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Posted Feb 19 2009 5:12pm
Here are the transplant receipients. Each of us had different conditions which caused the need for a kidney transplant. Joe (top left) had polycyctic kidneys. This condition required for him to have a kidney removed because the kidney grew to be so large. Guy (top right) had what's known as FSG. I'm still not sure what it involves but Guy went for a check up and found out his blood pressure was extremely high. Lab results later showed kidney damage so severe that a transplant was needed. Now, uncontrolled blood pressure does wipe out kidney function because the blood vessels in the kidney are so tiny they can't handle that type of pressure. It's like opening a fire hydrant to fill a latex glove. Ann (bottom right) had Wegner's Disease and that can affect the kidneys, lungs and sinuses. It can also be misdiagnosed with Good Pasteur's Disease. Then there's me (bottom left) who has Diabetes. What amazed me is, out of all the kidney transplant patients there was only one other Diabetic. He happened to receive my donor's other kidney and also lived in Huntsville. I remember doing my "laps" around the nurses' station and being lapped multiple times by this woman talking on her cell and moving quite freely. Surely she hasn't had a transplant I thought. Little did I know how important that woman would become to me, she was Ann. Ann lives in Mississippi and her and her husband, David are cattle farmers. Bruce and I learned so much about what goes into raising cattle! Another night, I was doing my laps (a little bit quicker) and here I go and lap this man who I had seen doing laps past my room. A conversation strikes up and this man is Guy. These 2 people became such an integral part of our lives not only while in Birmingham but still to this day. We met Joe and Joyce in the cafeteria one day while eating. While you are staying in the townhouse, you are given meal tickets for the hospital cafeteria. Joyce overheard us talking one day and we found out that Joyce had donated a kidney to Joe. He was to be leaving on a Thursday to go home. Unfortunately when Joe's stint was taken out of his bladder, his ureter closed up and had to have emergency surgery to put the stint back. He ended up staying about another week and we would talk to him and Joyce at the lab or clinic when we had our appointments. Faces become familar when you see them at the lab at 6:00 am every morning or the cafeteria at about 7:00 am and then the clinic at about 8:00 am. Guy and Ann were unable to have anyone stay with them at the townhouse where I was blessed to have my hubby, Bruce stay with me. The four of us were sent to the townhouse on the same day I believe. Bruce and I ran into Guy and Ann at the cafeteria and struck up a conversation. Plans were made to walk over to the lab the next morning and from that point on whenever you one of us the others were close by. The transplant team dubbed us the Three Musketeers with our designated driver, Bruce. When one of us had a clinic visit, the others went along for moral support. We cheered for one another when our labs came back and our numbers were good. We encouraged each other when the numbers were not so good. We ate most meals together, prayed together and went to the movies. I would encourage anyone who is about to embark on this journey to reach out to others around you in the same situation. Those of us in the picture prolly would not have met had it not been for kidney failure. My life would not have been greatly enriched had these people not come into it.
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