Hi Jerry. I was researching something else, found this site and your post.
Thought I'd like to share that we have kidney disease run in our family.
My son's kidneys failed when he was 15. He had home PD dialysis until he went down with appendicitis and had to go on HD.
When his kidneys failed, which although was not unexpected (we have Alports Syndrome), happened so quickly it took both us and the medical profession by surprise.
My son's take on the whole thing? He was more interested in how the machine worked than anything else!!!
He remained upbeat about
the whole thing. The time he spent on his machine which was evening/night, we always had his friends come and sometimes even stay over. Being on dialysis didn't stop him doing anything.
He played football (the UK kind - we're in the UK), climbed trees - even abseiled down the side of the hospital to raise money for kidney research.
He will be 24 years old next month and his new kidney, kindly donated by my brother who escaped the disease (it's a genetic thing) will be two years old on 5th December
My brother is truly a wonderful man.
The kidney was an excellent match so my son has hardly any anti-rejection drugs to take. Merely 5 in the morning and 5 at night. He has had no side-effects either which has been brilliant.
He was very lucky while he was on dialysis because his kidneys did keep some residual function which enabled him to drink more fluids than many other dialysis patients. He did have a very poor appetite though and sometimes getting him to eat was a nightmare. Since the transplant, he has certainly made up for that and eats us out of house and home.
To make you smile here's what happened on the day of the transplant.
As there was nothing I could do except sit and wait, bite my fingernails up to the elbows, it was decided that I should go to work as normal.
So, there I have my son and my wonderful brother both in hospital. At lunchtime I get a phonecall from my daughter who lives in Scotland. She was expecting a baby at the time.
My daughter informs me that I now have a second grandson. The news didn't sink in straightaway and it took a couple of minutes to finally register.
So, now I had not two but three members of my family in hospital.
How many people can say they had three close family members in hospital at the same time and FOUR come out
What a day the 5th of December 2008 was. I don't think I've recovered from it yet LOL.
When I went to the hospital to visit my son and brother, although they were still both groggy from the op, I was able to give them the good news that one was an uncle again, and the other a great-uncle. Put a smile on their faces.
So far, my grandsons have shown no signs of the disease,
My son is now restored to health and has a future to look forward to, my brother is back at work but looking forward to retiring next year and my grandson is wreaking havoc as two year olds do, driving his parents up the wall.
How long my son's new kidney will last, that we don't know. He is always aware that one day he may need to go back on dialysis but in the meantime is enjoying life and his attitude to it is very similar to yours.
Don't know if you know but they are experimenting with an artificial kidney which can be placed inside the human body and does the job of the kidneys. Seemingly it's made out of silicon and uses the body's natural blood flow to work so won't need much maintenance. There was an article in one of our newspapers a few weeks ago about
it. They think it will be so good that transplantation may become a thing of the past in a few years. There would be no need for anti-rejection drugs either with it.
Since I too live under the threat of kidney failure (yes, I've got Alports too but it's a disease that affects males more than females so hope I don't end up with ESRD but by saying that, it killed my grandmother in 1934 - couldn't do anything for renal failure then) this device is a very hopeful thing and I hope they manage to perfect it.
I wish you all the very best and hope you get a new kidney that will last you many, many years.
Keep smiling and never, ever give up hope.