My TWO YEAR check up

A month from today, I’ll go in and get my tests for my two year check up! I can’t believe it’s been two years! And there are days when I forget I donated a kidney. Of course, I still have a scar, but I suppose I just opt to not look at it. I’m going to look at  the scar more. It’s my badge of honor. And it offsets my other badge of honor – my stretchmarks.

So, in lieu of my 2 year anniversary of do-goodery – I’m going to update this blog for more perspective and follow-up in the next few months. My goal for the blog was to put everything out there – the technical stuff, my emotions, and all the other stuff they don’t tell you.

With that said, if you’re considering donating your kidney, and you have questions that have yet to be answered, feel free to email me or post questions in the comments. I will do my best to answer back to you privately and find a way to make a post out of it.

Happy day,



Day 13 (Two Weeksish) Post Surgery

Today, I turned another corner. I was worried I’d done too much yesterday. But when I woke up, I had none of that previously mentioned crampy feeling. Things are still tender, but easy.

Chris and I went in for my check up at the Transplant Center. I stopped at the diagnostic clinic for one last round of labs (urine and blood). Then off to the Transplant Center for my appointment.

I was weighed – I’m down 7 pounds from pre-surgery. Woohoo! Most of that is my appetite finally kicking in.

My steri-strips are starting to come off (usually in the shower) – and I’d just showered. So, by the time I got to the Med Center, I looked down and saw my incision scar had been oozing on to my shirt. When my doctor came in, she checked it out and said it was all okay. She kept referring to me as “thin”, so she’s totally my favorite. I asked her about a bump, kind of a protrusion or a lump, near my scar. She said since I was “thin” that the scar tissue from the incision will seem bumpy and odd for about a year. For now, it’s swollen still, since it’s only 2 weeks out from surgery. I figure it’ll make a good six-pack on my abs. So, we’re good.

Since I’m two weeks out, and I’m not on my meds anymore, I am cleared to drive and go back to work.

My “work” is secretary at my church. And although I can’t lift anything more than 10 pounds for 8 weeks (Think restocking paper. It happens.) I can return to work. It’s also good to mention that I’m in a Job Share.  I work 20 hours a week. So, again, secretary, job share, church. I could not be a more supportive position to have given this kidney. I’m looking forward to getting back to work. I’ll take it easy. I’ll work this Thursday and Friday. And then I’ll start up next week with my regular routine: Monday, Tuesday, and half of Wednesday.

But mostly, I’m excited I get to go pick up my kids from school today.


Days 10-13 Post Surgery

I feel a little crampy in odd places. I’m still trying to move around into different chairs, couches and my bed. Once I stand up, it takes a while to straighten out. I do it with slow caution. But once I straighten out, I’m fine.

So, I opted to venture out to my son’s football game. The weather was beautiful, and I was worried I’d wear out quickly. But I lasted the whole game, happy and pain free. I make sure to never go anywhere without a giant full water bottle. It helps. I get thirsty quick. Max’s team won his game, then we ran a few errands that had me walking all over 4 different stores. By the time we checked out of the last place, I knew I was done.

My family is very supportive with me and my silly needs to lay down or nap. And it was Sunday, so we just watched football the rest of the day.

After dinner, we headed over to Jen & Chris’ house. It was so good to see Jen. I hadn’t seen her since we were in the hospital. We traded stories, and caught up. It was nice.


Day 9 Post Surgery

Well, I might have gotten a little bit over zealous with how great I felt yesterday. I ventured out and grocery shopped walked around while Chris grocery shopped. We dropped off the kids at a church function and I saw a lot of people I know. So we did lots of hugging and I was on my feet a little longer than usual. So, I wore myself out.

Today, I’m back to being a little bit crampy and tired. I sat up in bed and promptly went back to sleep until 11 a.m.

Note to self: take it easy!


Day 8 post surgery

Today, I’m feeling great. My incisions don’t hurt at all. They are starting to itch, though.

I woke up and took no pills. Not even the stool softener. ;)  I woke up with my back a little sore, from not rolling over at night. I’m a tosser and a turner typically. And I flip from sleeping on my side to sleeping on my back. I tried to lay on my side one day, and it just felt like my guts were shifting. It felt a little crampy. So, I just sleep laying flat on my back for now.

I managed to stay awake for my coffee today. Chris and I are going to start walking a little further as I’m out of breath just going up the stairs.

I’m up for writing again. I can’t believe it’s taken me a week to get back to the computer. But up until today, I’ve just not felt like looking at my computer screen. I’ll play Candy Crush and check Facebook on my phone. But it’s not until today that I’m starting to write. It feels good. So, I’m posting all of these daily post surgeries today.

My chest is feeling less tight when I breathe in deep breaths, but I’m going to start going back to deep breath meditation. Pre-surgery, I was doing a good 20-30 minutes.  I just started today with one minute. I made sure to take slow deep breaths in, and slow out as well. It still feels tight, but loosening up quite a bit. Since I regret not working out for months prior to the surgery, I’m at least glad I’d been doing deep breath meditation. Whether you’re into meditation or not, it still might be a good idea to get those lungs going with a few deep breaths. Once you get out of surgery, you’ll of course want to take short shallow breaths. But you need to get those lungs going. So, try to take a few deep breaths even while in the hospital.



Day 7 post surgery

Today, I decided when I woke up to try to not take the pain meds.

When I got out of bed, I noticed immediately that the pain from the incisions was gone. Just gone. I couldn’t believe it! There’s still a sensitivity of course. When I stand up from laying or sitting down, I still feel a bit hovered over. I take it slow to straighten up.

I felt great. It’s the first day, I came downstairs and hung out with the kids while they got ready for school. Chris makes us all breakfast each morning. When they left for school, I got up and poured myself a cup of coffee and then set up camp on the couch. I get sick of sitting in one place all day. As soon as I wake up,  I want out of my bed. So, today, it was the couch. By the time Chris got back from dropping the kids off at school, I was falling asleep. I had a good hour nap. I woke up, poured my cold coffee out, and poured a new cup.

I had a friend come over to bring me lunch. So, I showered and got dressed. For the first time, I put a sports bra on, and with no pain or concern. If you’ve ever worn a sports bra, you know that putting them on can be quite the calisthenic task. So, I felt like I’d triumphed some personal goal.

Once my friend got here, I was enjoying our lunch, but found myself wearing down pretty quick. After about an hour and a half she got up to leave and said I looked pale. I was tired. So, I plopped back down on the couch. I’m still needing to rest quite a bit.

My friend picked up the kids from school, and then brought us dinner. Since I’d rested quite a bit before she got there, I was able to move around and visit pretty easily. But once she left, again, I plopped on the couch and rested. The kids seem to be pretty patient with me.

Since I wasn’t in any pain, I went to tuck them in. They were so happy that I could tuck them in, because they knew it meant I was healing. I went ahead and took my pain medicine and the ol stool softener before bed because everything just felt a little stiff and tired.


Days 5 & 6 Post Surgery

Now that I have that system in the mornings when I wake up, I haven’t felt sick at all. Chris’ parents head back home, and we’re on our own. But we’re getting meals from friends every other day. So, that’s nice.

I’m moving around quite a bit and every morning I wake up, and have turned a corner. I’m amazed at how the body heals. Getting in and out of bed doesn’t hurt at all. No pain in my incisions at all.

My left hand is still swollen from the IV. So, I’ve started icing it. The swelling has gone down.

All looks good.