Kidney Transplant
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18 yr old needs support

I am the mom of an 18 yr old (amazing) young man. I gave him my kidney 10 yrs ago. His brother got his Dads kidney and sadly, (not due to kidney failure) passed away 7 yrs ago; which ended our marriage. My son is amazing but he is really struggling. His self-esteem and self-care are poor and I live in fear every day that I am going to lose him b/c he does not take the health precautions necessary for a healthy donor kidney. He has few friends, no goals, he just seems to have given up. We are a strong, educated, family that has been blown apart due to the challenges stated. I want my son to find success...but all I do is harp on him b/c I am afraid. He needs to meet teens who too have struggled w/ medical issues, and grief -but are looking forward to a future... We seem to be quite the anomaly...not many families like us...and feeling different keeps us separated and alone. This is not healthy...can you direct us to "like" people or groups? We are good people...who need a community. Thank you.

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Wish I could offer specific direction. Peer encouragement often works. Our next door 19-year-old neighbor is a drug addict (like AA, it is a lifetime sentence). His parents tried two expensive residential programs ... but what finally worked is an organization in his (and our) home town that provided a residential programs with peers his own age, including frequent Narcotics Annonymous group meetings ... again with his peers. This young man now has a paid position in a high school environment as a peer counselor! Alas, individuals themselves ultimately must take charge of their lives. It's not something a parent can make a child do. One thought: If your community has a kidney support group (see the internet), they may have a group of kidney-impaired teens only. Check also, DaVita. It's a large national dialysis chain that provides lots of educational material. Each DaVita center has a social worker on their team.

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While I’m not a teenager I have had a kidney/Pancreas Transplant 7 yrs ago, I was use to a disciplined routine from being a diabetic for 34 yrs prior to Transplant so taking meds has come easy, I however play guitar in a hard rock band from Birmingham Alabama and can relate to younger people and I Maybe I can connect with him thru music , I would love to offer him any encouragement that I can and know from experience that he can push thru his issues. Please let me know if you think that I can be of any help.Thanks,

Mike Snow

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My son is 18 as well and he received one of my kidneys almost 4 years ago. He has done well socially and with the exception of being alone at college this year, he has done an excellent job of complying with his medical precautions. Maybe they can connect on social media and bounce ideas of one another. We have tried not to consider him different and just look at our situation as a family struggle we all share. I would be happy to help in any way we can.

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Hello. I'm quite a bit older than you son, but I have the same issues. I have very low self-esteem and I don't take care of myself like I know I should. I'm 48, married, and my wife and I have an 8 year old son.

I have no issues taking my medications, but it's my sedentary lifestyle (not anywhere near the exercise I need) and my diet choices that will catch up to me eventually.

I've been very depressed, and have considered suicide, though never even come close to attempting. My depression is a combination of body-image (I'm not obese, but overweight), and after having this fantastic kidney for 6 months, they found a virus in it that caused severe damage. After that I had to go on an IV every two weeks for a year, which never killed the virus, then if all that wasn't bad enough, I started to get something like acne over most of my body and hidradenitis suppurativa under my arms and groin area. HS is more common in women in their teens/20's, not a 44 year old man (at the time)!

Hmm...maybe sharing my story might help your son, I've had a really difficult time. I waited over 6 years for the kidney I received, and it worked so well immediately after surgery. I was grateful (and still am that it still works). Though in my case, I have to admit that I actually felt "better" before the transplant.

Wow, long story, sorry! I am looking for the same though. There don't seem to be any support groups for people like us.

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