Introduction To Kidney Donation

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My name is Pearl and in 2002 I donated a kidney to my brother Joel.  It was a huge chapter in my life, but, I hasten to add, just one of many.  Some chapters are boring, some amazing, some scary, some weird, and of course the kidney chapter was all of these.

Writing things down helps me deal with things, so of course only a few months after the transplant I started writing about it.  When I read back those initial pages I realise how much pain I was still in, not just physically but also emotionally.  But one of the most amazing things about the transplant was that it began a huge process of change for me.  Giving the kidney made me realise that I was a good person, despite any doubts I may have had in the past, and it helped me to build myself up, to change, and today my life is so much happier than I could have ever thought possible.  And, of course, it got me trying spas and massages – which eventually led to this site!

If you are reading this, you or a loved one are probably dealing with kidney failure right now, and that is why I am sitting here writing to you – no one can ever know exactly how you feel but I really hope that I can give you some advice in these pages that will help you to handle this difficult time.  But, please remember, all of the resources you need to deal with this situation, the intelligence, the bravery and the good, strong, heart – these are all within you right now.  

What I have to offer is the wisdom of someone who has been through something similar, and years of trying many different tools to find what helps and heals, not just physically, but mentally and spiritually too.

Before I go into more detail please remember that I had open surgery (not keyhole) and that my surgeon used a slightly different style, as he did a lot of transplants in Sudan and so developed "Sudan style" which leaves a smaller scar and heals quicker, but he does have to twist you around on the table.

When I tell people about it, some accept it – applaud me and never look back, whereas others think I’m a bit of a weirdo I’m sure and don’t know how to talk to me.  I used to worry sometimes about telling new friends because of how they would react, but over time I’ve realised that none of the people I would actually call friends has ever thought any differently of me because of it.  And I love them for that.

Sometimes I even forget about it – it’s one of the wonderful parts of who I am, and has been so important in my life, but no one ever stares at my scar, except with deep interest and respect.  It’s one of the best things I have ever done in my life, and I hope in writing this to make the journey a little easier for you – there are so many things I wish that I had known.

If you're considering giving a kidney, congratulations, you're starting on a very interesting journey, even if you are unable, physically, mentally or emotionally to donate or, if the transplant should fail, please try to remember that there is no failure here. People talk about kidney donation as a miracle, and it is, but please don't forget that every single one of us is already a miracle.

If I haven't answered all of your questions or if you need someone to talk to, then please do email me directly and I'll see if I can help more.

And all of this information is available as a book (and a free ebook.) 

All love, Pearl

This material contains the opinions and memories of the author and does not purport to be accurate medically or factually. (c) Pearl Howie

Joel and me on holiday in Menorca, Spain, a long time before the op

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