My recent TX experience

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Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:40 am

My recent TX experience

Post by StephenW »

Having recently had a transplant, I thought it might be useful to others to recount my experiences, so here goes...

I was diagnosed with igA nephropathy about 12 years ago and my kidney function has been gradually declining ever since. By December, I was still pre-dialysis, but with an eGFR of 11. I have been on the transplant list for about 15 months.

On Boxing Day afternoon, I got the call from Addenbrooke's, telling me they had a kidney available for me. We quickly downed-tools on our afternoon's work of preparing the house for the onslaught of relatives who were intending to come to stay for a few days, I grabbed my prepared bag, and we set off for the hospital (about an hour and a half's drive).

I was quite quickly shown to a bed, had blood taken, had a canula inserted, and got gowned-up and, by 6pm, I was on the operating table, with the anaesthetic being administered. This was all a bit of a surprise, because this was my fourth call to Addenbrookes: the other three times the donor kidneys had proved to by non-viable, so I had been quite prepared for the same thing to happen again.

I have some vague memories of waking up in the recovery room but, as soon as I was fully awake, they wheeled me back to the ward. I think this must have been around 1:30am.

I passed a reasonably comfortable night. I had a lot of wires and tubes connected to me, including one attached to a PCA pump that allowed me, by pressing a 'clicker' to self-adminster small doses of pain relief (morphine, I think). However, I found that most of the time I did not feel very much pain. This was one of the surprises of the operation, as I had expected that the surgery would be quite painful. In this respect, I think I had helped myself be losing a lot of weight in the year preceding the operation, so presumably the surgeons did not have too much flesh to cut through--but that's only my guess. The weight loss was partly deliberate, but mainly because I was trying to stick to a recommended low salt, low potassium and low phosphate diet which meant that I cut out or cut down on a lot of things that were potentially fattening.

The morning after the operation, the nurses were keen to get me out of bed and into a chair (that manoeuvre WAS a bit painful) and helped me have a wash and change out of my surgical gown and into some pyjamas (more complex than it sounds because wires and tubes had to be disconnected from machines and threaded through sleeves, etc. Still, by mid morning, I was feeling a bit more human. They pushed a lot of fluids into my body by means of 'drips' over the first couple of days--to the extent that I put on 7kg of weight in the first 2 days after the op. This was quite uncomfortable and made me feel very bloated, even making it noticeably more difficult to expand my lungs and take deep breaths.

I felt at my worst in the night 48 hours after the operation. I felt quite nauseous and had two episodes of vomiting, which were very painful. I don't know if it was the bloating that caused this, but it certainly didn't help!

Over the 4 days after the operation, the various tubes and wires were removed, one by one. I was also quickly given responsibility for my own medication, with a daily printout telling me which drugs to take when. The doctors came round and had a look at me every morning and the consultant visited in the afternoons. On New Year's Eve, 5 days after the op, I was pleased and surprised when, having asked me the seemingly obligatory questions about my bowels and my 'waterworks' the doctor announced that I could go home that day ('if you promise to drink three litres of water, a day'). My wife arrived for her daily visit shortly after and was a bit taken aback--especially as she had taken my shoes home and not brought them back with her!

I was delighted to get home so soon, but very tired. I then had the following day to rest, before a return trip to Cambridge, the day after, for my first outpatients appointment. The new kidney is a bit slow waking up: a week post transplant, my eGFR is at 22, which is much better than it has been for years, but is still well short of what the doctors are hoping for. I have the next outpatients appointment tomorrow, so will find out if is getting any better.

Without exception, all the staff at Addenbrookes were hugely professional, considerate and cheerful, at a time when they were clearly quite short-staffed and there were one or two very demanding patients on the ward (not me!) I have a very strong aversion to the whole idea of being in hospital, but the staff couldn't have done a better job.

Happy New Year to all.

Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:13 am

Re: My recent TX experience

Post by Skm »

Congratulations on your new transplant. I hope it wakes up and starts working well soon.

Let us know how you get on.

Transplant May 2015
Posts: 1310
Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:49 pm

Re: My recent TX experience

Post by wagolynn »

Best wishes, and a Happy new year.
Happy new kidney!
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 11:31 am
Location: Southern England

Re: My recent TX experience

Post by Adam »

Yes, congratulations and best wishes!
July 2008 - transplant - living related donor
April 2005 - dialysis - tunnelled neckline, then CAPD (15 months), then HD (left wrist AV fistula)
January 2004 - diagnosis - IgA Nephropathy
Posts: 1244
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 3:50 pm
Location: London, England

Re: My recent TX experience

Post by Thumps »

HUrrah! hope it wakes up soon :)
PKD/PLD diagnosed 1994, CKD stage 5 Oct 2007, Living Donor Kidney Transplant Dec 2008, still going strong!
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