Hi everyone. My name is Dave. I've been a member (albeit, mostly silent) for a while now. Recently, I decided to start the ball rolling on a kidney transplant. I have End Stage Renal Disease and I have been on dialysis for close to 3 years now. I just celebrated my 65th birthday end of March. I swear it took more like 70 years to reach 65. I filled out the forms, which weren't as daunting/intimidating as I originally had thought. I have 2 procedures I need to complete so my medical history is up to date. The first one is a colonoscopy (which will be interesting since I have an ileostomy bag) and a nuclear stress test which is, as I understand it, a heart rate type of test on a treadmill with a radioisotope coursing through my bloodstream.
Recently, I had spoken to my social worker who represents dialysis patients. It was just a general conversation, and I happened to mention that I was reading about being under anesthesia for 8 hours during the transplant process. That's a long time for me. She acknowledged the length and then she began to tell me about "after-care". Once out of the hospital, I will see the doctor daily for about two weeks. Then, every other day and ultimately once a month. I will also need care at home ... it was never discussed for how long. The "care at home" is an issue. For all intents and purposes, I live alone. There are 3 other guys living there, but we all have individual lives and each of us is trying to make ends meet on a daily basis. Care at home is not something they would be capable of doing for me.
I would like to know if a home health care nurse is an option. If not, please advise just exactly what kind of care I would need post-transplant that I could not administer on my own. I have a permanent catheter in my bladder and I have already mentioned my ileostomy bag which is also permanent (no more large intestine). Thank you for reading this and I'd love to hear your immediate experiences of health care once you were at home.