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Posts tagged ‘surgery’

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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