Transplant Athlete
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
  Victor Bowers - Denying a Transplant is Cruel

There is an incredible amount of fear that takes over your life when you hear that your kidneys are failing and that you need a transplant or dialysis to stay alive. I believed there were things I wanted to do that would never be possible without my native kidneys. I worried about the expense of the operation. I worried about my mother's health after the transplant. I was afraid that kidney wouldn't last. How would you feel if your mother risked her life for an operation and then the kidney was rejected? Would she blame me? Would I blame me? Was I worth the trouble? You can't imagine all of the things there are to worry about when you have years to ponder the issue. I can only imagine how other people feel when they go from healthy to dialysis in days, or weeks; I can imagine all of that pain and anguish compressed and amplified.

I cannot imagine being told that I would be on dialysis for up to a year, but possibly more waiting for a kidney. There is no control in that situation. You might even get called as "backup" in case the primary transplant falls through. How depressing does that get? I've met patients who rely on their faith in God to see them through this period. "It's Gods will. When God is ready he will give me a kidney." I don't know if my faith would be strong enough to see me through years of dialysis. Imagine having to change the oil in your car every other day, but Jiffy Lube took 4 hours to do it. Would you accomplish your life's goals being stuck in the Jiffy Lube waiting room? Would you even have a life?

In Alex Crionas' shoes I would set up a web page. I would be on TV and radio begging for a kidney. I would be doing anything in my power to control my fear, to beat it into the ground, to show it who is in control. Victor Bowers, Life-Link, and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons want that power and control for themselves. They decide who lives or dies. They decide who gets a kidney from whom. When did transplant patients become so powerless and why in my next post.


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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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Warning Signs for Kidney Disease:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Burning or Difficulty when Urinating
  • Frequent Urination at Night
  • Blood in your urine
  • Cola or tea colored urine
  • Swellig of the eyes, ankles, or feet
  • Lower back pain unrelated to physical activity

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