5-31-12/From Bad to Worse

It is never a good thing when you show up at transplant clinic and they tell you the head of surgery is coming to speak with you.


Long story short, the entire team reviewed my case and they are fairly certain that I will need surgery in a few weeks to attach one of my old ureters to my new kidney.




The surgeon explained that he thought it would be a “miracle” if the stent and drain fixed the problem. He also said they are not willing to do another stent/drain because I am already having pain and the next thing after that is infection. Infections from the drain can quickly spread to the kidney, if they don’t originate there, and cause major problems. They would rather do surgery to almost guarantee a fix than risk hurting the kidney. Frankly, I agree with them.


I said to the surgeon, “I guess if you have to have a problem post-transplant, this is better than something that directly puts the kidney at risk.” He responded with, “if you say so.”


Apparently, less than 1% of transplant recipients have it come to this.


The rest of the conversation did not go well. Here’s basically how it went:


Me: Okay, well at least I don’t need to spend a week in the hospital afterwards.

Surgeon: Yes you do.

Me: Okay, well at least the recovery will be easier than the transplant surgery.

Surgeon: No, it will be the same, or worse since we have to cut through healing/damaged tissue.

Me: Okay, well at least I don’t need a cycsoscopy to remove a stent.

Surgeon: Yes you do.


I am not a happy camper right now.


To top it off, my uncle is being honored for his role running a non-profit for the past 20 years, about 2 hours from my house. My Grandfather is flying up and we were going to go together. That looks unlikely at best right now. I will either be having surgery, or still have a “pain drain,” as I like to call it, sticking out of me – with urine leaking out of the site.


I talked to my grandfather last week about the possibility of not being able to take him to the event. Today he explained that while he is visiting here in Connecticut, he wants me to take him to Massachusets to visit a cousin. I told him I didn’t think that was going to happen. Something like, “we’ll see” followed. To which I said, “it’s really not something I can do.” To which something like, “tough it out” followed.


I don’t know if he’s in denial, or just has no idea how much pain/discomfort I am in. Or, the risk and added discomfort driving 5 hours in a day will cause. Or, if he cares about me, but is incapable of caring about my circumstance. Either way, it’s frustrating, to say the least.

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