The first time I became personally aware of kidney disease was when I was in high school. My childhood best friend since became ill with strep throat. The strep infected her kidneys and she ended up in the hospital with Glomerulonephritis. She was in the hospital for several weeks and it was very frightening. They worried she would lose kidney function entirely.
The second encounter I had with kidneys happened my freshman year at Purdue University. I was working in a research lab. We were studying adrenal glands. Adrenal glands just happen to sit on top of the kidney. My job was to remove the adrenal glands from the rats we were studying….
I am probably more aware of kidney anatomy and how to effectively remove one than the average gal. Of course, all those rats were not ALIVE at the time I was removing their adrenal glands! It will be really interesting to talk to the doctors about my surgery and where they will make the incision. I have seen a couple different options while doing my google research about laparoscopic kidney removal.
My third encounter with kidneys was with my daughter, Zoe’s, first pony. Cynder-Ella was purchased as my daughter became interested in riding. Zoe was 8 years old and Cynder was 14 when we bought her.
The year after we bought Cynder her personality underwent a sudden change. She started becoming aggressive and unpredictable. The vet was called and we began to investigate what the issue could be. It turned out that Cynder was in renal failure. Her creatinine level was very high. The vet described what Cynder must be feeling like having the worst headache of your life that would never go away. There is no dialysis for horses and no possibility of a kidney transplant so we made the hard decision to humanely euthanize Cynder. It was a very sad and gut wrenching diagnosis. It was also an extremely rare diagnosis. There was simply no way to cure her and her health would only become worse.
Since Cynder’s death I have encountered a couple people who have donated a kidney to a friend or family member. Universally they all feel it was a wonderful experience. I think all of these encounters with kidneys throughout my life have helped with my comfort level in moving forward with this donation. It is a huge blessing to be able to help someone live a longer and healthier life!