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While sitting outside my nephrologists consultation room today, I was surrounded by so many patients fighting their own battles. Some struggling to walk on their own, some wearing masks and struggling to breathe, while others were accompanied by family and anxiously awaiting their turn to see their specialist. Some patients are in high spirits and don’t look ill, while others look like they’re in physical pain and consumed by fear. I would fall into both categories because even though I try to stay positive, there is a certain amount of anxiety and fear which comes with every Drs visit, especially since this was my 3rd visit in 2months and 2nd X-ray since discharge. Thankfully, my dr had good news this time. The X-ray showed that my lungs were completely clear and my kidney function had improved slightly. Even though kidney disease is so unpredictable and you don’t always display noticeable physical symptoms, you are forced to wake up every day with renewed fighting spirit to battle this dreaded disease. No matter how you may be feeling you are so grateful for the day that you have been blessed with, that you make the most of it and live for the here and now, despite the uncertainty that lies ahead. I fight this disease not only for myself, but more especially, for my family members that depend on me and are always rooting for me. This is not an easy journey, but I will not be consumed by this disease, as it does not define who I am. My strength, courage and faith defines who I am, so I will continue to be a kidney warrior and a woman of strength.
After three weeks of dr visits, a hospital admission, X-rays and a biopsy, I am truly thankful to be well on my way to recovery. Today, while waiting for my turn to have an X-ray, I felt an amazing sense of peace within. These few weeks had been really tough and so difficult to comprehend. You realize how dramatically life can change in just a split second. It’s given me time to reflect on life; the important things & how precious and unpredictable life really is. We get so caught up in life’s many (sometimes, insignificant) stressors, that we tend to neglect or ignore the signs our bodies give us to communicate that something’s out of balance. I believe that these obstacles bring us closer to God and is intended to create and reset the balance in our lives. Today I am truly thankful as I celebrate my 18th month kidney-versary.
The strange thing about life is that when you least expect it, it throws you a curve ball. The past few days have been very unsettling, as I was admitted to hospital for a lung infection. The last time that I was in an isolation room was 18 months ago, post transplant. This time, being in my donor’s hospital room felt different because we had experienced so much excitement and anticipation pre- transplant, as I was going to receive her kidney and this amazing gift of life. The past few days have not been easy. I was called 5 minutes after an X-ray to come straight through to the hospital for admission. Once there, it took a few days for test results that were inconclusive, which then led to a lung biopsy. I think this was my 10th/ 11th procedure thus far. I thought that by now these procedures and tests would be smooth sailing since I’ve been here many times but, unfortunately, I always have a mini meltdown when I enter the theatre and I’m surrounded by all the medical staff and the big theatre lights. Not to mention having to consent, while making sure that you fully understand the risks of the procedure. This frightened me, but I needed to put on my big girl/ mommy pants and do this.The procedure went well and certain conditions could be ruled out. I had to be patient as the biopsy results were not immediate. I eventually received the results when I arrived at home on a two hour “day-pass” with the consent of the pulmonologist of course. As I arrived home we got the call that the lab results came back and treatment could be started. I felt relived and thankful that this could be treated, as well as concerned about the side effects of the antibiotics on my kidney. This is going to be a slow, long journey to recovery, but I am grateful to my family for their love and support. The amazing staff showed care, compassion and reassurance that they will do everything to treat this condition. They all showed amazing support , although it’s quite strange how there’s such a mix of different personas amongst them (awkward, serious, clinical, funny and caring). My time in hospital thus far has been quite emotionally draining, as you are constantly surrounded by pain,cries, death, and families grieving their loved ones. You start feeling the pain and loss of others although you had never met them or their loved ones. You become hyper vigilant for every sound made, as you try to figure out whether it is a laugh or cry. This experience has taught me once again to never lose hope as “God is in control.”
Sitting in St. George’s Cathedral this afternoon surrounded by many organ transplant recipients, donors and their families gave me a great sense of belonging. No matter whether you had received a transplant, donated an organ or had to make the tough decision to donate an organ of a loved one, we had all experienced an array of emotions . As a transplant recipient you often so focused on your recovery post transplant, while experiencing a whirlwind of emotions, that you forget what your family, donor or your donor’s family may be going through emotionally. No words could describe the gratitude one feels towards our families, donors and their families. Today we celebrate those super humans that walk among us, while remembering those that have gone before us. We are forever thankful ❤️
Growing up, I had always wondered how my mom and aunt could still play so many roles, while battling with kidney disease. I always admired their strength and the sacrifices they would make to make sure that everyone around them was fine. This amazed me. However, I was often saddened by the physical and unspoken emotional pain that they had endured while fighting this disease. Their children were always put first, no matter what they had to endure. Unfortunately, a few years ago I had to endure this same physical and emotional pain. It felt so surreal when I was diagnosed with the same disease. Looking back, I now understand what it means to be a wife, mother and sister battling a chronic illness. You experience good days and bad days, but every day you get up anyway, for the sake of your loved ones. Today, I salute all the female warriors who continue to fight this disease. I SALUTE YOU!
I’m fast approaching one and a half years post transplant, however, it feels like yesterday when I was wheeled into the operating theatre, awaiting this life saving gift from my donor. All these memories are still clear in my mind, as this was an emotional and physical rollercoaster that really tested my inner strength. This precious gift has changed my life. It has made me appreciate the small things, like the precious moments with my family, having more quiet time and just living life without dwelling on the “what if’s.” Most of all, I appreciate all those people in my life that continue to support me and who makes life beautiful. No matter what the future holds I will continue to live in the present and appreciate the small things in life.
As I enter into my forties, I have been reflecting on the bitter sweet moments that I’ve experienced while battling kidney disease. Not only has this disease affected me, but it has taken away two of our loved ones, my dear mother and aunt. I have often wondered how these two strong women battled this disease for so many years, while still being able to play the many family roles in their lives, especially that of mother. Then this disease affected me and I realised that I only have two choices; being consumed by it or becoming a true kidney warrior. Getting the support from my loved ones, especially my two biggest fans; my husband and son, put everything into perspective. My son would often remind me to put a smile on my face and he would just know how to make mommy feel better. I try my best to live my life for here and now, but it’s not always that easy. There are days when fear and anxiety surface, as I have become hyper- vigilant of any symptom that may arise. All I can do is live in faith, hope and surround myself with those who show constant love and care. So here’s to another forty years.