Second at Bat
Looks like I'll be around a bit longer after all. After six months on dialysis, I was offered a "@ risk" kidney from a donor, who was either an IV drug user or with questionable sexual history. The choice was mine to accept or reject it. I jumped at the chance.
With a "@ risk" organ, the team cross-matches and checks for any active viruses before implant, otherwise it goes like all others. I was wheeled in to surgery at 7:30 Saturday November 2nd. Four hours later, Done! By Sunday noon I was sitting up off all pain watching football.
My surgeon, Dr. Motiveddi, performed with excellence. Small incision and little pain, the kidney went to sleep for a few days (normal with cadaver organs.) In hospital for a week, while it lazes about, I did not get out of bed much, as the incision wept lymph. I had this reaction with my first Tx on a much larger scale, so this amount, while uncomfortable, worried neither my surgeon nor me.
I received one dialysis treatment to clean me up until the kidney began to function better. A decision was made based upon a leveling off of the creatinine level (indication of function) to discharge me to a rehab facility to regain strength while hoping the sleepy kidney would wake up. I chose a facility that had cared for me in the past and began OT PT training session with some anxiety about the organ (in me for a week with a CR of 6.5.) My first blood test revealed a drop in CR to 4.5 indicating the kidney was awakening. This news was like food to a staving man. Eventually I regained my stamina and the kidney was functioning well (CR 1.8) and was discharged to home.
Though still weeping some and addressing the demands of transplantation (appointment, blood work, and many, many medications,) I felt so much more comfortable at home, getting regular rest and exercise. The road ahead may have frequent twists and turns, but overall I choose it over dialysis and waiting every time. Stay well.