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Kidney Keeper

Dear Diary,

I was going to donate a kidney. I was ready and determined to be brave. This is from someone who gets frightened about having a cavity filled. This is from someone who cried during two amniocentesis procedures. This is from someone who has never been subjected to any surgery thus far and has been glad because she is afraid that she would act like a big baby about it.But I was willing to put on my Big Girl Panties and give one of my kidneys to someone that I don’t know who desperately needs it. By doing this I would be guaranteeing that someone close to me that also desperately needs a kidney would get one. This person that I am referring to suffers from a rare disease that eventually destroys the kidneys. His brother died from it. Most likely his grandfather died from it but there is no documentation. His children could develop it but cannot be tested until they are older. I knew his brother and saw the heartbreaking results of this disease. Now I am watching the disease slowly take its’ toll on him regardless of the preventative measures that have been administered. I love him, I love his wife and I love his children. So, I stepped up without being asked to do such a thing. Of course they were grateful for the gift I wanted to give and I was happy with my decision. However, I am not the correct blood type so I would need to donate to someone else in order for him to be eligible to receive his own in short order. It’s pretty cool that they allow you to trade.

I completed all of the testing that was required to determine my fitness to give away a kidney. The tests showed that I was in perfect health…except for my kidneys. One kidney is little and the other one has at least three stones. Just one of those reasons is enough to boot me out of the Kidney Giving Club. I would have to keep both of my challenged kidneys. As far as my own health, it’s okay for me to carry on in my condition since I have two kidneys and they can help each other out. I’ve heard that passing kidney stones is awful but there’s nothing to be done to make them go away or reduce them. Hopefully, they will just hang tight where they are instead of trying to squeeze through a tube that is clearly too small for them to venture without difficulty. The doctor’s advice? Drink much water. This does not fix the problem but can help prevent the stones from growing or adding new friends. This may be how I ended up with these unwanted guests in the first place. I do not like water. But regardless of this fact I will now become a prolific water guzzler.

I was surprised at how very disappointed that I was at being prevented from giving this gift. After all, I was off the hook through no fault of my own. This fraidy cat did not have to face surgery. However, I had been pumped up and ready to face the challenge. I wanted to be instrumental in providing hope and improved life chances for two people. But that challenge will need to go to another person and my role will have to transform into support and creating awareness of live organ donation. There is another person in our case that has a good chance of qualifying to be the donor. Hopefully, he will be able to see this through.

I have to say that I was very impressed with the live donor program. I was amazed at the amount of care and information that was given. And the entire medical process is free for the donor. Studies show that people living with one good kidney (not including transplant recipients) are just as healthy as the next guy living with two. Another surprising bonus is that if you are a kidney donor and for some reason your remaining kidney fails, you get another kidney right away! Kidney Insurance! How about that?

In closing, I hope that if you are ever in a situation where your kidney could save someone’s life that you would strongly consider donating. At the very least, please mark the box on your Driver’s License that indicates that you are willing to be an organ donor after you are done using them. There are people waiting for years on a very long list for the hope of life that you can give.

I wish you all excellent health and kidneys that are not subpar. Remember, drink lots of water. You don’t need a “rockin” party in your kidney too.

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Comments on: "Kidney Keeper" (28)

  1. lovely post, funny how we can all psyche ourselves up for difficult (and optional) thing
    to try to help someone and then find out it wont work out anyway,… high praise to you for
    putting on your big girl panties and trying!

  2. Good job on the Big Girl Panties. 🙂 You tried to do a noble thing.. things will work out. You’ll see. 🙂

    • I do believe that everything is for a reason. Hopefully, it will work out with the other donor and hopefully my words could inspire someone else to take the chance in another situation. Thank you Darlene.

  3. Sorry it didnt work out but that is wonderful that you tried. Interesting facts that i never knew about donating kidneys!

  4. Excellent posting, including on explaining why you could not go ahead with donating one of your kidneys

    • As I mentioned to Linda above, I have certainly learned a lot about kidneys and donating in general that I didn’t know before. I am glad for that. Thank you for your compliment.

  5. That was a beautiful think you tried to do. I’m proud of you. Shall we believe all things happen for a reason?

  6. Somehow offering you a star now seems too small of a prize. Well done, you, for stepping out and volunteering in the first place. *stands and salutes*
    You would think in this day and age that there would be some device to reduce those bad boys.
    Have a good weekend, my friend.

    -Jimmy

    • Stars are never too small. They always bring a smile to anyone. It feels weird to be saluted, but thanks for the gesture! lol Thanks Jimmy. Super weekend to you too. 🙂

  7. An amazing sacrifice to make for a friend, made no less so because of the circumstances. And he’ll always know that you would if you could. I’m reminded that the definition of courage is not the lack of fear, but rather pressing on in spite of it.

    The Hello Kidney image, though? Creepy. Just sayin’….

  8. haha! I thought the Hello Kidney was funny! and certainly eye catching, which is a goal too! Thank you for the very nice things you say. I will take them to heart.

  9. Oh no! I hope your kidneys hang in there! I had a friend who went to donate a kidney and they found all sorts of problems. 😦 I suppose it was good to catch them, though. I hope your friend finds a donor as well!

  10. Rachel Grady said:

    What a kind loving thing to do! My prayers go out to your friend for a donor to come forth soon 😦

  11. Wow, woman, you rock! I hope your friend finds a donor soon.

  12. I love you. You are such an incredible woman to want to do this for someone you know! Sorry to hear about your stones…eep, they do hurt, but glad you’re okay! Hopefully your friend will get what he needs soon!

  13. Aw, Krystal, love you right back! Thank you. You are an excellent friend in many ways. 🙂

  14. debbie mc said:

    Well done for volunteering, a brave decision. I hope it all works out well for you both. I would hope to be as bold as you but wish I never needed to be!

  15. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

  16. To be able to give is a great gift. You are brave and courageous to want to go through with donating one of your kidneys. Perhaps as mentioned before it was not meant to be, but that the fact that you wanted to, your kindness will never be forgotten.

  17. Thank you for your kind words, Debbie.I will still try to do my best to share what I have learned.

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