Laurie Hines and Ted Glasgow have been together for many years. Ted is an accomplished bodybuilder - a six-time Mr. Missouri – but a few years ago he experienced kidney failure.
Ted was on dialysis for several years, but now Laurie is a living kidney donor and the director of the Missouri Kidney Program, and Ted is two and a half years post-transplant.
They reflect on their experiences and give some advice for others facing dialysis and organ transplants.
Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org.
Ted Glasgow: Life is gonna change pretty dramatically, but with proper management, it can still be productive.
So, it's not like it's gonna be continuous torture from now on, but there's gonna be some times when you're gonna question, you know, "is this worth it or not?"
So, I would tell them to be prepared - to mentally prepare as much as possible. Take time. Meditate. Think about what you're going through, what your body is going through.
Prepare yourself mentally, as much as possible. Physically, you don't... you can't handle, you can't really control that a lot. Control with diet a little bit, but it's the mental. That's what really needs to be worked on before entering into dialysis or even into transplant.
I remember, I had just been going to dialysis for about two weeks, and I went in - this is when I was doing the morning dialysis - and I went in one morning and there were, I think, eight people hooked up, and before the session was over, they had taken three of them out on stretchers.
And I was kind of thinking, "Whoa. This is your life right now," but...
So, mentally it can be very overwhelming if you let it, you know, so you have to prepare yourself mentally that this is gonna be a big challenge, and you better be ready to deal with.
Laurie Hines: Yeah, I completely agree. I think we saw so much situational and chronic depression...
Laurie: ... at dialysis. When we'd look at the chair to left and the chair to the right, we would look at the people in them, and they were all lovely, amazing people who became our friends, but there was just this deep underlying sadness...
Laurie ... and depression.
Ted: Yes. Yeah, there wasn't... nobody told a lot of jokes in dialysis, let's put it that way.
Laurie: Although we tried to have fun.
Ted: We did. We had a Superbowl party. We had a Valentine's day party.
Ted: And that's the key to this. Even though your life is going to change completely. 180 degrees, you know, still, try to figure out the things that really bring you enjoyment and focus on those things.
Because there's gonna be enough pain and suffering to go around, so, you've got to find those things that you find enjoyable and just focus on them.
So, with me, it was spending time with you Laurie.