Lazaro- Pancreas-Kidney Transplant

Hi I'm Lazaro. I've been an SPK transplant recipient since Nov. 3, 2003. My road to transplantation didn't start until 1999. I was diagnosed with IDDM when I was 12 years old and from that moment on, I never really took it seriously. I was a bad diabetic for many years going in and out of the hospital with DKA, Neuropathy and Retinopathy. My diabetes had gotten so bad that I couldn't tell when my blood sugar was dropping until it was almost to late. To make matters worse, in 1999, I was diagnosed with ESRD. Apart from that I was hypertensive and had lost the vision in my left eye.


Dialysis for me was the worst nightmare I had to endure for 3 1/2 years. I was not a compliant dialysis patient either. I t was stressful and had effected me, mentally, emotionally and physically for those 3 1/2 years. I remember when I got the call from the Transplant center telling me that I had moved up on the list but they were having trouble getting in touch with the person who was supposed to get the organs which became mine. So, it was a long wait waiting to find out if I was going to stay on the waiting list or go in for surgery. The call came in and they told me to go in because they never located or got in touch with the other person ahead of me on the list. The drive to the hospital should have taken no more then maybe 25 minutes, but it turned into almost 3 hours. My sister's friend drove us, but my sister told her to take a different route which took us out further then we were supposed to go. I'm sitting in the back seat with smoke coming out of my ears.


I was so tempted to take my sister by her curlers and her friend and my niece and throw them out of the car and drive myself, but I maintained my composure even though it was difficult. Eventually, we got there. Then register, then go up ot he room but surgery had to be delayed because the nurse took her sweet time in taking my history, then blood work, then dialysis because my potassium level was a bit elevated. Surgery happened the next morning and I was scared.


My friend who is also an SPK recipient told me that surgery would be over in the blink of an eye, you won't have time to dream. He was right, it was like I had closed my eyes for no more then 5 seconds and I woke up in recovery. I was hoping for at least in those 5 seconds to get at least the jackpot lotto numbers, but no. My organs didn't start working immediately after surgery, so it took a few days and they would send me to Dialysis on a need to go basis depending on my blood work. After several days, the kidney decided to start up and my swollen feet were beginning to return to normal size. The funny part about the days after surgery were I was planning on suing the hospital for giving me faulty organs because they had not started to work.


I had big plans for that hospital including changing the name of it. The mood swings because of the prednisone was so much fun. I miss them, but I'm glad I'm still here 9 years post transplant thanks to my organ donor who filled out her driver's license saying that she was an organ donor. Thanks to her, I'm doing great and I know there's another angel watching over me, i have pictures of her and I keep in touch with her mom via e-mail.