How has my life changed?

I received a kidney transplant April 24, 2019

The terrific readers who regularly read my post already know I received a miracle this year on April 24, in the form of kidney transplant from a living donor. My living donor was only available to me because a personal friend of mine agreed to donate a kidney if someone else who was a match for me donated to me. It’s called a shared donor program and I believe half of kidney transplants in British Columbia are living donors and most are shared donor exchanges similar to mine.

Mine was actually a type called a Closed Chain.

Closed Chain
A closed chain, is similar to a paired exchange, except there are more pairs included and the donor of the last pair donates to the transplant candidate of the first pair.

There is so much to tell about why my finding a donor was a miracle, but I want to inform you what a difference that gift has made to me and my family and friends.

In the last decade my health seeped away slowly as my previous transplant waned, and eventually was rejected and stopped working. That kidney transplant was an amazing gift also in July 1987 from a deceased donor. We are so grateful to have had that transplant for 31 years !

When your health diminishes at a slow rate, you keep functioning and working harder to do your job, enjoy your off time, support your family and be normal. Like a tree in a forest, you can be too close to see the changes but others do as they are more objective.

2018 I started dialysis of my blood 3 times a week

In 2018 in the autumn, due to end stage kidney failure I accepted I could go on no longer without succumbing to dialysis (cleaning of my blood via a machine) three times a week, about 4.5 hours each visit. Afterwards I felt better than before, but I had a very restricted diet, and nearly no fluids from food or orally in between to make the process possible. No fluids hardly is because kidney failure means no urine and fluids have to pulled out in the dialysis process and only so much can be withdrawn in four hours via your blood during hemodialysis. Not a picnic, but it’s not meant to be, it’s meant to keep you alive.

Click here for youtube interview of me on dialysis.

People are dying on dialysis daily as they wait

Statistics are different due to population differences between Canada and the USA however matchingdonors.com states that daily 22 people die in the USA waiting for a kidney transplant, most waiting 7 – 9 years.

The statistic would be similar for waiting times in Canada but fewer people daily, according to kidney.ca;
There are over 4,500 people waiting for an organ donation in Canada. Sadly, about 260 of those people waiting for a transplant will die every year, that’s about five deaths per week, or one death about every 30 hours that could be saved if they had a viable donor.

My transplant gives me so much

I apologize for this longer post, suffice to say my life has changed – it has been given back.

  • I have more clarity of thought,
  • I have better health,
  • I have more time away from hospitals and doctors,
  • I have the opportunity now to travel,
  • I expect a longer life expectancy (remember people waiting on dialysis often succumb after 8 years, some even finding life too difficult and choosing to go off dialysis and basically dying in 7 to 14 days in hospice).

I have my life back, thanks to doctors, nurses, surgeons, all able to be set in motion because my friend agreed to be a living donor.

It’s a process, and many are willing but are unable to do so but if you want to learn more, go to Considering Living Kidney Donation.

About dfolstad58

I live in the South Okanagan. BC. I enjoy reading, exercise, toastmasters. spending time with my son, my daughter, & her husband , and my patient wife. I try to respond personally to every comment on my blog, and in this way I hope to get to know my readers a little bit and say thank you for their encouragement and suggestions.
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12 Responses to How has my life changed?

  1. Greg says:

    Your post today was both touching and educational. I enjoy all your posts even if I don’t always comment.

    I would also add something that most people don’t know about living with kidney failure (being on dialysis): the patient is unable to pass urine, which further makes necessary the patient’s dialysis as the only treatment available besides kidney recipient surgery.

    Take good care, my good friend – I’m happy to have been present at today’s moment of inspiration.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. leggypeggy says:

    So pleased your miracle happened. Everyone in our family is an organ donor, but we have never investigated the living donor program. A friend gave her mother a kidney.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Prajakta says:

    I wasn’t aware of the journey you went through – kudos to your strength and spirit. Miracles will happen in different ways and what you shared was an eye-opener. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a blessing your friend gave to you through giving to another. That is awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bob Smith says:

    So glad things are working out and you are well, your comment about people stopping Dialysis hit close to home , my dad took himself off back in the dark ages (1972) as he couldn’t stand it any more (2 failed transplants) Keep well. Bob Sent from Mail for Windows 10

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m so glad you doing well take from I got my kidney transplant on April 15, 2009 I’m doing very well stay on your labs that’s a must. I just had acute kidney rejection but they saved my kidney it’s actually better than before God is good.

    Liked by 1 person

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