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Dialysis to Transplant



The unfortunate part about dialysis is it’s not a planned vacation. It usually starts with get to the emergency room. While you’re at the emergency room dealing with a symptom or a side effect, they do blood work and come back in and say you have to start dialysis now. It was a very unhealthy transition into that life change because it, that’s what it was. It was an immediate change of life. I immediately lost my full-time job. I immediately lost my freedom on most of the days. And that’s a very, very big change to not be prepared for. I’ve spent so much time in a dialysis chair, whether I was in the hospital or in a center, and I was getting worse and worse. But, unfortunately, I kept being told you're right there on the edge. You’re almost to the point where you can be put on the list. And so, I put up somewhat of a stink. I was like, look, with my gout being almost every day, my quality of life being pretty much nothing, is that not a factor into whether or not you give somebody a transplant aside from just numbers on a sheet of paper? And my nephrologist agreed. And it also was the fact that my wife had told me after we left the hospital once that we are too young. And she said this is ridiculous, I'm going to go and I'm going to talk to a nephrologist and I'm going to do something about this. She came with me to my appointment. And she said basically, look I have two kidneys. I don’t need one of them and I'm going to give it to my husband. And so, I want to talk about getting him on the transplant list. And we went over to the hospital together and she began testing to be a donor the same day I started doing my test to be on the transplant list, which really entailed just a few things, a lot of blood work. And I had to do things like meet with a counselor to understand exactly what was going on because they want to make sure you understand the process and that you know by choosing the option to be on the transplant list, you know what that could entail. And that, it only took, gosh, a couple of days for me to get on the list. And believe it or not, my wife was on the donor list, approved as a donor before I was even approved to be on the list. That's how quickly it moved.

I’ll never forget the night before the transplant. And I'm like, hey, you know, you realize what we’re doing tomorrow morning, right? And I remember, she looked over at me and she said, yeah, I'm going to save my husband’s life. And I was like you’re not nervous about that? I was like you seem so calm and collected. And she goes, no. I know this is what I'm meant to do. I told you, and this is a true story, she told me, goodness, six years before that almost. No, yeah, about six years before that, that she was going to save my life one day. This is when we first met. And she did. And that’s why I genuinely feel we were meant to be together and that we are soul mates and that we really are closer than a lot of married couples. I can’t explain it, but we are best friends and it seemed like it was determined to be that way well before we ever met each other.

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