Saturday, August 22, 2009

Gift of Life

24 years ago this week or next, not quite sure of the exact day, my mother received a kidney transplant. Several miracles have happened here. The first is that she received a transplant at all, the second that it has lasted 24 years and counting knock on wood.

My mother was diagnosed with diabetes sometime between the years 1962 and 1966, she doesn't like to talk about it and those are the years my brother and I were born. She tried to regulate and monitor her blood sugar levels and control her diabetes the best she could. despite that in 1983 she started to lose her eyesight. She had a few eye surgeries to try and save her eyesight and it helped slow the process down for a little bit. I don't know exactly how or when her body started shutting down. Its like it all happened slowly over the space of a couple of years. I was a senior in high school, I didn't know what to do . I tried my best to help but I know I could have done more.

She started feeling sick all the time, she went to my dads Doctor who just looked at her skin knew something was terribly wrong with her. After blood test to confirm her kidneys were failing and not filtering the impurities out of her blood. Mom started dialysis, got on a first name basis with all the nurses and doctors on the endocrinology unit at Holy Cross Hospital. Our favorite endocrinologist put mom's name in to be put on a donor list. Mom refused to use one of my kidneys to survive, she wanted one from a cadaver.

after several months of dialysis and a few hospital stays, we rec'd the call that there was a kidney available for her. Dad was out of town driving hi bus route, and I had just gotten home from work, mom and I were about to eat dinner. We had 3 hours to get mom into the hospital. I stayed with her during admission, while they drew blood for lab work. Everything had to be just right for her to get this kidney. Before they took her into surgery, she sent me home, to get some rest, she knew I had to take a final the next day. I went home. I wasn't worried about my mom any more. It was in God's hands.

I went home, ran to the neighbors house and told her the good news, She was shocked and hadn't known mom was that sick (mom was and still is a very private person). I then called my dad's dispatcher and told him to find away to let my dad know that mom was getting a "new kidney.

Next morning before I went into take my final test I stopped by the hospital to see how my mom was. She was still in the recovery room, they let me into see her. She was pretty groggy but happy. She whispered , guess what Andrea? I'm peeing! then giggled. Her sick kidneys hadn't worked for months, she was so happy to have a kidney that worked.

I looked at the statistics for the survival rates after kidney transplants on WebMD its states
that the survival rates are

  • 92% after 1 year
  • 80% at 5 years
  • 54% after 10 years

I think that means out of one-hundred people who receive a kidney transplant, in 10 years just over half of them will still be alive. Mom has had her transplanted kidney for 24years. It has survived her losing her eyesight, 2 hip replacements, a broken clavicle, and foot surgery. She has been alive to see me married, to cuddle grand kids and independently support her local yarn stores with all of her knitting projects.

Here she is showing here wacky sense of humor with the kids in some hats she knit them several years ago.


What prompted this long non-knitting post was a question I read in a Ravelry Forum thread. Part of the kintsib's post asked "Are you a donor?.......if something happened to one of your kids would you donate their organs?....Have you or do you know someone who has received a n organ transplant. i could answer yes to all these questions. The blog needed to know the story too so my children, friends and extended family would know what an amazing gift life is. Mom and Dad recently celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary. I love you Mom.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Vegas Elvii

Vegas Elvi
Originally uploaded by dnaprice66
I have been knitting then ripping, knitting then ripping no pictures of that. My oldest had a water polo tournament in Las Vegas. The Hubby took him and our other son to Vegas. After they had played all their games in the tournament. They drove around Vegas and saw the sights.
You can't go to Vegas without seeing Elvis in one form or another, here they saw two versions of Elivis. Elvii = more than one Elvis at the same time

Today has been a interesting day of ups and downs. My friend that had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis a while ago , finally got a definitive diagnosis, and the Dr. started her chemotherapy. He husband called this afternoon to see if I would be able to help give her dose of interferon. I was a nurse and it doesn't bother me to give people shots. I was happy to help my friend until her family and she are more comfortable administering the medication themselves. I am happy that my friend is willing and able to take medicine to help control the disease.

After that experience and a few others that I don' t want to share here I am even more grateful for the love and support of family and friends. I love the new friends I have made in real life and on Ravelry. I love the old friends that really know me and love me anyway. I am grateful that I can sit down and knit a sock or shawl, and enjoy the process.