Resources on Kidney Donation

April 21, 2011

Home for a Wayward Kidney?

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

March 14, 2011

Blood is in the Mail!

When I got home on Saturday a box was on my porch. I hadn’t ordered anything so I thought: “Yippee, a birthday present!” It was a birthday present all right, a blood drawing kit for my kidney donation. OK, it wasn’t flowers but I will take it. Hopefully by my next birthday someone out there will be off of dialysis.

Today I had blood drawn for the new donation program I am in. It is with the Alliance for Paired Donation and the University of Toledo Medical Center. This is a bigger pool of recipients so hopefully I can give this kidney away. Who knows, but hopefully it will be late Spring early Summer?

No big deal, but the phlebotomist and I were taken aback by the number of vials in the kit. Yikes! I am used to U of M just wanting a few. U of Toledo needs to keep quite a bit on file to mix with potential recipient’s blood.

Another reminder that the Lansing Kidney Walk is Sunday June 12, 2011  Look for the kidney walks in your area. Come walk or donate to a walker! (Thanks to Kiersten for this info.)

Go to List of Resources on Kidney Donation

February 26, 2011

Will I Ever Get Rid of This Kidney?

Filed under: Anne's Ramblings — by anne315 @ 2:39 pm
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Chad from University of Michigan called and they haven’t found a match for me in the UM database. He suggested that I enter the University of Toledo Medical Center program. UT and U of M are partners in kidney transplantation. UT has been a pioneer in paired and altruistic donation so it sounds good.  UT began the first computer based computer kidney matching and they seem to be reknowned for kidney transplant surgery so I should be in good hands.

I hope the surgery will be at U of M and the partnering just means patients come from Ohio but if it is in Toledo that will be OK. It will be further for my family to drive but it’s not like it is across the country. We are lucky to have two good hospitals so close to us in lower Michigan.

I was beginning to think this was all for naught. I will find out more next week. I started my first tests almost a year ago so let’s get this kidney show on the road!

Go to List of Resources on Kidney Donation

January 21, 2011

No One Wants My Kidney!

Filed under: Anne's Ramblings — by anne315 @ 4:31 pm
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Not really, it just seems that way. Chad, the coordinator from U of M emailed and the kidney match isn’t a go. I know it’s best to have a good match rather than an iffy one but I am disappointed. There just isn’t anyone in the database for me at this time. Gee, sounds like a dating service! I know it will probably happen eventually.

Right now I feel like I am have been opening up my big yap for nothing. I figure I will wallow in self pity for awhile then get over it. I have no right to complain. The potential recipient has to go back to the drawing board and stay on dialysis longer. Why am I whining?

Go to List of Resources on Kidney Donation

December 7, 2010

Rendezvous with Kidney Destiny Again?

Filed under: Anne's Ramblings — by anne315 @ 9:06 pm
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Chad from U of M called today and the second round of tests are looking better for the recipient and me. Wow! I have to submit another blood sample next week. That lab in Okemos is going to know me by first name. Great news though! I sure hope this is the next big step in going forward. If I feel anxious, imagine the recipient! Hopefully their next Christmas will be dialysis free.

Jackie is seeing a new nephrologist and something she told me today struck me in a good way. She said she has to see a different doctor than before because her former doctor only treats patients who are on dialysis. Jackie is off dialysis of course–woo hoo! What a wonderful thing.

OK, I will report after the next blood test. I will be glad when I don’t have to schlep my blood over to UPS anymore–ha ha no problem really.

Go to List of Resources on Kidney Donation

June 1, 2010

We Are On Our Way!

Whew. I think I made it! After whining about not hearing from The University of Michigan, a letter was waiting for me at home.  They want to run my labs again (due to slightly high LDL and liver enzymes) but my left kidney looks good for donation!

It will take awhile to get all four of us lined up and ready but we are on our way! I remember sitting in the waiting room years ago with Doug, Justin, Michael and other family members when Jackie was having her grafts put in. I was thinking (and I bet they were too): “We have to do whatever we can do to get Jackie a kidney.” This is a BIG step toward that day.

Go to Resources on Kidney Donation

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