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My first question would be, Is your husband on dialysis? If not, Why? If so, What is the hurry for a transplant?

I was on dialysis from October 2003 to February 2008. I had my evaluation for the transplant in March of 2003 with a 5-6 year wait time. It was an hour drive time to the hospital.

I know lots of things have changed in the last 10 years and what I went through will not be what you and your husband will have to look forward to. Some of the questions I would want to know the answers to would be:

How much time would I have once a kidney is available before I had to be at the hospital? (I received the call at 4:00 PM to tell me to be at the hospital as soon as I could. I was there a little before 2:00 AM I had to let my driver know, have dialysis, eat and take my meds before I could leave.)

Once I have had the transplant where do I have to have the check-ups for the first year? and there are lots of them. (Once I had the transplant I was in the hospital for 5 days, I had to report twice a week for the first 2 weeks to the hospital for an evaluation with the transplant doctors. Then it was once a week for 2 weeks. Followed by every other week for a month. I was not having any problems with the kidney and my body getting along, so I was able to get blood work done at home with trips to the hospital to see the transplant doctors getting further apart. Now I have to have blood work every 6 weeks, here, and check-ups once a year with the transplant doctors. I see my doctor, here, every 3 months, with e-mail access whenever I have an issue, he is my PCP and nephrologist.)

What happens if the kidney is not a match? (Fortunately, the kidney and I were a good match. Once I was checked into the hospital they drew 10 vials of blood to see if we, the kidney and my body, were compatible. It was over 12 hours before I was told that I was going to get the kidney. IF we were not compatible I would just get dressed and go home.)

How soon can I fly and how often? How many different pills will I have to take? Will I have to take them forever? How much will it cost me, out of pocket, the first year? (I have not flown for almost 20 years. I now take 2 different meds for the kidneys, I also take other meds for other things. I was told that my cost the first year would be $10,000, and that was just about what I paid, Medicare and my insurance paid the rest. I was on one med for 3 months that cost me $1,000 a month.)

I hope I was not too scary with what I shared with you. My kidney and I are happy, if I see a doctor I have not seen before – like in ER – I always tell them that the kidney comes first. That lets them know that if they have to do something that they have to take care of my kidney. Good luck.


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Replies to "My first question would be, Is your husband on dialysis? If not, Why? If so, What..."

@mlmcg These are all great points to bring up. My husband was on PD dialysis for 5.5 years. Originally both his kids said they would test to see if they would match as living donor, then turned their backs on him. Here in CA, wait time may be 3 to 8 years, depending on where you live/list. He had a deceased donor who matched him excellently.