When we arrived at the hospital, they were already waiting for us. First of all, they took me an enormous amount of blood, I don’t remember exactly but it was around 10 tubes at least. They also started to examine other things like pressure, temperature, ECG and other million things. They also told me that it was good that I came directly from dialysis so I had my blood pretty clean. Sometimes, when it is too long after the last dialysis, they have to do special pre-transplantation dialysis to actually clean the body and prepare it for the operation.
When all other tests were done, we just had to wait for the blood matching and compatibility test results. Simply, they had to make sure that the kidney would match the body. It felt like waiting forever. I can’t even say if it was minutes or hours, it just felt forever. I remember that we were talking about how it would be with the transplanted kidney, how everything would change, what would we do when I got better and so on. We just didn’t want to admit that it might not come true.
Finally, the doctor came and said everything was good and ready to go. I was so happy! So I and my boyfriend kissed, hugged and said to each other it was gonna be ok. And I left to go the operational room. So excited, so happy and so scared at once! I was watching the nurses and doctors going around, preparing things and just wanted everything to be over already.
When suddenly a phone in the room rang. The nurse picked it up and looked at me, then to the other nurse in the room and said: “Wait! Stop!”. And continued talking to the phone. After a few short sentences, she said something to the other nurse again and told me that they were doing some last final test and unfortunately they found out that something was wrong.
Another punch right into my face. At the latest possible moment, they told me that actually, all I went through in the last few hours was for nothing. That all was gone. No operation, no kidney, no hope… I broke down…just couldn’t stand it anymore. I started to cry and shake and wasn’t able to calm down.
I have no idea how long it took me to calm down but when I did, we went home. I don’t know when or how we came home, how I fell asleep..can’t remember much from that night. The other day I had to go for another dialysis because the one from the previous day was not finished and I still didn’t have the transplanted kidney. I was very tired, very sad and was describing the nurses what happened.
Then in the middle of the other dialysis my cell rang again. IKEM… Kidney… “Do you want to accept it?”…What? Are you kidding me? Is this some kind of test? Or joke? Or what? But of course I said “yes” again. So, the same procedure as last time. Actually yesterday. Blood taking, pressure, temperature, ECG, waiting…
The results were positive again so they were taking me to the operational room. But this time, I was somehow calm. I wasn’t able to get excited because I was scared that what happened yesterday might happen again…
Then I remember just waking up at the intensive care unit. All went well, the kidney started to work directly at the operational room, producing urine.
It was November 2nd, 2005 and the day was The new beginning of my life.
The recovery was not easy. The first few days I spent in intensive care unit. It was pretty painful despite I was being given some painkillers. From the beginning, the doctors were forcing me to walk but I was able to do just a few steps. I felt unbelievably tired. But it was getting better in time.
As I already mentioned, the kidney started to produce urine already during the operation so now I had to learn again to drink a lot. For a few days, in the beginning, I had a little hose inserted in the bladder so I was not actually going to the toilet. All the urine was going to a special sack where the doctors could see the amount of the urine and also if it doesn’t contain blood or something else it shouldn’t. Fortunately, all was perfect so they removed the hose and finally I was able to go to the toilet.
But there appeared another problem. As I was not urinating much the last several months, my bladder actually shrunk. So I had to go to the toilet literally every 10-15 minutes. But to be honest, at that time I was just enjoying that I was actually able to drink and go to the toilet so it was not even annoying. I was happy that it worked well! And it eventually got better within a few days.
After a few days, something happened and my creatinine started to grow. I was scared to death that I was losing the kidney and got very depressed. The doctors decided to do a biopsy of the kidney to find out what was wrong. It basically means that they take a huge needle and take a sample of the kidney cells. It hurts but it’s just a second. Then you can’t get out of bed for 12 hours so the kidney can recover.
With this examination, they found out that the kidney had signs of rejection. It made my depressions even worse and I couldn’t stop crying. Fortunately, they gave me some special medication that stopped the process and the kidney came back to a normal stage again. The treatment totally messed up my blood sugar but that was just a little complication. For a few weeks, I had to check my sugar level until it came back to normal.
Overall I spent 14 days in the hospital after the operation before I was released home. At home, I had to be pretty much isolated and be very careful not to get any infection. The checks at the hospital were each week but the interval was being prolonged as the time from the operation was passing by. Now I have to go there every three months.
Well, my return to normal life was very slow but I was enjoying it.