Meshia’s July post — Happy one year anniversary to me!

By Meshia A., DPC Patient Ambassador and Guest Blogger

meshia-blog-coverHello DPC family! I hope this message finds you well. Guess what? I am coming up on my one year anniversary of being transplanted on July 6, 2013.  As a kidney patient I think about how far I have come and in having a kidney transplant, praying my kidney will outlive me. The reality is that I have learned to live life regardless of having a transplant or being on dialysis. However, I do believe that the fear of rejection is a very important aspect to address.

After recently having my second transplant and being off of dialysis, a lot has changed in my life. Although I was more aware of what to expect the second go around in regards to having the surgery, what medications to take and frequent appointments to the transplant center, there is always the thought or feeling of “I hope everything goes okay”. Even in the most ideal situations, things can happen that are out of our control. Being a kidney patient is not an easy task and being on a form of renal replacement therapy can be even more difficult. The gift of life and having a better quality of life is the ultimate gift a kidney patient can receive.

For many people living with chronic kidney disease, the opportunity to have a transplant is priceless. You get to have a new chance to do the things you weren’t able to do if you were on dialysis and simply begin to feel like your old self again. After having my transplant I couldn’t wait to take a long hot shower and drink lots of fluid, something I was not able to do on dialysis.

Having any type of surgery comes with its own risk including the chance that one may not survive the surgery. However, as a kidney patient rejection from a transplant surgery is another aspect in itself and can be scary.

Whether you are having a transplant for the first time or not, there is a level of anxiety and fear waking up to make sure the surgery went according to plan and that everything is working the way it should.

The transplant recipient’s worst fear is rejection of the organ. When rejection occurs, the body’s immune system tries to destroy the organ. There are three different types of rejection. The worst and rarest type of rejection is hyper acute rejection which occurs immediately during the operation where the organ fails to work. The second type of rejection is acute, which can occur less than a month after having surgery. In most cases, acute kidney rejection can be treated and reversed by aggressive anti-rejection medication. The third type of rejection is chronic. This is when the organ gradually deteriorates over a period of time and eventually loses its function.

Most rejection episodes can usually be reversed if it is caught early. Your transplant team can often detect the first signs of rejection. That is why it is important to keep ALL appointments with your transplant team. They will take blood tests and may perform a biopsy to check the status of your transplanted kidney.

Comments

  1. Meshia,
    Congratulations on your “re-birth day.” What a wonderful gift. Here’s to you and your courage in going through this! As my late husband Steve Williams would say, “no good options is one hell of a motivator!” My best wishes to you for many more anniversaries!
    Linda Gromko

  2. Meshia A says:

    Oh Linda,
    thank you so much! God bless you for being a voice for many. Your husband was a wise man 🙂

  3. Congrats, Meshia!

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