Kidney Donor Notes #3

Today makes exactly 33 days since our kidney donation surgery. Since the very first, “Kidney Donor Notes” post, I’ve received tons of emails from readers with questions. I couldn’t be happier about that because the purpose behind this series of posts is to educate others about my experience. Below I’ve listed and answered frequently asked questions:

1)      Which kidney did you donate? 

I donated my left kidney. I was not given a choice because the left kidney is always the one preferred by the surgeons to be donated.

2)      What side of the body did they put the kidney into your husband?

Right side.

3)      Did they remove your husband’s old kidneys?

He still has his own kidneys because it is not normal procedure to remove the old ones.

4)       Where was your surgery performed?

Nashville, Tennessee.

5)       How long after the surgery were you allowed to shower?

The very next day.

6)      Does the surgery mean that your husband doesn’t have to do dialysis anymore?


7)      How long will the kidney last inside of your husband?

It really just depends on how well he takes care of himself and how well his doctors do at keeping the Lupus under control.

8)      Has your diet and/or lifestyle changed?

Yes it has. I’m more conscious now of the foods I eat and how much I eat because I don’t want to put any added stress on the one kidney I have.

9)      Are you going to end up on dialysis now?

NO! There is a less than 1% chance that I’ll end up on dialysis later on in my life.

10)   Does your husband have to be on anti-rejection medication for the rest of his life?


11)   You mentioned that you went through months of testing. What kind of testing did you go through?

Besides the repeated testing of my blood, I had x-rays of my chest, CT scans (2), repeated urine tests (to check for pregnancy, blood in the urine, etc.), a Pap smear, and a breast exam.

12)   Were you put on any medication and if so, how long will you have to take it?

I was put on pain meds; first Hydrocodone and then Loratabs. I took them as needed until my pain was bearable, which was about 2 weeks. I was also given stool softeners because being on pain meds can “back you up” and they wanted to be sure that when I had to go I’d be able to without using my abdomen muscles. There are no meds that I take on a consistent basis like my husband.

13)   Do you experience phantom pain?

For those who don’t know, phantom pain is pain that people feel coming from a body part that has been surgically removed. I did feel this pain for about 1 week after surgery but then it stopped.

14)    Is your sex life affected?

No. He is still the sexist man alive to me and he makes me want to go all Freak Woman (dun dun dun dunnnnnn)on him! Lol.

15)   Will you still be able to become pregnant?

Yes I will. They advise against becoming pregnant right away so that your body can have time to recover but there should be no problems if we should ever become crazy and want to reproduce again.

16)   Have you regretted your decision?

No. Not for one single second. I’d do it all over again if I had to. What greater joy is there in life than to be blessed enough to help your fellow man?

 My husband is doing really well with his new kidney! He will be getting his staples out in a few days and the stint that has been keeping the vein open connecting his new kidney to his bladder will also be removed. His blood pressure is the best it’s been in years and his skin color has brightened up. His energy level is slowly increasing and his appetite has risen to what I would consider a “normal” level.

I am also doing quite well and ready to resume my busy everyday schedule but I have been advised and then threatened to continue to take it easy. I continue to take short walks and I’m even dancing now! Eating is a different story though. Normally, I’m as greedy as greedy can get but I’ve only been eating 1-2 meals a day. Hopefully, over time I will be able to properly fuel my body without getting nauseous. My wounds are nearly all closed up and healing very nicely. All in all I’m doing really well!

I know that there were churches across the country praying for my husband and I and for that, we couldn’t be more grateful. We appreciate each and every one of you for your Get Well cards, calls, emails, texts, tweets, and Facebook posts/comments/ inboxes. Thank you to our family members who kept our boys and looked after our home while we were away. We thank each and every one of you who dropped by for a visit. Special thank you to my mom and my cousin who have both been amazing throughout this entire situation! We love you all so much and ask that you continue to pray for us as we grow stronger every day.

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