Kathy Prentice - Kidney Warrior
Kidney Transplant - Dec 5, 2018
My new Ob/Gyn requested me to complete an ultra sound and a series of lab work which determined that I was born with one kidney, which was a surprise to me because I assumed that everyone was born with two kidneys.
In 2017 I was told that my kidney function was deteriorating and should start the process to get on the transplant list. I was devasted. I completed all the required tests and was approved to be placed on the list. In early 2018 after completing a 24 hr urine test and lab work my nephrologist informed me that my creatinine level was increasing and my kidney function was now at 15% and I needed to make an appointment to attend the dialysis classes. I made every excuse not to attend the classes, but my nephrologist was so concerned about my health, and felt that I was being nonchalant that she made arrangement for the dialysis instructor to meet with me at work. I was clearly in denial. We reviewed all of the options for dialysis, and was told to schedule an appointment to see the nephrologist at the Museum District location so she can review the dialysis process with me. In the summer of 2018, I saw Dr. Sarah Shearer who told me that by the end of 2018, I will be on dialysis and it was time to get the tube inserted in arm in preparation for dialysis. Deep down I felt that dialysis was not an option for me.
Although I was told there is no cure for kidney failure, I searched the internet for any information I could find about slowing down the process. As time went by the toxins started building up in my body. I began losing weight, became lethargic, had difficulty focusing at work, and had pain in my joints. I began to retain fluid in my legs, so I ordered a foot rest for my office so I can elevate my legs, but this did not help. I eventually found a sturdy box the right height which I used to keep my legs elevated.
My nephrologist preference was always to have me transplanted without going on dialysis. My husband was eventually tested to be my donor, however, the Medical Board denied him as a candidate. I was disappointed, and this took a toll on my family and I. My mom always said “that God had the answer before you ever had the problem.” God had my donor all this time, but I was telling God no, not my daughter. I would feel guilty and would not be able to forgive myself if something went wrong. I kept questioning myself why not dialysis instead of putting my daughter through all the rigors of testing, there are numerous patients who are surviving on dialysis, but I just had such uneasiness in my stomach about dialysis. This was one of the most difficulty decision I ever had to make.
Eventually, I surrendered and said “God let your will be done.’’ My daughter completed the testing and was approved to be my donor. I was elated but scared at the same time. My kidney function had now decreased to 6%. We had a cruise scheduled for Christmas 2018 but was advised by my doctor to cancel the trip.
The transplant was initially scheduled for January 7, 2019, but my doctor advised that we should try and get an earlier appointment because she did not feel I had much time left without dialysis. I received a call at work from my daughter informing me that her transplant coordinator called and informed her that December 5, 2018 has become available. Once again God was working on my behalf. That was only two weeks away, and I had a few projects which I needed to complete. I tried to change the date, but my doctor encouraged me to keep the date. On Wednesday, December 5, 2018, we had the kidney transplant surgery. We were both released on Saturday of that same week. Post-transplant, my creatinine level decreased from 7.8 to 1.3. There were challenges along the way
I thank God for Blessing me with a selfless daughter who was willing sacrifice her life to save mine.