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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Preparing for the Inevitable

It's kinda tough when the kidneys start failing. Different blood tests have to be monitored as some of them may go up and down. Uric acid, creatinine, sodium, potassium, calcium, albumin, etc.

I just had my regular checkup and blood tests and my nephrologist noted that I am noticeably getting thinner even though my appetite is still good. Ultrasound revealed the biggest cysts have gone really bigger. My PKD is in "full bloom" I suppose.

But hey, I am still continuing with my advocacies. Last week I had a talk with some youth leaders regarding responsible use of social media and this Saturday, I plan to attend a bloggers' meetup this weekend. I don't expect though to be as active as before in my blogger activities in the coming days.

I am preparing to undergo a procedure to have vascular access for expected hemodialysis to clean up my system. I have started reading about AV fistula or vascular access for hemodialysis. Prior to the expected procedure, my prothrombin time will be checked. Just to be sure I have enough vitamin K especially with me on prophylactic antibiotics, I was prescribed menadione tablets. Of course, there's the usual medications like iron, calcium supplements, bicarbonate, antihypertensive meds. I will being seeing a surgeon for this procedure in the days to come. As you well know, I am also looking for a living kidney donor.

I really hope that despite of the procedures I will go through, I can still pursue my passion for educating the youth regarding social media and health through blogging and speaking engagements in the same way as before. I am also hopeful that I can still finish my other masters degree with the help of an open university.

As I enter into the difficult parts of my condition, I appreciate prayers and support.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Searching for a Living Kidney Donor

With my creatinine already at its highest in years, the point has come when I was advised for hemodialysis and kidney transplant. Kidney transplant appears to be the best choice at a relatively young age of 39 and in the absence of stroke and cardiovascular problems. The transplant will most likely be done in Cebu, Philippines.

And so my search for a living kidney donor has started. I cannot already count on my relatives on the mother's side since polycystic kidney disease came from the genes of my mother. To recall I have Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease. That leaves me with my relatives from my father's side as the best choice of living related donors (related by blood within the fourth degree of consangunity.) By the way, my blood type is B+.

The Philippine DOH Administrative Order 2010-0018 also allows for directed voluntary donors (-Those who are not related by blood to the recipient but bear close emotional ties with the recipient. (e.g., spouses, relatives by affinity, friends, employers/employees of long standing, Colleagues, fiancé /fiancée and adoptive parents or children) when it is found to be voluntary and truly altruistic.

So yes, those within the Philippines other than my relatives may also donate.

Of course potential donors shall be without health problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, substance abuse, heart disease, psychiatric illness, lung disease, cancer, impaired kidney function, hepatitis B or C infection and HIV. Donor must also be a non-smoker. He or she must be above age 18.

I understand it is not an easy decision for donors and many feel uncomfortable with this. Some of the questions potential donors ask are the following (with answers):

  • Will donation affect future pregnancy or fathering a child? The answer is NO based on literature.
  • Is a donor more likely to develop kidney disease? The answer again is NO. They are no different than the general population. Of course donors should have a healthy lifestyle eating the proper diet, exercising among others. From what I know, he or she should refrain from contact sports like karate, football and boxing, etc.
  • There is no change in life expectancy for a kidney donor based on current research.
  • The risk of donating kidneys is similar to those undergoing major surgery.
I am hoping that all will go well and the search will not last long. This blog has a contact page should you wish to contact me. 

I thank those who are praying for me and supporting me in any way they can. May God bless them hundredfold.


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