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Author Topic: A "little" rejection?  (Read 2278 times)

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Offline Snoopy

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A "little" rejection?
« on: July 26, 2012, 05:15:26 PM »
     Today my recipient called me--from the hospital, where's he's been since last Friday.  According to him, he's in a "little" rejection episode.  I went to visit him, he seems his own bouncy, twinkly self, he's on IV steroids, and hopes to get out next week.
      As you might imagine, I was not happy to hear the word "rejection".  He was sketchy about the medical details (I don't think they interest him, somehow), but I am quite interested (and a bit concerned).  Is there such a thing as a "little rejection"?
    Hoping for good news, Snoopy

Offline tjhurley

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Re: A "little" rejection?
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2012, 08:56:47 PM »
Snoopy,

Forgive me, I don't remember how you are connected to your recipient. My husband and I donated to our adult sons. They often consider details about their health to be private matters.  Your recipient may feel the same way and is reluctant to share details.

From my limited experience, there are little rejection episodes. Our eldest had one in his 4th or so year. He just celebrated his 10th kidneyversary.

Your donation is still relatively new. Adjustments may be needed, etc. Hoping for the best for your recipient, Janet

Offline Snoopy

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Re: A "little" rejection?
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2012, 01:50:45 AM »
Hi, Janet.
  Thank you for your e-mail.  It's a funny thing about my recipient and I.  I was a non-directed donor.  Our transplant center believes in throwing donors and recipients together, for some reason, even in these cases.  The two of us met for the first time at cross-matching, and immediately hit it off.  We are now very close, and for a long time after the surgery we spoke several times a week.  Our families have also met, and hit it off very well.
   We are pretty obviously of different ethnic groups, and look quite different from one another.  He cannot speak my first language at all, and I speak his first language imperfectly (and I don't speak his second language at all).  Yet:  in the hospital, seeing us together, the staff kept asking if the two of use were brothers.
   However, we have very very different attitudes to medical issues.  I kind of obsessively research everything, and like (need) to stay on top of all my medical details.  My recipient? Well, when we came for surgery, the doc asked to see our medical records.  I handed him two large binders, categorized, indexed, cross-referenced, annotated, etc.  My recipient...just said "Who knows? I leave all that to Heaven".  The staff didn't bat an eye.  In fact, they gave me the funny looks.  :)
   It's true I never stopped to think he might not want to tell me all the medical details, since we have been keeping each other pretty up to date since we first met.  I mean, it's his right, of course.  But I really think he didn't ask, doesn't think about the specifics too much.  Myself, when he called to tell me he was hospitalized with the "R"-word, I jumped 10 feet in the air and rushed over.  Knowing him, I'm sure I'm much more upset then he is.
     Here's hoping for good news, Snoopy

Offline Orchidlady

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Re: A "little" rejection?
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2012, 07:15:42 AM »
We were told at my husband's first clinic visit after transplant that the first year was the most critical, and the time window in which there was the greatest chance of rejection. They did tell us not to worry, they had an arsenal of tools to deal with it and brign it under control.  Sounds like your recipient is in good hands and good spirits.
Donated Left Kidney to Husband 10/30/07
Barnes Jewish Hospital
St. Louis, MO

Offline sherri

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Re: A "little" rejection?
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2012, 09:06:14 AM »
Snoopy,

I think you are on the right track about the cultural difference as it relates to medical care. As you know, I am familiar with the cultural, religious and ethnic differences where you live and I can definitely understand your take on things. The key is for each party to be respectful of the other one's culture, which at times is challenging. I always find it shocking that some people are unaware of basic medical issues related to themselves like the names of the medications, what they are used for, what their blood pressure runs, their cholesterol etc. These are things that I take for granted and just assume a patient would be interested in. Some patients feel like their health is in God's hands and even asking for explanations and details somehow isn't relevant. It must be frustrating and a little anxiety provoking to be connected to someone but not be able to get information that is relevant and important to you.

In terms of the "little" rejection, I guess it can be on different levels and also different time frames. Rejection caught early is certainly easier to deal with before it gets out of control and the organ can't be saved. Sounds like your recipient follows up with the doctors and they are on top of his blood work and labs to make sure any rejection episodes are dealt with accordingly.

Best wishes to your recipient for a full recovery and getting back on track. Will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers.

Sherri

Sherri
Living Kidney Donor 11/12/07

Offline tjhurley

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Re: A "little" rejection?
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2012, 10:43:49 AM »
Hi Snoopy,

I served as the record keeper and researcher for our family - so you I can relate to!

What a wonderful relationship you have with your recipient, sounds like exactly the sort of relationship and experience that many donors hope for when they donate :)

My husband's donation was our first experience. I remember reporting post-surgery (on this board) quite gleefully. I feel a little sheepish about that 10 years later. One of the older hands on the board sort of gave me a bit of a leash tug by letting me know there would be plenty of downs coming up.  At the time I felt resentment at what appeared to be someone trying to rain on my parade. Such an emotional time it had been, we were terrified for our son and had done so much research- we had tried to steel ourselves for bad results, and we were so excited and relieved when the surgery was successful.

You will understand, as a fellow researcher, that I paid close attention to the leash tug. Information collecting is about gathering and weighing the good and the bad for decision making.

The experienced poster was correct, kidney transplants have ups and downs. More of a marathon with changing weather conditions than a sprint. You hope for a marathon anyway.... Sometimes the recipients have reactions that they have no way to control. Sometimes they have to work to be disciplined with their meds - this is a bigger problem than many "donor side" realize.

Sounds like yours is keeping you fully informed - and congratulations on such a fantastic donation experience- it just doesn't happen, such results take wonderful participants.  Positive thoughts, Janet

 

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