Monday, June 13, 2011
kidney transplant part 1
I have a long history with sickness I should write a book about all of them. Here is a part of it.
Some of my readers would have known that I've been having kidney problem since 2006 or so. Since then I've been visiting the doctor frequently. Before that I was treated for Gout Arthritis at Selayang Hospital since 2004. At first it was like every eight months, then every six months and lately every 3-4 months and two clinics; Rheumatology and Nephrology.
Since 2004 also, I've been having a quite different diet - minimizing seafood, all sorts of beans, minimal amount of meat and veggie consumption. I have to eat less or avoid food with high uric acid amount. No sardine, anchovies, ikan kembong nor cauliflower. I can't even drink more than one cup of juice daily. Among the dietitian's recommendations are only to eat not more than about 2 match box size of meat daily, not more than one tennis ball size amount of fruit daily, and not more than one big bowl of veggie daily. Of course this diet is hard to follow strictly, unless I cook every meal of every day myself.
The cause of this kidney damage is still unknown specifically until today. But the main belief or assumption is because of the pain killers I took in 2002 to cure my joint pain due to Rheumatic Arthritis. If I knew this will happen, I wouldn't ever take the pain killers. But at that time, some times the pain were unbearable. I cried many times because of joint pains. The cause might also be because of the steroid medication named Prednisolone that the doctors at HKT gave for the Rheumatic Arthritis that I used to take daily.
I remember one day sleeping at a friend's dorm room and woken up with both of my legs can't be straighten. I had to be carried by my dorm's warden and a friend to the hospital in Chukai, Kemaman. And one day I had to pick up my sister from somewhere but I had joint pain I can't even walk and cried so hard.
When I was referred to Ampang Putri, it was discovered that I suffered Gout arthritis, not Rheumatic Arthritis. I was wrongly diagnosed then. Well I shouldn't blame the docs at HKT because doctors are also human, not prophets, angels or God. Human make mistakes too. Things happen because of God's plan. And God's plans are the best even though most of the time we humans think our plans are the best. So suing the hospital was never in my mind.
I was referred and treated for Gout at Selayang Hospital, at the Rheumatology department. I was given different medicine, Allopurinol. Then they discovered my kidney is damaging and referred me to the Nephrology department. Since then I have appointments at both clinics.
Doctors asked me to take care of my kidneys -which both of them are damaging and getting worse day by day. They (the doctors always change every time I visit Selayang Specialist Hospital) gave me a medicine to be taken daily to control or lessen the uric acid amount in my body. This will also slow down the damaging process of my kidneys. I also had to visit the toilet very frequently. At first I had the urge to pee like every half an hour and then lately sometimes I had the urge in fifteen minutes time.
Nowadays I will visit the toilet about five times every night during bed time and countless times during the day.
So, imagine the days that I had to travel to Terengganu by bus. Imagine how I had to hold the urge to urinate on the bus. And I still remember during my train ride to Singapore - I visited the toilet about 3-4 times in those moving cabins.
Since then also, some of the doctors asked me to talked to my family and discuss about kidney transplant and find a possible donor. I've always thought that who the hack would be willing to donate a kidney to me? I'm no one, no hero and did nothing very good or impressive before this to make me deserve a kidney donation.
Late 2010, one doctor said that my kidney condition is in stage 3 of failing. If it's in stage 5, that instant I have to start dialysis. The doctor will straight away inject me and send me to the dialysis room.
So, I really have to talk to my family and find a possible and suitable kidney donor. It's a sad and terrifying news. What more with my date of marriage around the corner at that time. He said that I can still have a normal life even if I start with dialysis - can still go cycling, jogging but I can't go swimming.
I said that I'm planning to get married. What will happen to my sex life? He said that sex life would be fine but the possibility to get children will be lower. I asked this because someone I know, a girl who is currently going through dialysis said a man going through dialysis will have the possibility to mati pucuk.
The doctor said if my creatinine blood level keep on rising the next time I visit, "we will talk more seriously about dialysis".
For the rest of that day, I was sad and slept over it. My other half came straight after working hours to cheer me up and take me out for dinner. It's amazing that she can read my feelings without looking at my face. And even today, she will know my feelings just by looking at my face.
Called my mom and cried. And my mom cried too-while talking to my doctor auntie, Dr. Fauziah -a gynecologist at Ampang Putri. So, she planned and came along with me on a doctor appointment on 6th April 2011.
After the discussion with the doctor he estimated that I have about five years before my kidney failure reaches stage 5. This is just an estimation, it could be even later or sooner. My auntie said she will talk and discuss with my siblings about this. I never shared this to my siblings before -only with my mother. I'm too scared.
My mother kept on saying to me not to worry. There will be a way for me. A way out of this problem. She's always calm. Yes. Every bad or good things happen, comes from God. And it's a part of life's puzzles. Everything happen for a reason. Every time something bad happen -she always smile and not get mad. I remember one time accident happened because of my carelessness. I forgot to free the gear of our manual car and in the morning when she ignited the engine the car crash the concrete fence at the parking porch. She didn't scold me at all. She just laughed. Bukan rezeki. If only all human beings think the same way every time something bad happen to them.
I've considered to go through dialysis process before. I thought that's the only choice I have even though I heard a lot of scary stories about it. With dialysis - you can't really work anymore. You have to be in hospital all day three out of the five working days or something like that. And the cost is very high- the last I heard some pakciks chat about it in the car on the way to my brother in law wedding. One of them said it costs about RM3k a month! But there are a place in Petaling Jaya that cost cheaper for the poorer dialysis patients. So yeah, dialysis has been a nightmare to me since 2006 or so...
Then one day I received a call from a close childhood friend in Terengganu. He said one of our friends just passed away. I was close to arwah in form 5, in 1999. We were the losers in the class that the others would make fun of. But after that year, we lost contact. What's terrifying to me is the cause of death - kidney failure.
Exactly two weeks after my wedding, almost all of my siblings were at our kampung except me and one of my elder sisters. Preparing and cleaning the house for the Sambut Menantu ceremony. I think my mother took the chance to discuss about my kidney problem with them. And Alhamdulillah, according to my mother both of my younger sisters and younger brother are willing to donate a kidney to me. All of them are willing to check with the doctors to see who's the most fittest and suitable to be my donor.
Not to forget my eldest sister was the first one my mother shared about this and she is also willing to donate a kidney to me. Just that she's not that healthy herself. So yesterday my wife googled and did a little research about kidney transplant and share with me. Thanks to her too for loving me endlessly eventhough I have a chronic health problem.