Tabitha has been seeing a nephrologist for a few years now. The doctor monitors her blood for certain proteins that indicate the health of her kidneys. She has to limit her intake of calcium and potassium to reduce the strain on her kidneys. She lives a normal, if somewhat tired, life.
The good news is that Tabitha does not currently need dialysis. But it looms in her future. The other good news(?) is that her kidneys are damaged enough that they can do a transplant.
Last fall her nephrologist started screening her for a kidney/pancreas transplant. For the past several months Tabitha has undergone a battery of tests to determine her overall health. It turns out that she is pretty healthy in spite of having diabetes for 25 years.
Yesterday we met with the transplant team for the first time. They explained what is involved in an organ transplant. Once Tabitha is placed on the transplant list we will likely have to wait 2-3 years for her transplant, but an organ could become available any time. We have to be ready to go.
One person's loss of life becomes our gain.
When the transplant is complete, Tabitha will have to take several anti-rejection medications that will suppress her immune system. These medications have side effects. What she won't have to take is insulin. Her donor pancreas will produce the insulin her body requires. She won't have diabetes after her transplant.
So now we wait.