Thursday, 14 March 2019

6 Years Later

It's been just over 6 years since my organ donation to Pieter. The time has really flown by! It's also World Kidney Day 2019 which calls for celebration and an update!

Thankfully Pieter and I are still both healthy and doing very well. For anyone considering becoming a living kidney donor, from personal experience I can say with much gratitude that I've not felt any difference physically between before and after the donation. In fact because I'm so conscious of looking after my only kidney, I've actively improved my health and lifestyle by maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and reducing my stress levels. I've recently become a Vegetarian, and by reducing my protein intake, you'll notice from the table below an increase in my kidney function this year compared to previous years.

Here is a comparison of my GFR and Creatinine levels:

                                                GFR: (ml/min)                  Creatinine 

Before the operation                        84                                   78
Day of discharge                        not tested                           109
6 weeks later                                  62                                 117
1 year later  (2013)                          79                                  96
2 years later (2014)                         74                                 101
3 years later (2015)                         67                                 109
4 years later (2016)                         57                                 122
5 years later (2017)                         61                                 113
6 years later (2018)                         71                                  99

Creatinine is a chemical waste product in the blood that passes through the kidneys to be filtered and eliminated in urine. The chemical waste is a by-product of normal muscle contractions. Creatinine is made from creatine, a supplier of energy to the muscle. Creatinine tests help doctors determine kidney function. Normal values are between 80 and 120 depending on age and size. 

Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is a test used by physicians and other medical professionals to see if the kidneys are working correctly. In basic terms, it is a measurement of how much liquid and waste is passing from the blood through the tiny filters in the kidney, called the glomeruli, and out into the urine during each minute. The test measures how much creatinine is in the blood. This shows how well the kidneys are performing. In a normal healthy person the GFR stays close to the same value all of the time. The test is done by taking blood from a person and sending it to a laboratory. Normal values are between 80ml/min and 110ml/min depending on age and size.