Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A tale of two kidneys

I'm on a rather interesting trek right now that could lead to an even more interesting journey.  I'm excited and nervous and emotional about it, and I think writing about it will be good.  Sharing it with the blog universe, and anyone else out there who enjoys keeping up with me and my little life.

Last summer we found out that my mother had a kidney disease and was at the beginning stages of what would eventually be kidney failure.  Our family has a history with this unfortunate ordeal -- my maternal grandmother and my mother's brother both died of kidney failure, though both for different reasons.  We've been through the world of dialysis and we know how not fun it can be.

Fast forward to this summer when my mother started having to look at dialysis options.  It was incredible to find out that she had options beyond what we knew 12 years ago.  Her dialysis of choice will actually not involve blood, and will be something she can do at home every single night -- while she sleeps!  This is a great example of why technology moving forward is good.

Of course the best option for someone in need of a healthy kidney is to receive one from a living donor.  They really pump that idea into the patients, wanting them to reach out and see if anyone they know (or anyone those people know) would like to be a donor.  Despite some interest and lovely thoughts, so far nobody has been the proper blood type for mom, which is a key factor.

Until now.

I guess it's silly that at 35 I never knew what type I was, but I honestly had no clue.  Without mentioning it to my family, I got my blood tested and waited impatiently for results last week.  When the call came in, the poor nurse had no idea that she was giving me good news, and I hollered in her ear a bit.  As it turns out, I not only got my mother's voice, hair and face, I also got her blood type.

I could tell my mom wasn't sure what to do with that news -- she'd been telling me all along that she didn't want me to be a donor because I have kids, etc.  But I also have a mom, and I happen to like her a lot, and if something like this is meant to be, then who am I to argue with it?  Being the same blood type is only a small step in the process -- I now have to have a whirlwind of tests to find out if I not only match her in many other ways, but if my kidneys are even good enough for her.  (With our family history, it will be interesting to find out.)

In a month I spend a day and a half in San Francisco finding all this out, before which I have to do a few tests of my own.  (I'll just say it -- I'm not excited about the 24 hour collection of urine.  How does that sound like fun for anyone?  Could make for an interesting post!)

So there you are -- my little trek is beginning, and it will be an adventure to find out where it will end.  Follow along!

1 comment:

Holly said...

I'll definitely be following your blog! I'm 24 and have just (well, in January) been diagnosed with a rare disease which will mean I'll probably need a kidney transplant at some point in my life.

Blogs from people in similar situations seem to be few and far between, so I'm certainly joining as a follower. :)

I hope you are a match for your mum. :)