It’s been 28 years and counting. I was 26 years old and just had a baby girl a year earlier. I was fit, young and was working in my dream job as a RN. Imagine my world when I was told I had severe kidney disease and would need dialysis and transplantation! This diagnosis was felt hugely by my mom, while I had so many thoughts surrounding being present and being healthy enough to raise my daughter and truly participate in activities. It was very heartbreaking to live my life knowing that I could potentially suffer and die before my girl was an adult.
The years leading up to my deceased donor transplant were a time of reconciling, fear, bargaining and hope. I was very fortune to have a transplant with a very good match about a week before I was to be started on dialysis, what a relief. I remember my mom saying that “this” was all over now to which I said, “no, this is the start!”
The transplant allowed me to continue working as a RN for 20 years! In turn, I was able to help many patients with my nursing knowledge as well as all the information I was learning about kidney disease prevention and monitoring. I could really sympathize with patients.
With a new kidney, I was there for my daughter for her major life events like her marriage, their first child, buying their first “forever home”. There was a time I thought and agonized over the possibility that I would not be around for those milestones.
I remember bargaining with God, this last time was “please get me to my daughter’s wedding, and then start dialysis”. Well, I made it but a week later I was starting dialysis.
Life has been good, while even on peritoneal dialysis I have a pretty good quality of life and am able to enjoy my granddaughter and am anxiously awaiting the next one!
Organ donation and the advances in end stage renal disease has enabled me to still have a life and contribute though I no longer nurse. Receiving an organ when you are still relatively healthy saves so much heartache, struggles and healthcare money. I have been blessed.