Not long after being deemed officially ESRD, I started to consider what would be the best option for me and the answer came to me a kidney transplant. The reason I felt this was the best option was my age. I just could not see myself all through my 20s and beyond in the dialysis chair and I am sure that many young people would feel the same way. What young person, who have their whole life ahead of them, would want to go to dialysis three days a week at four hours a treatment, not many I can assure you.
As I woke up to get ready for the day, there was much anticipation for that day. My mother had decided to go with me not only as a support but it was recommended and necessary that a care partner attend. The reason for this is you will need a care partner after the transplant to help you as you recover. By going to this appointment, my mom was able to learn about the process and also take notes as well, which would benefit us both in the future. Once I arrived and checked in, we were taken to a class room to learn the basic about transplant and also what to expect for the day. As we entered class there was others there and each were learning about transplant, now this was not just kidney transplant center they do many other transplants as well such as lung, heart, pancreas and kidney. After the class was over I came out feeling more informed but also overwhelmed about the day ahead.
Not really knowing what to expect the appointments started, I met with the the whole transplant team. From the surgeon, to the nephrologist, to the social worker, to the financial coordinator, to the dietician and so on. Not only did I meet the team but also needed to do some test such as a chest X ray and blood work. The whole day felt like we were rushing around from test to appointment and from appointment to test. What a busy day and it just keep going on and on.
At the appointments, there were many words that were spoken that I did not completely understand. Such as active vs inactive what did that mean? What is the difference between deceased and living donation? Why do I need to do so many test are they really that Important? Can’t you just sign me up for a kidney transplant and I receive it now or will it take a few days, weeks, months or is it going to take years? So many questions and so many answers were given that day. This is one reason to have someone with you that can take notes.
During the appointment I still wrestled with that dialysis was my life and the only way to change it would not only to pursue a transplant but to receive a transplant. So how long did i have to wait before I was active on transplant list and receive a kidney. The first step is to get the testing completed and then the transplant team would evaluate me to ensure that I was a good candidate for transplant. Also the wait time is generally 4-8 years though it could be shorten if I was able to get a live donor.
Let me just stop here and elaborate a little bit on this. When it comes to receiving a kidney transplant there are a few options. There is deceased donation and living donation. A Deceased donor is someone that has passed and decided before they passed they wanted to be a donor. The next option is a living donor if you have or have found someone that would be willing to donate this can potently decrease your wait time.
At the end of the appointment there was still more test that needed done before I became active on the list but they were scheduled for another day so we headed home and would try to digest the information that had been given. No it was not as easy as going in and signing paper work and then I would get a kidney and it would be work to be able to reach that goal. At the end of the day, I started to learn that the journey is not about how fast you finish but if you had the endurance you can reach the top. Tune in next week to read how one of the nurses that took care of me learned very quickly that I was not as quite as they had originally thought and don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss any new and exciting content.