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Too old for a kidney transplant? Am also diabetic

Posted by @lastdaze04 in Transplants, Jul 18, 2014

Hello All: My name is Rick Richards I have come to a crossing point in my life, one I knew that was going to come but not this quick. I have a question if it in the wrong forum please direct to the correct one.
I need a Kidney transplant (Kidney forum??) But my Dr said that it will not happen because I am too old and a Type 2 Diabetic. Is that true? I am 55 years old, only slightly over weight 206lbs and I am 6ft tall and very active, meaning I assist in the care of my four grandsons, and I have the biggest paycheck. The thought of going on Dialysis, scares the crap out of me an I love my job I am at, The thought of going on disability is abhorring, I would rather go end it all. Someone please tell me that my Dr is wrong. I already have 3 family members lined up to see if they are compatible matches. These are my immediate questions at the moment, I have a ton more in my mind, I look forward to your response.

Tags: kidney, kidney transplant, dialysis

BettyJeanne likes this

Posted by @Margaret_Marie, Jul 18, 2014

Hi, @lastdaze04. Here's some information on kidney transplants that might be helpful for you: Does anyone have any insight for Rick?

Rick likes this

Posted by @lastdaze04, Jul 19, 2014

Hi Margaret: I thank-you for your help. Are you a nurse or a DR at the Mayo Clinic? I had Dr Leibovich do a complete Radical Nephrectomy on my left side 13 years ago. I see he is still practicing at Mayo. I will look up all the info that I can, yours included. I am still in shock and its still hard to take. I feel for the 1st time in my life that I am not in control of anything and I feel like a kid in 1st grade waiting to be told what to do next. I see right now that I will need a support group to get me thru this. I am hoping that I can get a transplant without doing the dialysis thing 1st as it can create some problems from what I have read. Thanks again for taking an interest guiding me to the right material. Rick


Posted by @rosemarya, Jul 18, 2014

Rick. Have you considered getting a second opinion from a Kidney Specialist? Some of the info that you present here is worth questioning. First, at 55 years, you are not too old to be considered for a transplant. Sometimes pre-existing conditions can disqualify you; or at the very least make it more difficult. If you have to take care of some pre-existing conditions in order to qualify, I encourage you to do so! Even if that means doing some dialysis. In all honesty, dialysis is not fun, but if it gives you extended life then by all means go for it!! I know of several people who spent time on dialysis and who lived active productive lives up until transplant. I'm sending good thoughts your way, Rosemary (liver and kidney 2009)


Posted by @lastdaze04, Jul 19, 2014

Hi Rosemary: I really appreciate your response. As far as anything that disqualifies me??I am really not sure what to say. Other than being a diabetic. My last A1c was 6.2 and the one before that was 5.2 (almost normal) I try very hard to keep it under control. I am still losing weight with the hope of getting off the meds and supplements altogether. I have been laid up for the last 3weeks due to a knee injury, managed to still lose 5lbs but no exercising has had a detrimental effect on my glucose level, its been way up. Maybe you can give me a few suggestions as to things that might disqualify me, as I am new to this. I appreciate your help. Thank-you. Rick

Posted by @keggebraaten, Jul 19, 2014

Hi, @Rick, I work with the physicians in the Kidney Transplant Program at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. I think I can help you further with your situation. If you are interested in more information, please send me an email at I would love to hear from you and can reply with more information on Monday. Thanks!


Posted by @swaggerl, Oct 25, 2014

@Rick, Being 55 and diabetic does not disqualify you. Keep seeking information and try to go to Mayo for a 2nd opinion. I am 62 and diabetic and have had a transplant. Also been on dialysis. It is not fun, but it keeps you alive until you can get a transplant. Don't give up. Best of luck to you.


Posted by @bettyjeanne, Nov 8, 2014

Hi Rick, My kidney doctor also told me my kidney issues were the result of old age, and I just need to accept being unable to urinate and having wild water retention fluctuations of 10-30 lbs. I'm 5'6" and my base weight is 125 and I am only 56 years old. I refuse to accept this woman's opinion that my kidney issues are do to "old age." The idea that we are being labeled as old is ridiculous. I too am getting a second opinion. I hope all goes well for you, and please believe that being in our fifties is not "too old" for anything!


Posted by @rosemarya, Jun 28, 2016

Bettyjeanne, I have been reading some past entrees and noticed this one from you. I hope is its ok to ask you after many months, how are you doing?
I cannot imagine the hurt and insult of being called 'old'! (I'm in my 60's) Aside from that I know how difficult it is to live with water retention and urination problems and all the other issues related to kidney failure. I suffered a rapid acute renal failure as my liver cirrhosis worsened. I sincerely hope and pray that you got some answers that you can live with.


Posted by @irvkay312, Jun 29, 2016

I also have had kidney problems from chemotherapy in 2009. That in itself
has not allowed me to sleep for more than 2 hours at a time, before going
to the bathroom. Chronic Kidney Failure stage 3. Some other problems
during day as well. Again, something else we also don't always understand
"is how our system changes and slows down in various degrees with age."



Posted by @coastalgirl, Jun 28, 2016

To everyone questioning whether they are a candidate for kidney transplant, get your current physician to refer you or make your own appointment at a Mayo facility nearest you. They will give you a complete workup and get you on the right track. Good luck in journey to a better life.

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