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GFR = Life (1/4)

December 6, 2017

Glomerular Filtration Rate, GFR for short, a long word or rather terminology that most people [hopefully] don’t know or will never have to know (Unless you are in some medical profession I would suppose). Basically, it is one of the indicators as to how your kidney is preforming (or functioning) by keeping homeostasis process in your body.

Thus GFR = Life

 

When your kidneys start to fail you might feel and experience a host of different emotions and symptoms. I actually thought to start a blog to get help, but it also occurred to me that by sharing some personal information/knowledge I might help others better understand what a friend or loved one may be going through. I hope this information can help a few out there (if not help me find what I’m looking for as well). So, buckle up and join me as I try to keep a handle on life and keep positive as go through this journey of renal failure.

 

This is not easy for me to say nor share (publicly) as I am usually a very private person. As I mentioned before I have come to the realization that I need to ask for help, and also share my knowledge/experience so that someone else out there can help (or ask to help) and better understand what a friend or loved one may be going through.

 

In March (of 2017) my Nephrologist (Kidney doctor) gave me news that my kidney function had declined to Stage 4 functionality and by the end of the year I would be on Dialysis. This would make it imminent that I go through test to be put on the Kidney Transplant List. The List is a waiting que for people to receive a cadaver kidney, which means a kidney from someone who is recently deceased and is an organ donor. While the Transplant list is a great resource for those awaiting a kidney it does come with some hurdles. People that are put on the list could wait 4 - 10 yrs. waiting to be moved to the top to receive the next organ that becomes available. Another Issue is the success and quality of cadaver kidneys. Kidney transplantation in general comes with a good success rate, especially in recent years as medicine and surgery procedures has improved. Even with these advances the ratio of success and quality to type of transplant is not equal. Living donors give their recipient a higher chance of gifting a quality kidney that will last up to twice as long then that compared of a cadaver kidney.

 

  For those unlucky enough to receive a transplant through a family member or someone they know, their kidney(s) functional level will eventually decline to the point they need to go on dialysis. Dialysis is a temporary treatment plan for those who are waiting to  get to the top of the list. Without Dialysis (or transplant) your loved ones will eventually reach a point where their body is unable to compensate for the decline in kidney function and end of life measures will be taken, so Dialysis really is the only solution if you are waiting for a cadaver kidney. While dialysis is great for extending your time, it does come with it's down falls. Just the cost of one "treatment" (typically at-least 3 are needed in a week) cost, depending on insurance coverage, $124 - $480+ for a single "treatment". This adds up to about $4,500 - 17,300 a year, some places cost even over 50,000 a year! That is just the cost of the "treatment" not the medication (which is required) during treatment or the medication you will be taking at home, let alone the different surgeries associated with dialysis. Quality of life is also not that great, as life expectancy is said to be  5 - 20 yrs depending on various factors

 

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Hattiesburg, MS, USA

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