Friday, December 21, 2012

Kyle, Missy, Dorothy and kidney disease

Kyle Deck, a former Regina Pats captain, needs a kidney transplant.
The Pats have revealed that Deck, who played five seasons (2002-07) in Regina, has been diagnosed with IgA nephropathy, which also is known as Berger’s disease.
Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post has more right here, if you scroll down a bit.
Meanwhile, Missy Deyo, the social media co-ordinator for the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, underwent surgery earlier this week for the removal of a kidney. Her blog is right here. And if you’re on Twitter you may want to hunt her up and give her a follow. She is a courageous young lady.
Missy is feeling some pain these days, but continues to take us along on her ride.
Why do I mention Kyle and Missy?
Because kidney disease is a subject with which I have become somewhat familiar over the past few years.
Allow me to take a few moments and tell you about my wife of more than 40 years.
My new driver’s licence arrived late last summer. Included in the envelope was a form promoting organ donation.
I don’t know why I hadn’t done so a long time ago, but this time I filled out the form and got it into the mail.
It’s the least I can do.
Unfortunately, I can’t do anything more to help my wife. She needs a kidney transplant and has been doing peritoneal dialysis for three years.
We learned more than 30 years ago that she had been born with one kidney, and that the one she had was malformed and functioning then at somewhere around 50 per cent.
In time, that efficiency slid close to 10 per cent, and in October 2009 she received a phone call telling her it was time.
By December 2009, a catheter had been surgically implanted into her peritoneal cavity. She was taught how to do dialysis manually and by January was using a machine known as a cycler.
Every night, I walk down a hallway in our home and into what once was a spare bedroom. The closet in that room is about three feet deep and 10 feet long. It is full of cardboard boxes. Those boxes contain dialysis fluid.
I reach into each of three boxes, take out one bag, and carry them back to our bedroom.
Dorothy sets everything up, then shortly afterwards will hook up to the machine, read for a bit and then go to sleep. While she sleeps, the cycler does what her kidney can’t — using those fluids, the cycler drains the toxins from her system, something that is done for most of us by our kidneys. The cycler drains, dwells and fills three times in a process that takes about eight hours.
She does this every night. Every single night. There are no nights off. (Feel free to Google peritoneal dialysis for more information if you wish.)
Our search for a live donor has been made difficult by the fact that her blood type is B, which is hardly the most common.
Oh, we thought we were close a couple of times, most recently in July. But a potential donor who underwent all the tests was ruled out because of a kidney that didn’t meet the high standard needed.
Before a person will be considered as a live donor, they must be found to have two really, really healthy kidneys. If there’s any kind of hitch at all, it won’t happen.
Now I’m not here to preach at anyone, but there are a lot of people out there waiting and hoping for a new kidney.
Doctors will tell you that kidney donors actually live longer than non-donors. That’s because donors get such a medical going over before they are cleared that if there are any medical problems they are found and treated. As well, the after-care is second to none.
My wife has long received excellent care from the staff at the renal clinic at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. And we also are dealing with a transplant team at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, which is where she eventually will undergo surgery.
Here’s a bit on St. Paul’s Living Kidney Donor Program, taken off the program’s website . . .
This program “supports and assesses individuals who are interested in the possibility of being a living kidney donor. The decision whether to donate a kidney is a very personal one and there is no right or wrong choice. The prospective donor should know that she or he may decline to donate at any time. The decision has to be the one that is best for the donor, and the Living Donor Team is committed to supporting the donor throughout this decision making process.
“The purpose of the living donor assessment is to ensure that donation is safe for the donor and that donation will result in a safe and successful kidney transplant. The evaluation includes a collection of the donor's health history, various blood and urine tests, radiology studies, and clinical assessments by a nurse co-ordinator, social worker and doctors.
“Living donation may be done through the Living Donor Paired Exchange (LDPE) program when a potential donor and recipient have incompatible blood groups or a positive cross match. In this program, we attempt to match donor and recipient pairs with another pair in a similar situation.
“The Living Kidney Donor Program also offers the possibility for a motivated person who may wish to donate a kidney but who may not personally know any patients in need of a kidney transplant to participate in the Living Anonymous Donor (LAD) program.”
If you are at all interested, you are able to contact these programs right here:
St. Paul's Hospital
6A Providence Building
1081 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6
Tel: 604-806-9027
Toll free: 1-877-922-9822
Fax: (604) 806-9873
When my wife’s driver licence was up for renewal she also filled in the organ donor form.

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