March is Kidney Disease Prevention Month!
Did you know that March is Kidney Disease Prevention Month? It may not touch you much if you or someone you know doesn’t have kidney issues, but I know it matters myself and plenty of other people, as it is no fun!
My dad had major kidney issues in the latter part of his life. I remember him arriving home (the airport) and my mom picked him up. Now, my dad was never the type to want to go to the doctor for just anything, but on this day, as he went to meet my mom in the luggage area, he was in PAIN. He asked my mom to take him to the hospital, and she knew it was bad. Once he was at the hospital, they discovered that he had bad kidney stones in one of his kidneys, and they also found a tumor in his other kidney. They were anxious to take out the kidney with the tumor, but first they had to get rid of the stones in the other, to get that kidney healthy before removing the cancerous one. My dad was always into healthy eating, and lead a pretty clean lifestyle, so naturally it was a shock to learn that he had these issues.
The surgery and recuperation were long, painful and unpleasant for him. He really was quite amazing though, as he bounced back after a few months. He started dialysis immediately, and that was a bit of a learning curve. Luckily there was a dialysis center about 3 blocks down the road from his home, so we could visit with him to pass the time.
Did you know that one in three Americans are at risk for chronic kidney disease? I had no idea, but it is the sad truth. In fact, Kidney disease is the 9th leading cause of death in the U.S. The tricky part though is that most people who have kidney disease aren’t even aware that they have it. Yikes!
I remember talking to my dad about him getting a kidney transplant, and I even offered him one of my own. He told me thank you, but since he had a variety of health issues, and was elderly, he wouldn’t dream of it. He mentioned that if he were younger and healthier, a kidney transplant would definitely be a consideration.
If he had been interested in a kidney transplant, he probably would have been in touch with The Mendez National Institute of Transplantation Foundation (MNITF). It is a 501c3 non-profit organization that created an important PSA – “Get the Facts! Get Checked! Get Healthy!”, in hopes of educating people about kidney disease prevention. In addition to their PSA, they also discuss the need for organ donation, learning more about the research done for kidney disease.
To learn more about kidney prevention, kidney disease, etc., please visit Fixing Paco.
Also please remind friends and family that March is National Kidney Disease Prevention Month!