Arthritis and Kidney Donation

Good morning - I have been searching and searching on the Web and cannot find what I am looking for - I am hoping someone out there can help me. :)

I have been diagnosed with arthritis (can't remember if it's osteo, RA, etc...It was long ago and I did not really suffer from any symptoms). This year I was approved (with conditions) through U of M Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI to donate a kidney to my sister. The physicians there are concerned about the arthritis diagnoses and at the moment I am waiting for my records from that time to be sent to me. The condition for approval is this arthritis that I have. They wil not approve me for surgery if I have RA, but my family doctor said that even if I do not have RA right now (it does run in my family), he would not recommend me for donation because of what may come up in the future - he said that I may need my kidneys. Also I have been having symptoms of arthritis, sometimes so much pain in my hands I have trouble washing my hair/can't make fists in the morning/trouble with cold weather, etc.

I am trying to make a good decision here. My sister would like to have her surgery in January 08 and if I cannot help her there are others who have offered to be tested. Can anyone help me? I just am not sure what to do.

Of course I trust the docs at UofM, but the coordinators "think" it should be fine for me to donate. I have a 7 year old son with Cebral Palsy and he must be my first concern.

I also have some concerns following the surgery. My son is about 50 pounds and I was told that I wouldn't be able to lift anything over 10 punds for a couple weeks. My son doesn't walk and I am a single parent. I don't have much help and I worry about that very very much.

If anyone out there can give me some advice I would really appreciate it. My goal is to help my sister, but I also want my son to be cared for...It's a quandry! Thanks everyone!

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