Lupus Warrior In need of Kidney
In 7th grade, I remember being at school in my English class when I received a note from the office saying to call my mom.
When I called her back, I remember how strange her voice sounded. I immediately asked, "What happened?" She started to cry and sobbed out, "you have Lupus."
Lupus is a harsh disease that manifests itself in several ways and can attack any of the body's organs, joints, and skin cells. It is a strange illness that wants to attack healthy cells and tissues because it thinks they're bad or defective.
My kidneys were first damaged when I was 15. I remember having lots of back pain and during a routine urine test, They noticed lots of spilled protein.
Thankfully we caught it early. This was the start of a long, seemingly never ending situation.
A kidney biopsy confirmed my kidneys weren't working correctly. The solution was chemotherapy; which meant missing more school, 3 hour trips (and overnight stays) to Albuquerque. I went twice a month for 6-8 months. It was really challenging. Feeling nauseous, puking all of the time. It was a terrible time for a 15 year old (for anyone) but eventually my kidneys got better.
Then they didn't.
Everything was overall good. Until 2014, my lupus flared up really badly and I ended up being hospitalized. I needed a blood transfusion and my kidneys were finally tired of fighting, and it was confirmed that I was in stage five kidney failure. The worst it can get.
I have come a long way since starting dialysis. My lupus is controlled with medication and exercise/healthy living. But it hasn’t always been this way. I have lost over 100 pounds, and I feel very great most of the time. I still get aches and pain with my Lupus, but I am living a happy life. I just have to come home and do my dialysis every night.
I have been awaiting a kidney transplant for over five years now. Average wait time is 8-10 years.
My blood type is O Positive. Which makes it especially hard to find a kidney.
I have been blessed with family and friends who have been an amazing support system for me. I am so grateful for them. I remain hopeful everyday that I will receive that call from UCLA that they have a kidney for me. Until then, I wait. I know my time will come.
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