Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Hope for a better life

Today, I was sitting by the elevator waiting to go for lunch, when one of my former patients got off the elevator and told me that she was getting a transplant. They told her while she was on dialysis and so she wasn't prepared. Just showed up at the hospital with what she had and checked in. At first I wasn't sure what she said. I thought she was just there for short stay. That is common, I didn't think that she would be there for a transplant. I haven't seen her for a few months as she has dialysis at a different location now. So I walked her up the hall and we were escorted to a room right then. So when I left a few hours later, she was about to go to surgery for her transplant. I wonder what people go through with that. I mean, they spend months or years waiting for a transplant and when it happens.. are they really prepared?
So we talked about what she would go through. Was she nervous? Had a prayer and then I left. Her surgery was to take about 4-6 hours. So that'swhere she is now and I will see her in the morning. Usually, I don't know the people before the transplant. I meet them when they are admitted to the hospital for treatment or when they come as outpatients for dialysis. So this was a bit different for me even. Despite the transplant, there is not always a guarentee that the kidney will be okay, not be rejected.
There are two ways that kidney transplants occur; through living donors, or cadaveric. Because we can't plan on the cadaveric showing up when you need it, most transplants are through living donors -- family members or friends. There can be issues with both. We hope that the transplant takes, but when it doesn't I can imagine the guilt that some people feel. Having a person give up a kidney that was working for them. and now it doesn't work for any one. I can't imagine how hard it would be to face the other person.

No comments: