Jennifer Morgan, Halifax NS
On December 29th 2020, I went for what I thought was just a routine blood work check up. Our family had been on a waitlist to find a family doctor for a few years and we finally were matched. Our new doctor sent me for blood work while she waited to meet me. Five hours later, the local hospital called me and told me that I needed to come in right away – there was an emergency. I remember how scared I felt on that drive and because of Covid-19 restrictions, my husband wasn’t allowed to come in with me. The next few days were a whirlwind – so many tests and doctors, followed by an eventual diagnosis of PKD.
My life changed at that moment. They took me in for surgery to implant my chest lines to start dialysis immediately. I had no idea what to expect. Almost a year later and I’m so grateful to be doing well. They immediately started the testing process to get me on the transplant lists. We’ve recently learned that my husband and I matched in the kidney paired program, where he will donate one of his kidneys to someone in need, and another donor will give me their kidney. Our fingers are crossed!
Although I could focus on the negativity of my PKD diagnosis over this past year, instead I prefer to use that energy to be grateful for all we’ve learned and to remain positive, thankful and determined!
I’ve learned that I’m stronger than I thought. I do have strength within me when I need it the most, I just have to believe in it…and myself!
Our circle of family and friends has become much closer. I’ve learned how to reach out when I need some extra strength, support or just a mental break. I’ve learned how to ask for help!
I’ve learned through all the extensive testing – that although I’m 46, I actually have the health of someone in their 20’s!
So although I feel like the past year has aged me, I’m healthy!! I’m grateful for that!
We learned how to make healthy eating choices, even for our two kids. We’ve learned how nutrition impacts our overall health and what constitutes a healthy diet. We’ve all learned how to read the labels to make smart food choices. Also in this process, we have discovered some new delicious and healthy favourite recipes.
Our children are now being monitored. For me it was an emergency situation, but it won’t be for our two kids. We’ve learned that this early monitoring means they will have more options available, and this greatly helps relieve some of my guilt from unknowingly passing this on to them.
We are grateful for all the amazing improvements that have been made in treating PKD and we’ve been learning about the projects currently being explored; seriously life changing advancements!
Most of all we’ve learned just how grateful we all should be each day!
Jennifer shared an update on her Voices of PKD story with us in 2023. We're thrilled to share that she finally got a kidney transplant! You can read that story here.