It’s human nature to deny. To expect the best. To assume that all will be well. I’m as susceptible to it as anyone. When I was diagnosed with PKD at age 19, I decided that I would be among the small percent of patients who never experience kidney failure as a result. And when my kidneys began to fail at age 38, I believed whole-heartedly that one of my (very-willing) brothers would be accepted as an organ donor, would be a good match for me, that my surgery will be without complications, that my body will not reject the new organ, and that life will go on as usual post-surgery.
(I still believe that last part. I have to.)
But I know better.
The thing is, even when all of the above very-complicated issues go right, the life of a transplant patient is rarely happily-ever-after. Immune suppression, rejection episodes, repeat transplants, chronic infections, diabetes, liver failure, peripheral neurophathy, chronic severe gastro-intestinal distress, yo-yoing weight, and recurring bouts with severe dehydration are among the health complications that my father has had to cope with in the 30 years since his first kidney transplant. Recently, a year without multiple hospitalizations is unusual enough to cause comment.
Dad’s fight is getting harder, lately. And it’s getting harder to stay in denial about the long-term effects of this disease. But I have to believe that there is a solution, somewhere, to this unending spiral of complications and bad health that follows in the wake of kidney transplantation. It’s why I keep fighting.
I really don't see any alternative.