This year has been an amazing year of growth for Joe. He has so much energy that he runs circles around me. I'm fine with that. It's like watching a
Mayo Clinic is nothing if not thorough. Joe went through an entire week of testing before the transplant to see if he was eligible for the surgery. Since the transplant, he has done routine blood-work and doctor visits. However, yesterday, marked his one year birthday. With that, comes more testing from Mayo; biopsy, blood-work, 24 hour blood pressure monitor, bone density, etc.
All the tests boil down to kidney function. So, what is his expected kidney function?
It's been said that we start to die the minute we are born. This is true in regards to kidney function. Although every body is different, there is an easy formula to estimate kidney function. Start with 100% and subtract 10% for every decade (http://www.ageworks.com/course_demo/513/module3/module3.htm). For instance, Joe, in his mid-40's, should be at 65%. Give or take. When he was diagnosed two years ago, he was 11%; a horrible number. One year later, right before the transplant, he had slipped to 8%; a fatal number. Kris, Joe's donor, also in her 40's, should be in the 60% range. However, her tests came back at 96%; an amazing number! Mayo, the leader in transplants, said they had NEVER had someone her age with that number!
It seems reasonable to think that when you remove one kidney, you divide the function in half. However, the kidneys are amazing and they know when they are the only filter. They start to filter more and can reach filtration rates similar to that of two kidneys.
So, what is Joe's function?
84%!!!! In fact, Joe is doing so well, the doctor told him that he doesn't have to come back for an entire year AND he doesn't need any more biopsies!!!!!!!! Praise God.