First post since the kidney transplant, still quite surreal!
So here is a post explaining the whole situation in depth.
I got a phone call for a cadaver Kidney on the 31st of October 2012, while I was at dialysis, at approximately seven o’clock in the morning. I was completely surprised but after some phone calls and a lot of rushing we went to Wits Donald Gordon Medical Center (DGMC) and by 2 o’clock I was being operated on. Everything so far is going really well. This is however not over by any means, the road ahead is long and bumpy, especially because of my previous issues with pre-sensitivity. I do fell that the plasmapheresis treatment that I was undergoing to try and get my brother’s kidney had a huge helping hand in the fact that I managed to get a cadaver kidney.
So what do I mean when I say there is a long bumpy road ahead? well quite simply, kidney transplants in general are not easy, tey come with their own set of rules, worries and problems. A transplant organ is like a tamed beast, you have to be really careful with it because when you aren’t it can turn on you. Essentially what happens when you get a transplant organ is that your body sees it as a foreign body, no matter how close the match, this makes you body automatically try and reject the kidney. This is the reason for the immuno- suppressives, they are there to bring down your immune system so that it does not attack your transplant kidney. At the same token getting infections and viruses can also effect the kidneys life so in addition to the immuno-surpressives you are given many prophylactic medications to cover you for infections but not attack your kidney. All of this inherintly makes transplants quite difficult because you constantly have to monitor every aspect of your life in regards to medication levels, immune system levels, temperature, blood pressure, good health etc etc as any of this things can be indicative of rejection. On top of that I still have the issues of being pre-sensitized so all these issues are multiplied. there are more issues with my siituation than there are with standard transplants, although as things stand this transplant is alot better than my situation would have been with my brother’s kidney if we went ahead with the opp at the time we were trying to.
There will be many blood tests and check ups in the coming months, there will be a few hospital visits. there will even be a few biopsies as we go along. but that is all part and parcle of a kidney trasplant.
post operation they the doctors watch you extremely closely as that is the most crucial point for your body to accept the kidney, then for the next 3 months they take extreme precautions as 70% of all kidney transplants suffer from rejection within the first three months, the next year is quite a bit more lax and thereafter your body should have settled. As long as you have a transplant organ you will be watched and have to go through these trials because as a fact of life, All transplant organs WILL eventually reject it just depends how long you can make it last. Also rejection does not necessarily mean that you are loosing your kidney, It just means that your body has started attacking it and if that is seen to early enough then it can be treated.
This brings me to my doctors appointment today. My bloods have improved significantly and they are doing really well, they are however not within the preferred limits that the doctors like to stabalize the kidneys at. Because of these reasons I am going in tomorrow the 15th of November 2012 to the DGMC for a biopsy. This is not unplanned, the doctors wanted to perform the biopsy last Thursday although I requested a bit of leeway in order to heal a bit, I am therefore going for a biopsy tomorrow. The biopsy will show where the cause of the problem is in terms of why it is taking so long for the last of the bloods to normalize, it will also show how severe the problems are. There are many possibilities after this test, ranging from plasmapheresis and desensitization as well as more immuno suppression to doing nothing and waiting for the kidney to work. This can only be told after the biopsy.
What is a biopsy and why do they do it?
[image_frame style=”shadow” align=”right” alt=”Donor Kidney Biopsy” title=”Donor Kidney Biopsy” height=”390″ width=”400″]http://theodorou.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/donor-kidney-biopsy.jpg[/image_frame]
A biopsy is where they put a needle through my stomach and in to the transplant kidney while watching an ultrasound machine to guide the needle. they then take a piece of the kidney out with the needle, it sounds like a popcap gun when they use it, and then they study that piece of kidney to see what is going on in the nephron’s and other cells. Once they have this info they can make an informed decision as to what to do next. In terms of frequency of biopsies, in a normal transplant they are performed within the first 3 months then again within the year and then yearly after that. I will most probably have 2 or 3 biopsies instead of one in those same periods. I might also have to have repeat treatments of plasmapheresis here and there to keep the immune system at the right levels. There will also be other visits to hospital for other reasons but that is part of the beast that is a transplant. All you can do is take it day by day, trust your doctors, live cleanly and hope for the best.
If i have not explained myself well enough just let me know in the comments below on this page and I will try answer the questions because if you want to know something then someone else probably does too. Also please keep in mind I am hardly ever on Facebook so I probably wont be answering any questions there, I post to twitter and it forwards to Facebook for me. Yes there is the odd occasion that I am on Facebook but youll get better answers here and on twitter. Also my phone is not working well so between being in hospital and my usual bad response to messages in general, I also don’t have a speaker on my phone to notify me about any type of message so don’t feel bad if it takes forever for a response, its not you… its me hehehe
lastly I would like to apologize for the shoddiness of this post as I am tired and sore and trying to get ready for hospital at the same time so please bear with it.