Kidney Transplant
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Long Life with Transplant

I get asked so often what I did to be almost 19 years post transplant. Here are some tips.

- I have never missed taking my transplant meds. Ok, maybe once or twice but it was because I had a flu bug and was vomiting

- I have kept all of my doctor appts and made sure I do all of the labs that were ordered. I am a "hard" stick so going to the lab at times was not always a pleasant experience. And yes after almost 19 years, I still "hold my breath" waiting to get the results. With a few glitches, my creatinine is consistently at 0.9.

- I know at first after a transplant they want you take your BP everyday. After almost 19 years I don't do that anymore, but I still take it weekly. I take it more often if I am dizzy, have a headache, or if I feel my pulse is high. I think it's important.

- I live in a state that does not have a transplant center in its boundaries, so I see a nephrologist here every 3 months. I write down questions that I might have for the next time I see him. If something serious comes up or if I have a question that can't wait till next appt., I make sure I "portal" ( medical system here email for DR) him.

- I live in a very dry & arid state, so dehydration is a problem for me. I never walk out the door without a bottle or 2 of water. I make sure to remember to drink.

- I have gained some weight since my transplant but try to stay active and walk everyday. Winters can be brutal here, so my husband joins me and we walk at the local mall.

- I think for a lot of things....moderation is the word. I eat a lot of chicken and fish but certainly eat BEEF, but not more than once a week. I live in a state that raises cattle afterall!

- Travel can sometimes be a challenge. Eating all of your meals in a restaurant can be a problem because they salt everything. I have found that more and more restaurants will skip the salt if you ask them.

- The one thing I cannot stress enough is to be your own advocate!! You know your body better than anyone. If you think something isn't right.....get on the phone and call your doctor or transplant center. This is your life and don't be afraid to ask questions.

- And most of all......Live Life!!! You didn't go through all of this for "fun"......you did it to live and that is exactly what you should do. After my transplant I saw both of my daughters marry and I now have 2 little buddies - my grandsons. My husband and I have traveled to Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, hiked in the Rocky Mts in Glacier National Park, caught Salmon off Vancouver Island in Canada, retired and now live in WY. It was always our dream to move out West and so we did. I look upon my Transplant as a true Gift of Life!

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I could not agree more to your comments and I would add one more thing. Strengthen your bonds with your Lord and savior by praying and being humble. Next year will be my 32 year post transplant and I praise God every day.

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Kbressler, I LOVE this addition in how to have a long and successful transplant. I think this one should be listed as #1! Without God, I wouldn’t be standing here today. And to hear that you have had your transplant for 32 years?! Praise God! That is absolutely amazing. Thank you for reminding me of what Gods capable of.

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Kinzbravo Check out wyoanne response. We would be no where with God’s loving embrace. Prayer protects us from complacency it allows us to thank him for everything he does for us. I am so happy that the three of us see God’s place in this whole process. I went to the Nephrologist on Thursday and found out that my lab work was normal. When I saw that I silently thanked God for the blessing. When you put him first everything else falls into place. I pray that both of you continue to be well and maintain your humility. God is capable of all things.

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Yes, you are right......prayer in my life is very important. I thank God every day for this wonderful gift and my fantastic donor!! Nothing happens without God's goodness!

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Thank you so much for sharing. I am 37 years old and only two years post transplant. In the back of my mind there’s always that worry of “how long will I be blessed with this gift”?. When I read the list of things you do, I thought about how I do all of those things as well! So, I guess I’m doing a good job! :)

Hearing success stories like yours makes me feel hopeful and excited to know it’s possible to live a long and wonderful life! I pray for a continued life of blessings for you! Keep up the good work!

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So glad to hear of your travels! My fiancée and I want to travel and I’d like to go on some mission trips but wasn’t sure if I could post transplant!

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You can do anything you want. Many years ago now, I met Chris Klug, who won a bronze medal snowboarding in the Olympics in 2002 winter games in Salt Lake. He had a liver transplant in 2000. He has since been in the Winter X Games in 2016 and 2018 winning golds in both. There is no holding you back.

Stay healthy!

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You are an inspiration! I've had my kidney 8 years this month. Stay healthy!

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I absolutely love your post! I am over a year post and doing great! Sometimes I need to hear that I can do anything and that my transplant shouldn't stop that! Thank you and congratulations on a long transplant life!

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What a wonderful supportive story. My son is now 28 and nearly 3 years post transplant. I sure hope and pray he has a story to tell like yours many years from now.

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Thank you! Take care and I hope your son continues to do well.

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I couldn’t have said it better myself. All you mentioned is right on. Sure, you can’t help wondering from time to time the “what if” but we were given this second chance at life so I try to remain positive, help others, hold near to God and live each day to the fullest. I, like you, follow the regimen very strictly. My nephrologist said he wished all his transplant patients were like me; he’d have an easier job. I think that is the key to good health. Here’s to us both and lots of happy years ahead.

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