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Some Regrets

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  • Some Regrets

    I am not going to lie, I have regrets about donating a kidney to my sister. She was a horrible alcoholic and had liver failure that almost took her life. It killed her kidneys and she had to go on dialysis and have excess fluid drained off her abdomen every month or so. It was a miracle her liver recovered, and her illness cause my parents such grief, as you can imagine. She was put on a transplant list for both a liver and kidney. My mother asked me to go through the process of being evaluated as a donor because the doctors told them that having a living donor for the kidney increased her chances of getting a liver. So obviously I agreed.

    We were a perfect match... the only way we could have been more perfect was if we were identical twins. I was approved as her donor and that was that. Until over a year passed and my mother called me to tell me that we could proceed with the donation because my sister's liver had recovered enough.... WHATT?! But then, of course I felt obligated. I mean, this could give my sister back quality of life! I was required to redo a lot of the health tests and was told I was healthy enough, and was further assured my one kidney would take up the slack for the one they were going to remove. Fast forward 4 years... and the one kidney has not. I do not " totally" regret this decision but there were things they didn't tell that my blood pressure would go up, I have to limit salt and protein, nor was I in any was prepared for the post-operative pain and recovery. I have conflicting feelings about being a hero... or the sacrificial lamb (I know that is dramatic). Anyway, for those considering donation, not every donation has a great outcome!

  • #2
    I have a sister but I doubt if I could make that sacrifice knowing how she did not take care of herself. Bless you! You are an angel!


    • #3
      I am just amazed that your sister would even be considered for a transplant if she needed a liver too. I always thought you had to be pretty healthy otherwise in order to get a transplant. I am a recovering alcoholic too (sober for 25 years), so I realize what your family went through. I am now in stage 4 of ckd and I'm sure it's because of my drinking that my kidney's are so bad. Whether you sometimes regret the fact that you donated your kidney or not, you are still an angel for doing so! You deserve any praise you get. cpi3per1


      • #4
        I gave my brother a kidney back in 1989. I wish I knew the whole truth at the time, I may have acted differently. You can live with one kidney, but what they don't tell you is you become a ticking time bomb. A person with one kidney will get high blood pressure. This is true whether it's by choice or losing one due to health problems. Once your blood pressure goes up, it strains the existing kidney i.e. kidney disease. The donator becomes a kidney patient. Oh, it takes time, but you will become a kidney patient. If you're thinking of donating a kidney, first check out the diet you will have to live on with kidney disease or dialysis. If that looks attractive to you, go ahead, because it's the diet you will be on. Think about spending four hours three times a week at a dialysis center. Get yourself good insurance now while you can, because you will need it later on. If they try to tell you that you can go back to a normal life, it's a lie. If I could give advice it would be, get as much information as you can, and then, KEEP YOUR KIDNEY, If you're looking or waiting for a kidney, think of what you are going to do to that donator, think of what you're going through as a kidney patient right now and ask, DO YOU WANT TO PUT SOMEONE ELSE THROUGH THAT? I hope not. The human being needs two kidneys to live a healthy life, God gave us two kidneys on purpose, we need both of them. I'm sorry for those who need a kidney, like me, but wait for someone to die to get one, or stay on dialysis. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, don't put anyone through that, especially those you love.