The one word that any post-transplant family dreads hearing is "rejection". Basically that means that your body is fighting off this perfectly healthy kidney, because it doesn't think it belongs to you. It's a fear that we live with every day, and the kicker is that there aren't any symptoms to it. So if you don't stay up to date on your labs, you may not find out in time. Parker's creatinine, which measures kidney function usually stays around 0.5-0.6. When we did labs this month, however, his creatinine was 0.9. The doctors were concerned, so they told us to load up on fluids and re-check labs on Monday. We did everything we could to get him to drink as much as possible, but it still wasn't enough. When the repeat labs came back, his creatinine was still elevated.
The transplant team called us in, and told us to pack for a long stay "just incase". It's the most frightening thing I've ever heard. The plan was to hook him up to IV fluids overnight and see if there was a change by morning. If his creatinine hadn't come down significantly, the operating room was already booked and waiting for a kidney biopsy to rule out rejection.
Luckily for us, Parker responded well to IV fluid, and his creatinine came back down to baseline. Last time he was inpatient, we didn't check labs before leaving, and we think he may not have gotten enough fluid during his stay. After 48 hours of IV fluid, we get to go home and thank our lucky stars that we are so blessed with such a healthy kidney! If I never hear that "R" word again, I'll be a happy woman.