Thursday, January 24, 2013

Losing weight for a transplant

Hubby has now been on peritoneal dialysis for 7 1/2 months.  We have adjusted and gotten into a routine, so now we are focusing on getting him on the transplant list.

We took a class many months back and learned quite a bit.  A lot of it was very emotional, but things we needed to know.  Like the weight requirements for transplant patients and donors.  Every hospital is different, so check with yours if you are concerned about your weight and I recommend you do that before you get to stage 5, if that is possible, that way you can be working on it ahead of time.

Since I want to be tested as a donor, I have to lose weight too.  We started just before Christmas and as of today Hubby has lost 13 pounds and I have lost 10.  Our goal is to be at our goal weights by December 2nd to start the process of getting him a kidney.  Why December 2nd?  That is hubby's birthday, he will be 36.  It is also a realistic time frame for the amount of weight we need to lose.

Today was Hubby's monthly kidney check up.  The nurse, doctor, dietitian, and social worker were all pleased with his weight loss.  He talked to them about how hard exercising is on his body.  This brings me to why I'm writing this post.

Having kidney failure does make things like exercising and losing weight harder (hubby's doctor told him exactly that today).  This is important to know for kidney failure patients and for their loved ones.  It takes time for anyone to lose weight and it is frustrating.  For a patient waiting to get on the transplant list, it may feel like climbing a mountain and with already being tired and worn out it can feel like you are walking up that mountain holding 300 pounds of sandbags.  For loved ones it is hard, it is hard to see your loved one doing dialysis, suffering, and waiting to get on the transplant list and all because of their weight.

It is normal to get upset, frustrated and maybe even angry.  I don't have the answers, I just know what we are and have been going through.  We both hate being overweight, we hate that he can't get a kidney because of the weight, but it had to come from deep within each of us to work towards losing the weight.  For me, I have a chance to give him a kidney, every day I am reminded of how much I love him and how much I want to lose this weight to get tested.  About a week after I started, he joined me, he walks, uses an elliptical and watches his calorie intake.  It is a slow process, but the weight is coming off.

We have tried before to lose weight, what is different this time?  The reason.