I always enjoy reading from veteran donors and now as I look at the calendar I can't believe I have joined that club. Tomorrow will be nine years since my donation on 11/12/07. A lot has happened. I am feeling well, a little heavier and older (became a grandmother), sometimes more tired. But I am also working longer hours at a more stressful job. After my donation I went back to school to change careers within the health care system. Took me a few years but I graduated as a registered nurse with a Masters in Science in 2013 and have been working as a transplant nurse coordinator for stem cell transplant at a major teaching hospital in Baltimore. I love my job, and most of all the recipients, potential donors and donors and their families. I can understand now why things move exceedingly slowly but I try to remember always what it's like on the other side.
I work with families who have complex relationships, those who can't wait to donate, some who feel the obligation and duty, and those who decline. It is an honor and privilege to work with so many recipients and donors. It is quite humbling. Sometimes i share my story, if it is helpful to my patients, but most of the time, I am there to be part of their donation journey.
for the medical update, I had a nephrologist who I followed up with since my donation. Sadly, he went to become a hospitalist. Been trying to establish a relationship with a new doctor who "gets" LKD. My labs in the spring showed an elevated PTH, parathyroid hormone and low vitamin D. Started on vitamin D which corrected but the PTH is still high. Went to an endocrinologist who said wait and repeat or see a nephrolgist so I have an appointment in feb with a new one. The wait and see makes me nervous. That is how my brother ended up in kidney failure. Seems like some doctors like to repeat labs over and over until they get a number they like.
Otherwise, my blood pressure has been stable, no medication yet. i have gained quite a few pounds since the surgery, some from menopause, most probably from less exercise. I am busy with work, taking care of aging parents, moved them down from NY because my mom has Parkinsons and Lewy Body dementia. Kind of sucks the energy out of me watching her decline. no excuse though need to take better care of myself.
Will wait until Feb to see the nephrologist for repeat labs and see what she says.
My brother is doing well. I don't think he has had too many complications. our match was 6/6 which is helpful for him and his medication regimen. so all in all, things are good. We are very blessed.
thanks to all of you who listen and continue to advocate for living donors. And to all the real Veterans out there, thank you for your service.
All the best,