My short bio: I am a 26 y/o male who has been waiting for a kidney for between 3 and 4 years. This will be my second transplant, the first one was about 6 years ago. I have been on Hemodialysis the last 4 years while waiting for a kidney, I did both home hemo and in center. The kidney I will be receiving will be from a deceased donor, whom I never met and didn't know me. I just received the call at 2:04am EST so things are still in the early stages, but I thought some people may find this interesting and would love to get word about the importance of organ donation spread. I will answer any questions you have until I get put under for surgery. I try to answer some more when I wake up also, however that will be a while.

My Proof: These are the scars from the 1st transplant:

And this is my fistula (An artificially enlarged vein in my arm that is used for dialysis)

Comments: 955 • Responses: 29  • Date: 

__dilligaf__269 karma

You 'should be' getting the kidney transplant? What could derail it?

Did you know you were at the top of the list, like do they give you a heads when you reach top 10? Or was the call a complete surprise?

Good luck! I hope everything goes smoothly and you make a speedy recovery!

caniborrowyourkidney318 karma

I got a call in June saying I was top 20, other than that, it was a complete surprise. As for derailing it, if they are taking someone off life support and they don't die right away, the organs become unusable, that happened last time I had a transplant. If it does happen, I just get the next kidney of my blood type that comes available. Last time that took an extra day.

prunepicker141 karma

Holy crap, that fistula looks painful! Fingers crossed your surgery goes according to plan. Do you have a lot of family/friends with you right now?

caniborrowyourkidney152 karma

I've only told my parents and 1 friend so far. I'll let my sister know when I am actually on my way to the hospital. She was currently getting tested to donate to me, so I want to let her know as soon as everything is finalized.

Sneakin_Deacon134 karma

Wow! Congratulations on the good news and good luck with the operation and recovery.

If you don't mind, why did you need a kidney transplant in the first place?

What have you been doing for the past 4 years while waiting?

What's your opinion on your doctor, their team, and the hospital?

caniborrowyourkidney225 karma

Thanks!! I was born with my bladder basically outside my body, this ruined my ureters,which caused damage to my kidneys and slowly killed them off.
The last 4 years I have been working. I originally did dialysis at home 6 days a week, but on my own schedule, so I was able to still work 60+ hours a week as an EMT. I had 3 seizures 2 christmas' ago, so I had to stop doing dialysis at home and start going to a center for it every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Now I still work 40-50 hours a week at a bank. I go to dialysis at 6pm, so I am able to work during the day. I'm going to the same hospital that I had my transplant at last time. I trust the doctors there. They all seem very intelligent and caring. I don't know exactly who will be doing the surgery because it all depends on who is on call when it's time, but it will be one of 3 doctors and I know them all pretty well and like the all.

ReebingNaw91 karma

Are you going to give this new kidney a name? If so, what?

caniborrowyourkidney121 karma

I haven't thought about it, last time it was Mike, because the donor was a 20 something y/o white guy and that was the first name that came to mind. If anybody has any ideas for a name, I would love to hear them.

TheHoundhunter70 karma

Two questions;

1) does it feel strange to have another persons organ inside you? I have always wondered.

2) how do you feel about making it possible to legally buy and sell organs? I believe it is in Iraq you can get a kidney for ~$2000, but obviously in a developed nation people would want more money to give up a kidney. As someone involved in that system how do you feel about it?

caniborrowyourkidney177 karma

1.) It's not so weird having someone else's organ in me. (giggity) The weird part has been more thing like when it's rain gin and I say something like, oh good, there should be a few accidents tonight, a few more kidneys available. or like I said about the person being removed from life support having to die right away, it's weird hoping for someone to die. 2.) I get why it's illegal, but in all honesty if I had the $$, I would have flown to china and bought myself a kidney when I first needed it. I understand that the people who are giving up their kidney are being taken advantage of and I wish there was a way to regulate an organ trade, but there isn't. It's always going to be there until they start 3d printing organs.

masorick61 karma

Do you still pee when your kidneys aren't working?

caniborrowyourkidney119 karma

I don't, some people do a little, but they still have to watch how much fluid they drink because most of it gets retained. I haven't in about 2.5 years and I have to say, that first time after waiting so long will amazing.

Itsallhappening_50 karma

How did you feel mentally and emotionally when you found out that you were getting a kidney transplant? What did you feel like mentally and emotionally while you were waiting during those four years?

Good luck with everything! Positive thoughts are going your way.

I guess your username is a little less relevant now. Congrats. :)

caniborrowyourkidney94 karma

It's been crazy, I was in a pretty deep sleep when they called because I just had dialysis last night ending at 10pm and that wipes me out, so I kinda had to stop for a second when I was talking to them and make sure I wasn't still asleep. I have had plenty of dreams of getting this call the last 4 years, so I wanted to make sure this time was real. I'm very shocked, but it's funny because my thoughts keep going to my job and how it's going to effect everyone there (we are super shot handed) I'm trying to make plans for that while packing and getting everything else ready for my dog and everything else.

BadGrammarSucks37 karma

How is it that you've survived 4 years of needing another kidney?

caniborrowyourkidney68 karma

Dialysis, you can (kind of) survive for quite a long time without any kidneys as long as you go to dialysis 3 times a week. For those that don't know, for dialysis, you go and get 2 large needle put in a vein and they run your blood through a machine and clean it then put it back in you, this takes out any toxins that your kidneys would normally remove and any extra fluid that your kidneys would normally turn to urine. You can't survive forever on dialysis, a transplant is the goal for the majority of people on dialysis, because dialysis takes its toll on your body, thing were getting very bad for me because of some of the problems caused by dialysis, so this kidney is a HUGE relief.

Bronnichiwa27 karma

Not to mention that dialysis takes a huge toll on your energy.

My mom was on dialysis for four or five years before she got her transplant, and that shit makes you tired. Not only is it half the week that's already taken up by being in the hospital (usually dialysis places are 9-5), but forget doing anything after a day on dialysis.

caniborrowyourkidney30 karma

yeah, I was lucky to find an opening at a hospital that did dialysis until 10pm. It is a 40 minute drive, but definitely worth it to be able to work full time.

megmatthews2024 karma

Can you go into specifics on what it's doing to your body? My cat is slowly dying of renal failure, and I'm considering putting him to sleep today. I want to know it's the right choice, I guess. Is the quality of life living with renal failure worth it?

caniborrowyourkidney73 karma

First let me say I am sorry to hear about your cat, my cat I had growing up died from renal failure about 4 months ago, it sucks to watch them go through that. We brought him down to the vet to put him down because he was in so much pain all he did was lay on the floor and cry, but he died on his own while at the vet. I can't tell you what to do, but my view has always been that being in pain is better than being dead, most of the time. The way my cat was, it was unfair to force him to stay around any longer, I have no doubt in my mind if it was me in that bad of shape, with no hope of getting better, I would want to end it on my own. Things are very different between humans and cats, you should get a recommendation from your vet, who knows the cats condition. They usually really do care about the pets and want what is best for them.

minnick2720 karma

Former dialysis tech here. I had 1 patient who has been on dialysis since 1981 and is still there. Several other patients were 20 years or more. Various reasons why they werent on transplant lists

caniborrowyourkidney17 karma

Yeah, I know a few prop;e who have been on many, many years, but it's not an ideal situation. dialysis doesn't take care of everything a kidney would.

oversizedchromespoon31 karma

How long does dialysis take? Are you stuck in the one place during this time? Is there a notable difference in how you feel before the dialysis to after you've finished? And are you just shit-your-pants excited right now? Congrats, guy!

caniborrowyourkidney44 karma

Dialysis for me was 3.5 hours, it can take people anywhere from 2.5-6 hours (sometimes longer) depending on the size of the person. I would feel very different after dialysis, much healthier and more energetic after sleeping right after dialysis. immediately, it wipes me out, but when I wake up I normally feel good. And yes, pants have been shat. I can not wait for the call to come down to the hospital, it should be another 3 hours.

kyoshiwarrior23 karma

My dad had a kidney transplant in the late 80's, and they left the original two in his body and added the new one (presumably to minimize the trauma to the body). Are your original two still there? Will they leave the third?

caniborrowyourkidney43 karma

My native 2 had to be removed because they got infected and were causing a lot of pain. It depends on were they put the new one, if they will leave the old transplant. I explained it in full detail how they chose which side it should go on with somebody earlier. Oh and the removal of my two native kidneys was the worst surgery I have ever had, pain wise. So normally they leave your native kidneys in, unless they are causing problems.

freezingpanda22 karma

Congratulations, and good luck! If something goes wrong with this transplant (like the scenario you mentioned where the organ expires) do you go back to the top of the list for your blood type? Are there other factors aside from blood type which could force you to wait for years again, or are you basically guaranteed one in the near future?

caniborrowyourkidney36 karma

There is always a chance the kidney could not "take" after being transplanted. My understanding is that if I actually have a transplant and it fails, even if it never starts working, I have to start over on the list. If I never have the surgery and the kidney they called about isn't any good, then I just get the next one available. My health right now is kind of so-so, that can cause them to hold off on transplanting it if they think your body isn't healthy enough for surgery. I'm pretty sure this won't be the case for me, since they do blood work every month and haven't said anything to me recently about pausing my place on the list while I get healthier.

Skubbags17 karma

Do you find out much about the donor (like how he died, who he was, what type of person he was) and/or meet any of his family?

caniborrowyourkidney20 karma

I don't know anything about the donor, they said they would give me more details at 8am EST

parrothead8915 karma

Is this to replace the kidney that you already had transplanted, or the other one?

Best luck all around to you!

caniborrowyourkidney26 karma

I had my two native kidneys removed before the first transplant, the one that was transplanted in is still there (on the right side), but may be removed depending on which kidney I receive (right or left). If it's a right kidney, it goes on my left and a left kidney would go on my right. The reason behind this is the kidney isn't put in the same spot as your native kidneys, it goes in a open "pocket" right under your skin in your abdomen.

peatoire9 karma

Sorry if i missed it somewhere but why do you need a second operation?
Did something go wrong with the first transplant?
Also fingers crossed for you that all goes well. Good luck!

caniborrowyourkidney13 karma

First transplant failed after 3 years

Mardkayin9 karma

Do you ever get to meet the donor?

caniborrowyourkidney31 karma

The donor is/will be dead, so no. If the family of the donor is willing to, I would like to meet them and thank them. Last time the donors family was a state away and chose no contact.

Mardkayin9 karma

Are these types of donors more often deceased than not?

caniborrowyourkidney17 karma

yes, I don't know the exact statistics, but most people get their organs from deceased donors.

BoredValet7 karma

I see everyone is too scared to ask the important questions...

Boxers or briefs?

caniborrowyourkidney36 karma

commando ;) I like to let everything flap in the breeze under the wonderful backless gown.

tenaciousgaz5 karma

And this is my fistula (An artificially enlarged vein in my arm that is used for dialysis)

Your fistula is quite lumpy. Do you do new holes every time or do you buttonhole? Also can you set yourself up on dialysis (needle yourself) or do you have someone do it for you?

caniborrowyourkidney8 karma

I use buttonholes. This time around I cannulate myself, I use to use sharps, but when I started home memo, they wanted me to switch to buttonholes

enigmatic_fewl4 karma


caniborrowyourkidney16 karma

The first time I found out because my doctors took blood work, called and told me my kidneys were working at like 7%. This last time, I noticed I was retaining fluid like crazy, to the point where my leg would swell up 2x its normal size, so I called my dr and told them that I would need to start dialysis soon. They had me come down to get blood work to verify, but it was pretty obvious. One other sign for me is that I get bloody noses like crazy.

minnick274 karma

How many lists are you on? Im in Philly and had patients that were on lists here, New York and Baltimore.

caniborrowyourkidney10 karma

Just in Connecticut, I looked into getting on other lists, but never went ahead with actually putting myself on them. The wait time isn't too bad here. I know the Pittsburg area is supposed to have one of the lowest wait times so I was going to try UPMC.

Daigi812 karma

Hope everything turns out well. Since you won't be needing dialysis afterwards, what are you going to do with your free time?

caniborrowyourkidney19 karma

I plan on driving across the US once everything settles down. I love to travel and haven't been able to since I've had to be at dialysis 3x a week

fortalyst1 karma

Do you pee less without a kidney?

caniborrowyourkidney4 karma

with no functioning kidney, I don't pee at all

josephalbright10 karma

Why did you do an ama before instead of after the operation?

caniborrowyourkidney5 karma

A couple of reasons, I have a few hours to kill while I wait for them to call me again and even while I am in the hospital, it could be another 12 or more hours before the actual surgery. Also, because I have experienced this before, I know how busy I will be after the transplant and know what to expect if anyone has any questions about what happens after.

ShittySprayPainter-10 karma

Update us if you die, OP?

caniborrowyourkidney5 karma

I'll have my puppy update and let you personally know if I die.

ShittySprayPainter-2 karma

But will the p-puppy be ok?

caniborrowyourkidney2 karma

Of course, she is covered in my will if anything happens to me.