I’ve started this blog a dozen times and deleted it. But now it’s time to finish it.
When I was about 39-years-old, I found out that I had a genetic disease, polycystic kidney disease. I wasn’t too concerned because I have always been in good general health, never smoked, never done any drugs, and drank alcohol rarely.
From what I understood at the time, that having this disease could go in many different directions.
Some people suffer with it and die (like Erma Bombeck did).
Some must have kidney transplants without complications (write a book about the experience) and all that goes with that (like Steven Cojocaru did).
Some go on dialysis 3-times a week, for 5 hours each day, for several years (which can kill a person).
While others, the lucky ones, might have this diesase their whole lives without any affect on their bodies at all.
This is according to Medicine.net:
“Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a genetic disorder characterized by the growth of numerous cysts in the kidneys. The kidneys are two organs, each about the size of a fist, located in the upper part of a person’s abdomen, toward the back. The kidneys filter wastes and extra fluid from the blood to form urine. They also regulate amounts of certain vital substances in the body. When cysts form in the kidneys, they are filled with fluid. PKD cysts can profoundly enlarge the kidneys while replacing much of the normal structure, resulting in reduced kidney function and leading to kidney failure.
When PKD causes kidneys to fail-which usually happens after many years-the patient requires dialysis or kidney transplantation. About one-half of people with the most common type of PKD progress to kidney failure, also called end-stage renal disease (ESRD).”
So, kids, without any symptoms whatsoever . . .
I found out (and only through a routine blood test that was given just a second thought while I was at my doctor’s office), that I am in end-stage renal disease.
This past Monday, I was told that I am in need of a kidney transplant.
** I am in need of a healthy kidney from a compatible donor **
My blood type is O- (negative) . That means I can only take a kidney from another person with an O blood type, or an A blood type (and that only after specific testing).
Jeff is testing for compatibility. Evan is totally freaked out, teary and frightened. My heart is breaking for him.
I’m grateful that I’ve not been in any pain or haven’t had any of the gazillion symptoms (but high blood pressure) and that it has not seemed to slow me down, — but I have to admit, it doesn’t really feel real, yet (those of you who have “accidentally” found a lump in your breast know exactly what I mean).
If I find a compatible donor, the surgery doesn’t sound all that bad. The amount of anti-rejection medications that I will have to take for the rest of my life sounds freaky. Luckily my insurance covers both myself and my donor.
I will continue my teaching and lecture schedule until I have to stop and that will only be during the recovery period.
So, chickadees, besides my quilting, crafting, magazine writing, bitching and complaining, this blog will begin to include musings about health & wellness.
By the way, my amazing bouquets of violets came up this week. They are beautiful. And they are the New Jersey state flower!
So, folks, back to the subject, let’s see where this all goes, shall we?
What an adventure!
And, I try to remember that when life gives us LEMONS . . .
. . . We make lemonade!
- 1 3/4 cups white sugar
- 8 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups lemon juice
In a small saucepan, combine sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until chilled.
Remove seeds from lemon juice, but leave pulp. In pitcher, stir together chilled syrup, lemon juice and remaining 7 cups water.
What?!? No lemons?
ENGLISH STEAK AND KIDNEY PIE
(Sorry, I just could not resist! LOLOL)
1 lb. beef round steak
1 beef kidney
1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
3 tbsp. lard or drippings
1 med. sized onion, chopped
1/4 c. chopped pimento
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. thyme
1 1/2 c. water
Pastry for 1 crust pie
Cut round steak in 3/4 to 1 inch cubes. Remove tubes and fat from kidney and cut in 3/4 to 1 inch cubes. Combine flour, salt and pepper. Dredge steak and kidney cubes in seasoned flour (reserving any extra flour) and brown in lard or drippings. Remove meat from frying pan. Add onion to drippings and cook over low heat until transparent. Pour off drippings, add pimento, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and water to onion in frying pan and bring to boil. Stir in browned meat cubes and any remaining seasoned flour. Invert 9 inch pie plate over pastry rolled to about 1/8 inch thickness. Cut a circle about an inch from rim of plate for top crust. Cut a design in crust to allow steam to escape.
Cut a second circle about 3/4 to 1 inch from edge of top crust to provide pastry to circle edge of pie plate. Moisten edge of plate and top with outer circle of pastry, adjusting to fit. Turn meat mixture into pie plate and cover with top crust. Seal top pastry to edge and flute. Bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours. Makes 6 servings.