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Posts Tagged ‘kidney donor evaluation’

Christmas time is just about upon us. The time of year when “giving” not only gives pleasure but we receive pleasure also when we give.

Have you considered giving the best present ever to someone – a kidney? Okay you won’t be able to do it in time for Christmas but you can start the giving process this Christmas/New Year by seriously considering giving one of your kidneys to a stranger – or even family or friend that you know needs one.

Look at the links on the top left of this page under “Become a Donor”. Read through them as it gives my pesonal account of my own donation. Step by step; test by test I say it as it was. It covers the operation and my recovery in hospital after and my recovery at home.  Read some of the links going across the top of the page for other information.

When I donated my kidney I didn’t think too much about how would I feel about the actual giving of the kidney. I knew I would feel happy I had been able to help someone but it went far deeper than that. I was quite surprised to feel a wonderful deep sense of contentment in my life knowing I had made such a huge difference to someone (and their family).   If I had another spare kidney I would not hesitate to give it to someone else.

I can’t think of a much greater gift to give someone than a second chance at life. You are also giving them back to their family as the family also suffers when a loved one is so ill.

Being on dialysis is not a picnic.  It does not replace the kidney. Dialysis is a form of Life Support. That is all.

With dialysis comes many problems. Not everyone takes to it BUT they have to as that is all that is available if they want to stay alive. That is – unless they get a kidney transplant!

So – we are a nation of givers. It is human nature to help people where we can. Read this website including comments people have given about their own donations or those waiting for a kidney. Look deep inside you – could you help save someone by giving them one of your kidneys.  Believe me, we do not need two. If we did then live kidney donation would not be allowed.  I don’t even know I only have one kidney. My life has not changed at all. Well actually it has. It has changed because donating my kidney has made me more aware of the vulnerabilities of our own bodies and it has made me take extra better care of  myself. I don’t have to take any medications though because of only having one kidney. Nothing in my life has changed except I watch what I eat a bit more. That is out of choice, not necessity.

Please consider giving the best gift of all.

God Bless
With Love to you all

Di
xxxx

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Evaluation process to be a Living Kidney Donor – finding a recipient – laparascopic surgery to remove kidney – my recovery

Even though the process was not without its frustrations and last minute blips – I would not hesitate to donate a kidney all over again if I could.
For anyone considering donating a kidney, whether to a relative or friend or to a stranger, the majority of this blog would apply. I have been as honest as I can and not just put a glossy cover on it all.  The events are as they happened and my feelings and thoughts at the time. I hope this blog will enlighten some people as to the process of donating a kidney. It has been a great learning experience for myself as well. Spending so much time with people who have kidney problems and speaking to patients on dialysis or just having had a transplant, and speaking with their families ….. it has opened my eyes even more to the fact more organ donors are needed.  There was nothing in my evaluation or the operation or recovery process that put me off having donated.

Through this journey I have met people on dialysis and they are not living a life, they are surviving a life. Dialysis is life support. Without it they will die – with it they are alive but the quality of life for them and their families is not the sort of life anyone should have to live. They do for years.  Once I knew it was possible to give someone and their family back their life it was just something that, God willing,  I was determined to do.

I also want to thank everyone working at the transplant unit. Everyone was great and made this whole experience good. There was always a smile and more than that, everyone had time for me. I was never made to feel rushed. When it came time for the operation itself I was made to feel very relaxed and the after care was brilliant.

Please scroll down to read my account of being a kidney donor. The first posts are at the bottom of the blog, the latest just below this posting.

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30th June

Met with the psychologist today, a very nice lady, felt immediately comfortable chatting with her.  She needed to know that I fully understood the risks involved and that I was not under any pressure to go through with this. Also that I was aware of the mixed emotions that I may go through.

She asked why I wanted to donate to a stranger.  Various personal experiences over the years I know have contributed towards the way I feel about other people.   We had a long chat about certain aspects of my life that I believe have influenced me over the years and made me the person I am today. Certainly my faith in God has played a large part over the years.  Read the rest of this entry »

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10th May

Great news. Got a letter from the Consultant Nephrologist advising that I am fit to proceed to further evaluation although I should lose some weight and come off HRT before being a donor.  The former I am working on! The latter will be fine over the short term and who knows maybe wont need to go back on it.  He is still waiting the results of other blood tests but they should present no problems.

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Kidney donation – altruistic

February 3rd

My first appointment at the hospital to meet the surgeon and have some initial tests done. It was during the heavy snows we had but luckily once I had got a few miles out from home, the snow thinned and travelling wasn’t a problem.

There had been some mix up with the appointments and I was in the book for 30 minutes after the time in the appointments letter. The hospital was also  running 1.5 hours late and I had arrived 30 minutes early!! No matter, it gave me time to read up on literature there and just watch and listen as to what was going on in the reception area. I was struck by the assortment of people there that had kidney problems … young, old, mothers, fathers, youngsters … it was a reminder than anyone, any age can be seriously ill and need help. I had time sitting there to think about the struggles some people have  to try and lead a normal life. It made me realise I have been very lucky in life as regards my health. Whatever I have had wrong with me has easily been treated. Not so for thousands of people. I am so glad I made this decision to donate.  Sometimes being kept waiting for an appointment has its advantages as in this case – it opened my eyes even wider.

I saw the surgeon first, very nice guy. Very friendly, smiley face and good sense of humour. I immediately felt relaxed in his company.

He made sure I knew exactly what it was I was offering to do and explained that a Doctor would be assigned to me to look after my interests.  I would go through a very thorough medical assessment.  I would also have a psychologist and psychiatric report made. The whole team needs to know that I fully understand what I will be doing. That I understand the procedure and what could go wrong etc etc.  Once I pass the medical tests and the psychiatric report, the details are then sent for approval. If I am approved as a suitable kidney donor, then I will be put on the database and once a suitable recipient is found, arrangements will be made for the transplant.  The evaluation process can be between 3 and 6 months, but they anticipate that once accepted it will be a very short time before they locate a suitable match.  

They would remove my kidney in this hospital and then safely transport it to whichever hospital the recipient is in.

The surgeon asked me about my medical history and my families. We have all been clear of major illnesses that might affect the donation.   The only down side was that I am overweight. I thought that might get mentioned!  lol ! I was weighed and although my BMI (Body Mass Index) was just within the acceptable limit, the surgeon did advise I try to lose some weight.  My current weight would not hold up the operation, but if I could lose some then that would assist the  surgery and also my recovery afterwards.

I then saw one of the transplant nurses. She asked more questions re medical history etc and then organised some  tests:

Blood pressure
Blood taken for tests (about 8 tubes used)
Heart Trace
Chest X-ray.

  It was also explained to me that during the very strict and thorough evaluation process, at any stage they could find out I am not suitable as a donor, so I also have to prepare myself for the disappointment of not being able to help someone.

My biggest worry at the moment is losing weight. I have an under active thyroid which piled the weight on a few years ago and losing it  is extremely hard – I never used to have a problem with being able to control my weight, but now it is a real battle.  

Please Pray that I pass the evaluation process with flying colours.

My next appointment is April 17th when I see the doctor … regarding what exactly not too sure, will have to wait and see.

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