My Kidney Story
by Martina Bowen
I was only two (2) years old when my kidneys failed and I was treated with prednisolone (used to treat inflammatory and auto immune conditions) for twelve (12) years. In 1976, at the age of fifteen (15) year, I had my first kidney transplant.
Before my kidney transplant I received dialysis on an old, archaic dialysis machine, which was like a Simpson washing machine, with tubes everywhere. My mother, who could not bear to see me suffer on the dialysis machine, gave me one of her kidneys.
Unfortunately, in 1990 my kidney failed, due to old age and a urinary tract infection (UTI), which did not help. I also had a child after my transplant, which probably contributed to the rejection of the transplanted kidney. At the age of 30, I was back on dialysis. Dialysis was not so bad, as the dialysis machines were different and much more modern, compared to the first dialysis machine I used as a child. I dialyzed at home, except when I was sick and had to be admitted to hospital.
I was on dialysis for fourteen (14) years then my son gave me one of his kidneys, for which I am very grateful. I opted to go on nocturnal dialysis, which was effective... I was feeling very well and could eat almost everything, with no dietary restrictions. I had to drink 1 liter of water a day and felt well.
My new kidney was great, and although I had a major rejection in the first week the doctors were prepared for this, and they treated me accordingly. Now my transplanted kidney is eight (8) years old and still going strong... and I am healthy and happy.
I still have to take medication everyday (as a matter of fact twice a day) but this is nothing compared to the alternative. I will forever be grateful to the people who have helped me, especially my mother and my son. I will also forever be grateful to the doctors and staff of John Hunter Hospital who have a great success rate with kidney transplants.
I am aiming to keep this new kidney for another twenty five (25) years.
This is my brief story... I hope you enjoyed it.