June 19, 2008
Katy Mills: transplant recipient, former PD patient
Katy Mills is a transplant recipient living in St. Louis, MO. Before receiving her transplant on January 28, 2008, Katy was on peritoneal dialysis. This is her story.
“Hi, my name is Katy, and I have a suspicion my story may be familiar. I was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease in the early 1990s. I immediately assumed I was the one who would beat the odds and never need dialysis or a transplant.
By 2006, my kidneys were functioning at about ten percent and I had no energy whatsoever. I felt ‘stuck in neutral.’ Of course, I totally disregarded the fact that my doctor kept telling me how ‘puffy’ I looked. Then, the day after President’s Day in 2006, I just stopped urinating. Oops! That won me a trip to the hospital. I got a reprieve when they sent me home urinating, a little. However, they also sent me to DaVita to learn about my dialysis treatment options, and I chose peritoneal dialysis. I still didn’t quite get it. I informed them that I might see them in June.
Wrong again! Two weeks later, in March, I was back in the hospital with end stage renal disease. YIKES! Somehow it was easier to talk about that catheter this time. Good thing this time I didn’t get out of the hospital until I had a catheter. Unfortunately, I chose that this would be the end of my teaching career in a public elementary school. But it was also the start of a period of time when I actually felt better than I have in years. Would I prefer to have functional kidneys? You bet! But, if the alternative is dialysis or dying, this is okay for me. I’m doing things I haven’t had time for in years, and I have the energy to do them.”