I have never really given a thought to the Fourth. Ten years ago I was in the midst of the most horribly epic separation (it’s still a little to raw to speak about but soon). So it was always a throwaway holiday. This year I have something to celebrate, the anniversary of my mom’s new kidney. This time last year Pop, Charleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeene and I were hanging out at the University of Pennsylvania waiting for updates on my mom’s new kidney. After years of dialysis and a few false alerts my mom had gotten the call, there was a kidney for her.
My mom, aunt Charleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeene and uncle Marvo! Marvo! all suffer from Glomerulonephritis and within two month of each other all went into kidney failure. Marvo! Marvo! elected to do outpatient kidney dialysis and three times a week he heads off to the center for treatment. Mom and Charlene were trained to do home hemo dialysis and five nights a week would hook up to a machine for treatment.
Dialysis was a part of life. Vacations were planned around centers and treatment. Any plans were made to include medication schedules and dialysis almost took on a life of it’s own. When Charlene got a kidney a few years ago, there were so many complications that my mom would utter her desire to stay on dialysis. Finally she decided it was time and last year her chance came.
Sunday afternoon she headed to the University of Pennsylvania for some tests. Kidney patients are no stranger to needles and there no shortage of needles to be had. Blood test after blood test. Screening after screening and then finally it was time. Mom, eyes shining, waved us away and off she went.
Finally we got the word…mom had a new kidney.
A new kidney meant freedom from dialysis. Freedom from sticking herself. Freedom from always feeling trapped.
The new kidney has not come without some trials. Mom was hospitalized for a while due to a high fever. She worried about rejection and we were on the pins and needles as she waited to have to use the bathroom. There have been some days when she frets over the change of lifestyle and adjusting to what having a kidney means. She’s tired sometimes but is adjusting pretty well. Some days are better than others but each day is a gift.
Organ donation is something I wanted to do but mom refused citing that *I* may need my kidney. I am thankful that there was a donor for her and will be updating my license to become a donor for the future. If you are interested in learning more, visit this link to The Gift of Life site.
Thank you for sharing my mom’s journey.