Hi, I'm a dialysis patient. I have been one for around 6 years. I am not a good candidate for a kidney transplant because the cause of my kidney failure is SLE. SLE patients aren't good candidates for a transplant, as the SLE that caused my kidney failure in the first place just might happen again. SLE is an autoimmune disease whereby my immune system produces mutant antibodies that attacks my own organs. That, my friends, in a nutshell explains what happened to my kidneys.
A bit more about SLE, in different SLE sufferers, different organs get attacked. For some, it's the kidneys, others, the heart (which can even be fatal), some others, the skin, and some, even the brain. I have been on the renal diet for a total of 13 years, which means I've managed to stall eventual dialysis for 7 years after I was first diagnosed with SLE.
What most people don't know is, even if a dialysis patient (for argument's sake, one that doesn't have SLE) does get a successful transplant, they will have to be on immunosuppressant drugs for the rest of their lives, at the tune of USD1,000 (approximately) a month. Fine, if you're rich, but how many people are? A lot of people aren't rich enough to afford that, a lot of normal, healthy people. What more a dialysis patient who's just had a successful transplant?
The government will give aid to a person on dialysis but not a person who's had a successful transplant. That person will be treated like a normal healthy person. Hence, he/she will have to pay for the immunosuppressant drugs himself/herself. Month after month, for the rest of his/her life. Who can afford that? For the rest of his/her life? I don't know about them, but for me, I'd rather be on dialysis. It may be inconvenient but at least I can rest easy that I don't have to keep coughing up thousands and thousands of hard-earned money a year just to keep my transplanted kidneys alive!
And a lot of those drugs are steroids. They puff up the face horribly. I've been on steroids before for my SLE. And I say "No, thank you!", I've had enough of looking ugly for a long time! I'm not going to be on steroids for the rest of my life just to avoid the dialysis machine! It isn't worth it! Especially if I have to keep worrying about paying an exorbitant price month after month for the rest of my life!
Even if I wasn't an SLE patient, I would still choose NOT to get a transplant. For me, the added financial and physical stress just isn't worth it. Others in my position might think differently but this is my choice and this is my stand!