Post evaluation analysis

So the morning after the kidney transplant evaluation, we had a fresh take on things. Beq went to spend the morning with Mom; we hooked up later for lunch.

Over lunch, it came out that no one felt that the transplant was worth it. The costs (a bazillion doctors’ appointments and tests beforehand plus a long recovery after) outweighed the benefits (18 months to 2 years of quality life afterwards–IF things went as planned).

And so, my sister and I breathed a sigh of relief. She wouldn’t have to give up her kidney, and I wouldn’t have to give up my life (completely, for the 3 weeks following the procedure). Life returned to normal.

I worked toward getting things back on track at home. While I was working part-time the last few months, things at home had gotten a bit out of control. We were eating poorly, because I never had time or energy to cook; the house was a mess, because chores got done haphazardly, if at all; no one was enforcing chores or proper bedtimes (for children OR parents).

It was all going swimmingly: the kids were becoming re-acquainted with fruits and vegetables, kids in bed by 8 pm (grown-ups by 10 pm), regular shopping and chores were getting done.

I was just unloading the car after a Sam’s Club run (including stuff for Mom), when the phone rang. I let the machine pick it up while I continued to unload. Five minutes later, before I even had my coat off, it rang again. It was Mom.

She said that the UPMC had called to schedule appointments with a heart specialist and a lung specialist. She scheduled the appointment; that’s why she was calling.

“Didn’t you tell them that you had decided against the transplant?”

“No…I guess not,” she replied. After I grilled her, she admitted that she was still considering staying on the deceased-donor list (or whatever they call it); she had just gone along with what she thought my sister wanted.

So…we’re right back in it. I was sick to my stomach all last night and was in bed by 8 pm.

I know it’s selfish, but I honestly don’t know if I can handle everything Mom will need me to for a transplant. All the doctors’ appointments…weeks of 24-hour care…

And who will take my kids? My husband will still have to work. Do I put them in day care until Mom is done with her transplant and healthy again? I have some friends I can beg favors from, but they’ll run out fast. I could trade kid-watching with them, but that implies that at some point within a reasonable time frame that I will have the time and energy to handle someone else’s kids in addition to my own.

Mom’s still waffling at the moment. Maybe after we have her appointment at the kidney clinic (where the nurse who is there knows her better than any other healthcare provider), we’ll have another piece of the puzzle.

Pray for us…


About Kathleen

Kathleen Heuer is a serial arts advocate and volunteer. She is the mom of two beautiful girls, wife to a brilliant nuclear engineer, and referee between her golden retriever and her hissy 18-year-old cat. For more, go to
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2 Responses to Post evaluation analysis

  1. AJR says:

    Hi there! I found your site through BlogHer. I’m another Pittsburgh blogger, and I wanted to say hello. I feel like I walked into the middle of a conversation here, but I will definitely pray for you and your family. Sounds like a rough time!

  2. Beq says:

    It’s been rough working through the choices when no option is a good option. We are daughters, not medical professionals. Working through this is wearing on all of us.

    When Mom was living near me (in the Chicago area), this kind of thing literally drove me to therapy. My counselor told me that in order to keep my health, it was important to just play the role of daughter [spending time doing nice things with Mom like sharing a meal and watching the Food Network].

    She coached me to find help to manage the medical care for Mom. The counselor also taught me to define my role as a daugher (define my boundaries like how often I will see Mom, etc. before I get into a sticky situation). Then apply discipline to your healthy boundaries. Taking care of a parent is such a burden because of the emotional connection we have with a parent.

    Sandwiched…lean on God. Tell him your concerns and leave it up to Him. Philippians 4:6 reminds us, “Do not worry about anything, instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done.”

    Go on…try it. I dare you. It will increase your faith, I promise.

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