Kidney Donor Notes #2

On the day of surgery we did as instructed and reported to the hospital by 6 am. My belly was in knots and my mind was racing with thoughts of our children as we made our way to the main information desk. We were met by my father and brother in law which bought our total up to 6 people. I’d imagined we’d have time to sit and chat before my husband and I were taken into the back but that wasn’t the case. We barely had time to hug and greet before we were called and the process began.

 I put on the hospital gown and the last thing I remember is chatting with my husband and family. My mother tells me that everyone was kissing me and saying they’d see me later while I was relaxed on the bed. My eyes were open and I was looking at everyone but they could tell that I wasn’t present. I even posed for pictures!

 When I came to, my throat was raw from the breathing tube that had been placed for the surgery and I was surrounded by nurses. They informed me that both surgeries were a success and that because my kidney was so perfect in function, color, and weight; that I am beautiful inside and out. My mother said that she’d been there and that I’d rubbed her face and asked her if she was okay and if she needed anything. Of course I have no memory of seeing her at all, much less speaking to her. I remember at least three different nurses telling me that they were sent by my husband to check on me. Once the nurses considered me to be alert enough, I was taken to my husband who by this time I was told had been asking for me every 5 seconds.

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 I was checked into a room but my husband was taken to ICU where they said he had to stay for the duration of our hospital stay. My team of surgeons and nurses came to check on my surgery sites and to gauge the level of my pain. I have three incisions; 2 very small and 1 not so small on my abdomen area. I was surprised that the incisions didn’t look worse and thankful to know that with time, they would almost disappear.

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Hers

 Eighteen hours after the surgery, my husband and I were up and about taking slow walks through the ICU together.

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The surgeons reported to our families that we surprised them on a few different levels. They couldn’t explain how or why as soon as my kidney was placed inside of my husband, he was making urine; and tons of it. How were we walking laps so soon? How had our bodies basically snapped back after such a traumatic surgery? How had this man and woman matched so perfectly?

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 We are now 5 days past the transplant and everything is going really well. Our pain is manageable, incisions healing nicely, the swelling in our abdomens is going down, and we walk short distances a few times a day. The only thing both my husband and I are experiencing that drives us crazy is the itching. Our incisions itch like mad and because they are still so fresh, we cannot scratch and must rub instead. My husband is urinating normally and doing great on his new medications.

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Kidney Donor Notes #1

     I’ve decided to call my kidney donor experiences, Kidney Donor Notes. Being that I’m an author and authors take notes, I figured it’d be a fitting name for the experience I am about to have.  In approximately 21 hours I will be donating a kidney to my husband and I couldn’t be more anxious about it. Right about now you’re probably wondering how we even got here, right? See, I knew that. It’s because I’m psychic. Lol.

     My husband is a 31 year old military veteran who suffers with Lupus SLE. A few years ago the disease flared up and attacked his kidneys. Over time, his kidneys stopped working and left him having to go on dialysis. I love my husband and want nothing more than for him to live a full and happy life and why shouldn’t he? He’s such a good person and in my opinion, deserves to be given a chance. There was no hesitation in my decision to be tested for donor transplantation.

     The testing process was a bit lengthy and intrusive but I definitely appreciated the thoroughness of it all. After months of back and forth traveling between home and the hospital, countless vials of my precious blood being taken at each visit, and a few healthy lifetime changes; we were given the great news that I am a match and fit to donate. What a happy time that was!

 About 1 month after being given the great news 2 very awesome things happened almost simultaneously: we were given a transplant date AND a positive pregnancy test! We were excited about having a date because the sooner we could get the surgery done, the better it would be for him, but now we had a decision to make. We’d been told by doctors that there was a slim to no chance we’d ever conceive a child because of the chemo he’d received years ago. We were completely taken by surprise and took no time in deciding that we would put the surgery on hold to have our baby boy. Now, 15 months later, here we are!

Although I’m anxious and nervous, I’m not afraid. I trust that we are doing exactly what God wants us both to do…

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