I met with the psychiatrist at Yale today. We spoke about the potential for my mood to be altered by the post transplant medications. The steroids, which they usually use in high doses for a short period – days to weeks, in particular can make people agitated, have trouble concentrating, etc. She also mentioned that one of the medications I will likely take long-term can have similar, but less severe side effects as well. The bad news – memory and concentration issues are some of the potential problems – not ideal with the job I have. The good news – they are reversed if the medication can be stopped. In most cases, there are alternatives and the likelihood of side effects is much lower than with steroids.


Either way, it got me thinking, again, that this is a big deal. It’s life changing. I try to be nonchalant about it, but days like today make me realize how serious this really is, even if it is routine for the staff at the transplant clinic.


It’s not like I have choice – if I want to live anyway – but that’s not a comfortable position to be in. Yes, it is easy to say things will be better, and I believe that. However, it would be nicer, especially at 32, to be able to live my life without having to have transplant surgery. Don’t get me wrong, I know others are in worse shape and I am not asking for sympathy. On some level though, this really does suck.


Of course where would I be if not for kidney disease? Weird question, right? Kidney disease has helped teach me to cherish life and do things I probably wouldn’t have been able to do; finish my 1-year project at work 2 weeks before transplant, drive a race car, get up every morning and be happy I did, etc.


If nothing else, kidney disease has given me perspective. It has helped me to live life, not just be alive.

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