Friday, July 9, 2010
Stephanie: “I talked to the doctors and we have decided to go ahead activate you on the transplant list.”
This is incredible! I have been shedding pounds trying to reach the ideal goal weight for a kidney-pancreas transplant. I talked with Stephanie last Friday and told her I was only 4lbs from my goal.
I have been losing between 2-3 pounds a week for the past several months. One of the symptoms of end stage kidney failure is a loss of appetite so it’s easy to lose weight when you aren’t hungry.
This is it. I am now “active” on the list. The average wait time is about 2 years, but realistically it could happen anytime. I just need to wait for a “perfect match” donor before I get the phone call of a lifetime.
I remember several months ago when Dr. Cline told me I would need to start dialysis. It was a horrible feeling, and if I’m being honest, I was really scared. I had no idea what being on dialysis entailed. He also said it was probably time for me to schedule an appointment with the transplant center. I had these ideas in my head that after dialysis (or a transplant), I would be stuck in bed not able to do anything active for the rest of my life.
I’m glad I was wrong.
Before we left his office, Dr. Cline invited us to a kidney education center in the same building. There, we were introduced to a Nurse Practitioner named Maureen. She talked to us about the different types of dialysis (do-it-yourself at home, or go to a clinic 3 times a week) as well as the different types of surgery to prepare for dialysis (fistula, skin graft, catheter.)
I’ll never forget watching a video about people who were on dialysis. They talked about having the same fears I had, and they explained what it was like to be on dialysis. They also emphasized how they were free to do almost everything they had done in the past- exercise, travel, work, etc. Dialysis is nothing more than a slight inconvenience 3 times a week in exchange for sustaining your life.
We also opted for a fistula, which I mentioned on the previous blog entry. The appointment with a surgeon was scheduled and everything was in place for the future.
When I realized my life would still be my own, I wiped the tears from my eyes and felt ready to take on the next step in the process- Dialysis.