Teresa, friend of Easy Living Services, recounts her journey from daughter to caregiver in the following multi-part series. Teresa found herself suddenly and unexpectedly thrust into the role of primary caregiver for her mother who had undergone a successful kidney transplant procedure. Theresa experienced the roller coaster ride of worry, fatigue, stress along with personal satisfaction that family caregivers often experience.
"Kidney Transplant Experience...Becoming a Caregiver" By: Teresa P.
My mother's kidney disease had reached a critical point and doctors agreed that a transplant was essential. I was prepared to serve as a donor but my physician determined that it would have a negative impact on my own health. Her only option was to be placed on the national transplant list and wait for a suitable kidney. We felt fortunate that mom was even eligible for a donated kidney due to her advanced age of 79 years. She remained on the list for almost 1 year. On January 25, 2012 she received the call that my family had been anxiously awaiting! A match had been identified! My parents traveled to the transplant hospital and prepped for immediate surgery.
The surgery went smoothly. We were all amazed at how quickly Mom recovered and how great she looked. The transplant team planned to discharge her 3 days following surgery and recommended that she stay in a nearby hotel where she would receive daily RN visits. Dad insisted that he serve as Mom's primary caregiver.
I had reservations about Dad taking on the role of post surgical caregiver from the beginning. My Dad was in good health at the time but was 80 years old. I was concerned about the stress that he would face in taking care of all of her physical needs and managing the strict medication regimen that had been ordered. Reluctantly, I left Dad in charge at the hospital and went to handle some logistics. I didn't plan to return until discharge day. It turns out that my concerns about Dad were well founded. I received a panicked phone call from him shortly after my departure. He was overwhelmed, in pain from a gout flare up and his blood pressure was sky high. Dad was wisked away to the ER for an evaluation and I found a new full time role, mom's caregiver!
Three days following surgery, as planned, Mom was discharged and we moved into a nearby hotel to continue recuperating. I was optimistic. Mom was doing great; caring for her would be a breeze...
More to come in the next update blog on "Kidney Transplant" a caregivers journey.
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