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You’ve Got To Be Kidneying Me

, , , , , | Healthy | March 3, 2022

I donated a kidney a while back. For the most part, this isn’t much of a problem; the only side effect of the donation, other than not being allowed to do some obscure medical test with radioactive dyes that I’ll likely never need, is that I should avoid NSAIDs like aspirin.

A few years back, I went to a new dentist due to dental pain and they told me I would need a tooth removed. They didn’t have me fill out anything about my medical history before I went in for the dental surgery, so I made sure to briefly mention that I’d donated a kidney to my dentist just so he was aware of it.

After the surgery was over, I was sent to talk to a nurse about post-care and given a prescription for pain relief. I didn’t recognize the medication name, but to be safe:

Me: *To the nurse* “I’ve donated a kidney, so I cannot take NSAIDs. Is this prescription safe for me?”

Nurse: “Yes, it is.”

However, while I was going to pick up my medication, I read through the paperwork they handed me. There was a note saying that it wasn’t safe to take a certain medication if you had kidney problems. The medication mentioned on the paperwork was different than the one I was prescribed, but just the fact that the paperwork called out potential risk concerned me. I figured I should be safe since I’d made sure everyone knew the risk and had been assured it was fine, but I was uncertain enough that I decided to double-check.

Lo and behold, even a quick Google search was enough to learn that the medication I was prescribed was listed as a generic version of the medication the paperwork said I shouldn’t take, and a quick check on [Health Website] explicitly said that this medication was not safe if you had kidney problems.

I called the dentist back explaining the problem, but they never returned my call, leaving me to suffer through the pain with nothing more than Tylenol. I opted not to go back to that dentist for the follow-up surgery to get a replacement tooth installed; I have a general rule of never allowing medical organizations more than one attempt at destroying any of my organs.

About a year and a half later, I got a letter from the dentist saying they were going out of business and I should contact them now if I needed to get any of my medical records. I can’t say I considered their being out of business much of a loss.

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