Welcome to my CaringBridge site! Why on earth would I need one of these? Well, a funny thing happened in 2006.
A fellow home schooling father and good friend, who happened to be (and still is) an outstanding Physician, had a hunch after hearing about some of my rather mild symptoms during a casual conversation. Prompted by this hunch he ordered some tests, and then more tests and X-rays and his flash of insight led to a diagnosis of chronic kidney disease. One of my kidneys was essentially atrophied and the other was in rough shape too, leaving me with less than 25% kidney function overall.
Years later no definitive root cause has been found, but there are some hints that my condition is hereditary, and in fact I may have lived with this my entire life. Who gets tested for kidney function when there are no obvious symptoms, amirite? The bottom line of the prognosis was that, through close monitoring and judicious internal medicines and supplements, my kidney function would slowly decline but I could live a normal life until an inevitable kidney transplant.
The degradation of kidney function has been slow and steady, and I've adhered to the strategy to wait as long as I could before having to endure dialysis. Meanwhile, I've gone through all of the tests to prepare for a donor, and with God's blessing, a personal friend stepped forward and she is a perfect match! I may reveal her name eventually but for now I will allow her some privacy. Just know that she is bravely offering a gift that I can never repay, and that she is simply a miracle.
With the latest test results in the fall of 2017, my nephrologist (kidney specialist) declared that it was time to make the transplant appointment. After conferring with my family and my donor's family - and the transplant center at the University of Minnesota - we are targeting late February or early March, 2018.
Thankfully my employer is supportive, my immediate and extended family is supportive, my network of friends and parish friends are supportive, and even my BSA Troop 374 family, for whom I've been Scoutmaster since 2011 is supportive (although I must step down as Scoutmaster in February). Between the hospital stay and recuperation at home I'll be out of commission for approximately 6 to 8 weeks; March - April-ish.
I'll use the journal entries on this site to keep interested parties informed, but for now all that I ask is for your prayers - not just for me, but also for my family and my donor and her family as they endure this trial. My donor and I have so much going for us that we'll be fine - it is our families that will need your love and support.
Thanks again for visiting, and I'll keep you up-to-date in the journal. Cheers!