1986 – My First Kidney Transplant – [part 1]

Welcome to “Life and Random Thinking” and thank you for visiting.

My next three posts will be a change in topic because my health battles have been a big part of my life.

My next three posts I have decided to write as I celebrate my third anniversary of my third kidney transplant in 2019. I am so grateful to still be around, and it’s due to the generosity and friendship of a kind man.

In each post I will try to keep my comments brief and leave out the countless steps in between. I apologize since the first post is lengthy but the others are not. – David


In 1980 I became a husband after I found and married my wife in a whirlwind. We had our first date August 6th, 1979 and were married March 8, 1980. When you find someone that special, you want to be with them always. It turned out I would need her strength and love over the years ahead many, many times.

1990s and dressed up

In 1983 we celebrated with the birth of our daughter in October but in July of that year I could no longer manage daily life without life assistance in the form of dialysis due to kidney failure. In July I went to Vancouver General in renal failure. They operated on me to insert a tube into my abdomen – about twelve inches of tube was inserted inside and another foot protruded from my abdomen which I taped there and hid under my shirt. So it began.

That dialysis was four times a day, every day. I did a portable type of dialysis and carried a gym bag to work so I could go to a small room for my 30 minute lunch break daily and carry it out before going back to my desk.

This dialysis is called CAPD (Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis). Continuous because you do it 24 hours a day. Ambulatory which means portable and Peritoneal because that is the name of the abdomen cavity where the fluid sits in a persons body while they do dialysis. The lining of this cavity filters the fluid drawn out from the body.

My routine was to get up early and drain my abdomen using the tube which involved hooking up a tube and an empty bag. Standing I would let the fluid drain out into the empty bag on the floor – usually about 1.5 litres of fluid came out.

Then I would hang a full bag of IV solution, one litre, or just hold it high enough so it would drain into my abdomen. The solution was always cooler than body temperature so it was always chilling the first half hour especially on winter mornings. When the bag was empty. I would cap off the tube into my abdomen and head to the bus stop and go to work. That was bag 1 for the day.

At work with my gym bag I would work until lunch and repeat the drain and refill process in the nurses closet office in the building. That was bag 2 and then back to work for the afternoon.

When I got home from work it was time to repeat the process with bag # 3.

Before I went to bed it was time again for bag #4, had to go to sleep early as I had to get up early and do it all again the next day and the next day. Of course there was restrictions on fluid and diet but I don’t recall those as too difficult and my wife was always so wonderfully supportive.

A short video here is worth a thousand words, about 90 seconds long.

I probably did CAPD for about a year and half. Then some bouts of peritonitis and stays in the hospital lead to the access point being sutured shut so I could recover. I am glossing over the details but they were painful times involving stays in hospital.

End of part 1 of this post (I try to keep them brief).


Thank you sincerely for reading – David

About dfolstad58

I live in the South Okanagan. BC. I enjoy reading, exercise, toastmasters. spending time with my son, my daughter, & her husband , and my patient wife. I try to respond personally to every comment on my blog, and in this way I hope to get to know my readers a little bit and and am able to thank readers for their encouragement on what they liked and suggestions on what they would like to see me try in order to improve.
This entry was posted in health, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to 1986 – My First Kidney Transplant – [part 1]

  1. lghiggins says:

    I didn’t know this process even existed. Thank you for sharing it.


  2. quiall says:

    I cannot imagine what you went through but the important thing is that you are on the other side. It takes great courage and tenacity to deal with a life issue like that. My hat’s off to you.


    • dfolstad58 says:

      Thank you for your understanding. An article in the Globe and Mail told me an interesting story – it said that although we pass through events, and they are over that we are still affected. Anyone who has nearly drowned, or had a close call or major surgery knows that we are never again 100%. I have never given up, but not because I think I am brave – I think it’s because my family needs me to fight and be there and that’s what I want also – otherwise I would died 39 years ago. I am shocked here even writing it down – hard to comprehend what I could have missed.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Robert Smith says:

    Hi dave really like your posts. I wonder if you ever got Gout. I got it quite often and it’s still the most painfull thing I ever experienced. We went to Disney World with my son (He was about 11) and I got it there. Freaked him out as I had to crawl on hands and knees to where we could grab a cab back to the Hotel. gout would last for about 3 days and the cure was taking some medicine that made you violently ill for 3 days. I once had a steel Rod shoved through my petoral mussle without freezing when my shunt clotted and they had to do a chest line for me to dialyze and Gout was worse. It’s the reason I stopped drinking alcohol. Bob


    • dfolstad58 says:

      I am so sorry that you have had that kind of pain and yes I know it also. I remember I wasn’t thinking and I ate some oysters. Oy! awful – I get gout still and try to be careful but you are more susceptible after each incident. Prednisone is how I handle it. Thanks Bob for reading my posts. I was calculating how much of my life I would not have had if not for dialysis and transplants. I would died at 24 – 39 years ago.


  4. Thank you David for sharing your story and making us realize how truly blessed we are!
    Blessings to you! May you continue to be around for many, many more years to come!


    • dfolstad58 says:

      ♥♥ I just did a pie chart and my life would have been over 39 years ago if not for many dedicated medical people. I would not have the memories I have or the friends, or my son. I am so blessed also. Thank you for being my friend also ♥


  5. Jane Fritz says:

    Thanks for being so frank, David. Frighteningly informative.


    • dfolstad58 says:

      Sorry about that. I carry my history inside, and my clothes cover the scars so I could be silent. I am grateful to be alive thanks to doctors and kindnesses. My life would have ended 39 years ago without renal medicine.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. freakyalison says:

    Wow. Glad you’re still here!
    I love the picture of you and your wife.


    • dfolstad58 says:

      I was looking dapper in that photo ha ha. Sue hasn’t changed at all, she is just as radiant and beautiful. I wish I had aged as well. Thank you Alison for reading and commenting. That’s how I get to really interact. – Take care, David

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sheree says:

    Posts like these highlight the importance of organ donation.


  8. Pingback: 1986 – My First Kidney Transplant [Part 2] | Life and Random Thinking

  9. debscarey says:

    Oh my goodness David, while I’ve no doubt that you were grateful for everything modern medicine offered to keep you alive, that sounds like the most tortuous of processes. So grateful thought that it kept you well for long enough to have your transplant.


  10. Pingback: My Third Transplant – Miracles Happen | Life and Random Thinking

  11. MATT says:

    Started on CAPD last year.., switched to APD mostly now. Very much like you though, when on CAPD shut my office door (work in a busy secondary school) and got on with it. Even managed to cycle the length of the UK last year whilst on CAPD.., allowed a great deal of freedom 🙂


    • dfolstad58 says:

      Hi Matt. It’s nice for me to talk to you. Thank you for commenting. CAPD had it’s benefits but I did it a long time ago. It was weird to do it travelling for others, my grandparents didn’t really understand what was happening. Also no matter what anyone tells you about waterproof bandages etc – skip hot tubs. Peritonitis is horrible and not worth the risk my friend. – ♥ David


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s