Thursday, February 5, 2015

Surgery Date Confirmed

Surgery day has been booked and confirmed for February 25th early in the morning, and my mother’s will be the same day right after mine (while I’m in the recovery room)!    

Test results: my total kidney function
I was first admitted over a year ago on November 6th 2013.  I went into the hospital with mother that morning; I was her translator. She was preparing for her surgery to rid both her kidneys: they were both as large as little babies.  In fact, many times she took transit, people would give her their seat thinking she was pregnant.  She was no longer fighting or spending energy to tell people that she was fine for the seat.

I was relieved to hear that they were getting rid of them; these kidneys have only caused problems for her since it was diagnosed with PKD.   They allowed her to keep it because it still had 3% function.  6 years later, they went down to nearly nothing.  Not only were they not functioning properly, they were causing her a lot of abdominal pain and problems.  She wasn’t able to eat much because it was pushing on her stomach and other organs, constantly causing gastric reflux, nausea and upset stomach.  

Visiting her grand daughter 2015
I see her and am thankful she is still alive.  She tells me all the time that if she had not immigrated, she would have been long gone.  She told me there would have been nothing for her and even if there was something, she would not have been able to afford it.  I imagined what other people are going through in worse conditions.  We are so incredibly lucky.  

“We will have to get to the kidney and crush it up into small pieces inside of her...”. The surgeon tells me to translate.  I thought about it and made a disgusted face.  This was the only way they can get those two large “babies” out of her!  Gross!  They had to cut it up inside of her, otherwise she would have too large of an incision.

This is happening for real!  I translated it to mother and she starts to cry.  I had to keep going.  She tells me to explain to the surgeon that she was scared.  I did.  I almost sobbed out loud.  I didn’t want to show that I was scared for her too.  I held it in and distracted myself with talking.  I thought about how she declined my offer to donate my kidney 6 years ago, and again 1 year earlier when I had mentioned it.  If she had agreed to this earlier, her kidney's wouldn't have grown so big.

I knew, it was now or never.  I made the decision that day to donate my kidney to her even if she refuses.    I translated as I was supposed to, but adding in questions of my own about how the donation would work.  I needed to start the process right away.  I got the package that day.  I told my mother’s entire team to not let her know till I have finished with all the testing and it is confirmed safe for me to do so.  They agreed and worked with me.  

Mother and me 2005
I think about it, and imagined myself being her.  I mean, she was my age once believing that everything is fine and will be alright, and then the disease, and still, she tells me everything is fine.  She wasn’t scared till now.  She was just thankful that we have a good health care system.  Always reminding me that I am in Canada, and the government will take care of its people.  I thought about that, and it’s true!  If I were to be homeless elsewhere, no one would care if I had a place to live or not.  For all that I know, I could have been long gone as well without any medical coverage.

The long journey awaits.  I’m not quite sure what to feel yet, but I know I’m doing this, and for the right reasons. 

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