About my (former) family transplant

3 października, 2023 * olahola
I recently got a question on Instagram about how I was coping with it all. I had a hard time putting together a satisfactory answer, because over the past year my threshold for emotional or mental endurance has definitely increased. You know-there have been relatively many stresses, rollercoasters, or other surprises, but this task-oriented approach has always made it easier for me to get through the stages of this adventure. 

Well, and then we got a BOOM. The proverbial curveball or whatever they call it . Read: An interesting throw-in to start with, encouraging you to read the whole post. 

My dad was supposed to become my donor already at the first transplant. However, fate decided that even before he started preparing for the process, I got (or rather, my mom got) a call that there was a kidney from a deceased donor. Yeah, Ola saved, my dad saved and generally everyone happy. We survived together (with the kidney, of course) a beautiful 18 years. From here it is necessary to thank the parents of this 17-year-old boy, who decided to donate his organs to save other people’s lives after his death. Here a moment of reflection, because this is, in my opinion, the clue of transplantation, or this blog. When we make the decision to donate organs after death, we give others a chance at a new life. I recommend stopping here for a moment, reading this sentence a few times and reflecting on whether I have been looking at the Declaration of Will from this perspective.

Going back. November 2022, black clouds, a little sadness, reorganization of life-start of dialysis. In the background, lots of support, tasty food and unnaturally kind deeds from my sister. We knew that before we could even think about another transplant, the transplanted kidney had to be cut out. After minor and major adventures April 2023, I am after a graftectomy. I haven’t had time to recover from the surgery yet, nay I haven’t even started the tests for the transplant, and my dad is already standing in the starting blocks to give me that kidney. I don’t know, did he not like it or what?

In short, to start the process of family transplantation, the recipient must have all the tests completed and be active on the national transplant waiting list. In our case, the machine started in mid-September 2023. In addition to the „assigned” doctor who takes care of the subject on the medical side, there is also a supervisor on the organizational side. First my dad was ordered to have basic blood tests, then ultrasounds and x-rays at the hospital, and finally we got an invitation to our first meeting together. We were given detailed information about the next steps of the process itself (no major complications plan spread over 3 months), the rules of how it will look like „after”, but also about possible complications (I looked- dad didn’t even bat an eyelid- so I guess he really wanted to get rid of that kidney <ha ha>). Later, we were briefed on the plan for the surgery itself, including the times when who goes to the operating room, the duration, and the expected date of return home. I guess that’s when I believed for a split second that this could work out. You know, I would be post-transplant in February, and that would mean I could plan a dream vacation for September. I thought about the possibility of drinking tea from my liter mug, or eating three servings of tomato soup or sour soup. Well, you know, I swam.

And here I come back to that „BOOM” from the beginning of the post. Because on the same day when we had our first talk we also did a crossmatch test. Such a blood test to see if I have an „allergy” to my dad (because blood type compatibility is the basis for the talks, not a condition for a successful transplant). Despite the armor I’ve been bravely building over the past year, despite the realization that so many more things along the way could go wrong and the transplant would be canceled, despite a generally skeptical attitude… Well, it’s a little sad. So humanly speaking, that for that split second I allowed myself to think that I’m already „over” and that it’s candy. Unfortunately, we don’t have compatibility with my dad. Of course- what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, and it’s better that it’s something wrong on my part, not that the responsibility would fall on him if something went wrong in the tests, but well. Sometimes even olahola has to get a little sad.

But only a little, because lying next to me are notes to study for the masters’ defense. Somehow I couldn’t sit down to it, thoughts were running away from me. So I allowed myself to distract myself a little, but I hope that after writing this, my head will „return” to the place and I will have the strength to study, the strength to wait for the magic phone call or the strength to be a super blogger.

And of course, thank you Dad. We do not throw the gloves into the corner, we open a gate for ourselves under the title of cross transplantation. We will not give up so easily 😉

Greetings to you and I wish you much strength 🙂
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