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Waiting For A Kidney Transplant

For those of you who haven't read my previous posts, I was born with a single left kidney that has chronic kidney disease (CKD). I am 24 years old and started dialysis in November of 2023. I always knew that I was going to need a new kidney at some point in my life. To be honest when I was younger, I didn't actually think this would happen to me but here we are.

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Finding a kidney donor

Starting dialysis was like hitting the hard reality that now I really will need to find a kidney donor. I'll have to under go many tests for transplant work up and eventually go through a life changing surgery. All while I'm on dialysis. A lot to process, yes.

Luckily my mum did her transplant work up and was able to be my transplant donor. Now we wait for out assessment date and also wait for a surgery date.

Problems I've encountered

All of this is super exciting stuff. Everything is moving relatively quickly but also extremely slow at the very same time. I'm coming home from work every day, doing dialysis twice a day, leaving for work the morning, rinse and repeat. I'm grateful that I'm working but it is so hard living the same week, day in and day out. Counting down the days until the next important date, my transplant assessment, 10 days away as of the writing of this post.

My life feels like it's on hold. I've haven't moved out yet because I need the support from my family during this part of my kidney journey. But I crave independence so badly. I want to start CrossFit, but I have a tube sticking out of my tummy that's helping me live until I get a new kidney, but preventing me from specific workouts. I isolate myself over the weekends because I want to rest from the week I just had, but it leaves me no time to build friendships.

How I managed those problems

There are so many things preventing right now from being the person I want to be. In those moments when I am thinking about what could be and where I should be as a 24 year old, I have to continue to remind myself that all of this is temporary. Next year, I'll be thriving.

Although I want to start CrossFit, right now being at 6% kidney function, all I can manage is a 15-30 minute workout twice a week, and I'm okay with that.

Although I'm exhausted over weekends and sit at home, I have joined courses and communities with like-minded people who get what I'm going through instead of going out and being social, and I'm okay with that.

I acknowledge to myself the things I'd prefer to be doing right now with my life, and remind myself I'll get there soon and proceed to find alternative versions of the activities. I still feel like I'm moving towards my future but doing it at a level that my body is able to cope with right now.

Waiting can feel like forever

Overall, the wait for your life after transplant can sometimes feel like forever. For some it lasts a couple months or a couple years depending on when you can receive a new kidney.

Either way, it is an extremely mentally challenging process to go through. You really have to adapt you lifestyle and mind to situation you're in.

The best quote to keep in mind for me is, keep calm and carry on.

This or That

In addition to chronic kidney disease, do you also live with diabetes?

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