May 15, 2008
Katie Siesennop: Transplant recipient, former PD patient, mother
Katie Siesennop is a transplant recipient living in Troy, MO. Before receiving her transplant in December 2007, Katie was on peritoneal dialysis. This is her story.
“I had a kidney transplant in September 1998. In 2005, my blood pressure kept rising and nobody knew why. A biopsy in August determined a virus had attacked the kidney, and I had to start dialysis. The doctors put me on hemodialysis but my blood pressure remained high. In September, it rose so high I had a seizure and the kidney was removed. Each time I visited the doctor, a new blood pressure medicine was added until I was taking five of them. Almost every time I was taken off the machine, I had to sit and wait for the blood pressure to come down before I could leave to go home.
I had heard of peritoneal dialysis. I was told I wouldn’t have to come to the center three days per week for four hours at a time, but I was scared and didn’t want to have more surgery. Eight months later a guy my age came into my hemodialysis unit, but he was switching to peritoneal dialysis (PD) and it struck me, ‘Hey, if this guy can do it, so can I.’ I talked to my doctor, and he was worried because I don’t have a kidney. He wasn’t sure it would work for me.
A month later, I began PD. I no longer had to worry about finding a ride to my treatments, being home on time when my son got off the bus or hearing talk of putting the line in my arm. Not long after, my days were free, and my treatments were done by machine while I slept. What’s better is that my blood pressure was 110/70, and I only took one medicine.
PD also made going on vacation easier. The PD supply company delivered my dialysis solution to the hotel before I arrived. I brought my machine. My nurse contacted a center nearby in case I had a problem, and I had the freedom to see the sights all day.”