Living Donor Kidney surgery next Tuesday: Any advice?

Posted by earlenes @earlenes, Jan 17 6:44am

I’m scheduled for surgery next Tuesday in Jacksonville. Any words of advice, lessons learned, etc? I’m excited and just a little nervous. My emotions have been on high alert. I get choked up whenever I talk about it. The idea that my donation will potentially save someone’s life just fills my heart to bursting. I’m the start of a paired exchange chain of 7 transplants. Just WOW!

@earlenes, Welcome to Mayo Connect. Yours is the first message that I saw when I logged in today. As an organ transplant recipient, I echo your 'Wow' . I can assure you that you are not alone in your nervousness and emotions – this is a life saving changing moment for everyone involved in the paired exchange. Earlenes, I did not have a living donor, and so, I want to connect you with others who are living donors, or who are in the process of being living donors.
Here is a discussion where you will be able to meet and talk to other donors. This discussionn was started by a living kidney donor, @mauraacro – Kidney transplant – The Journey from the Donor's Side.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/kidney-transplant-from-the-donor-side/
@cleverusername, also a living kidney donor has shared about post donor life here. From a Living Donor: One year later, what is your life like now? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/a-post-donation-check-in-one-year-later/

@earlenes, I am excited for you and your donor!

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@earlenes Wow! And, thank you for stepping up to do this! As the wife of a kidney recipient, I know how much of a difference this will make in the life of your recipient, let alone in your own life! It is an awesome gift you offer!

Please come back and let us know how it all goes for you!
Ginger

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Take post-surgery recovery super, super easy – and godspeed. You're doing a great thing, just don't push yourself too hard afterwards. And yes please reach out here if you want and/or drop me a line.

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@earlenes I am so excited for you!
@cleverusername gave great advice about taking post recovery super easy and don't push yourself to do too much.
2 useful things I left the hospital with were a "kidney pillow" that I could hold against my abdomen when I was getting up or down and this sort of brace that I could wear while walking around that made me feel more secure that things were being held in place. The brace was also helpful when driving a week or so later.
Think about what you will need help with when you get home. I could manage basic cleaning and cooking but the 10# lifting restriction (6 weeks for me) made vacuuming and dog walking impossible, and grocery shopping difficult. I also got tired easily and napped daily for a few weeks.
Do you have questions? It seems like the donors here have all had different journeys so between all of us I'm sure we can answer just about anything you come up with.
I wish you the very best!

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Wow! I am a liver recipient. We have a few kidney transplant patients in our group. Two are living kidney recipients, one was like your exchange donation. So very interesting. Are you going to be at Mayo? Our group meets at Cannady building, first floor at 11 am, Tuesdays. Join us, if you wish. Thank you for your very generous gift! Toosie

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Hi Tootsie! Thanks for the invitation! I’ll be a little busy this week (surgery on Tuesday) but I’ll check it out as soon as I’m mobile again!
Earlene

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@earlenes
You are AWESOME! I know firsthand what a big deal this is because my life was forever transformed by receiving a living kidney donation! What you are about to do will profoundly change the lives of people involved spiritually, emotionally and of course physically. God Bless you for be such an incredible and selfless person. I am alive, happy and healthy today because my donor stepped up. I am so grateful and I am sure everyone in your kidney chain will be as well.

My advice to you is:

#1. Be very careful what you in the days leading up to surgery and the days following. The surgery meds can cause severe constipation and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure on this one. Don't go crazy but softer, high fiber, easy to digest foods are best as you prepare and recover from surgery. You are a hero and deserve to recover pain free.

#2. Tell EVERYONE what you are doing and WHY you did it. You will forever be an ambassador for the greatest gift anyone can give. You will absolutely inspire others by sharing your journey.

#3. My donor said the second day following surgery was her toughest day and after that she got better each day. Expect to feel a bit worse for a few days and then better and better over the following weeks.

Finally… THANK YOU! As a recipient I can only tell you what you are doing is nothing short of a miracle for the patients and families involved. God Bless you and please keep us all posted.

Jolinda

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@earlenes thank you for what you are doing. I am a potential kidney transplant recipient (listed and looking for a living kidney donor). I hope I have someone like you when I need it.

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@jolinda

@earlenes
You are AWESOME! I know firsthand what a big deal this is because my life was forever transformed by receiving a living kidney donation! What you are about to do will profoundly change the lives of people involved spiritually, emotionally and of course physically. God Bless you for be such an incredible and selfless person. I am alive, happy and healthy today because my donor stepped up. I am so grateful and I am sure everyone in your kidney chain will be as well.

My advice to you is:

#1. Be very careful what you in the days leading up to surgery and the days following. The surgery meds can cause severe constipation and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure on this one. Don't go crazy but softer, high fiber, easy to digest foods are best as you prepare and recover from surgery. You are a hero and deserve to recover pain free.

#2. Tell EVERYONE what you are doing and WHY you did it. You will forever be an ambassador for the greatest gift anyone can give. You will absolutely inspire others by sharing your journey.

#3. My donor said the second day following surgery was her toughest day and after that she got better each day. Expect to feel a bit worse for a few days and then better and better over the following weeks.

Finally… THANK YOU! As a recipient I can only tell you what you are doing is nothing short of a miracle for the patients and families involved. God Bless you and please keep us all posted.

Jolinda

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Thanks for the advice and kind words!

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My surgery is done and I am now an official ‘one beaner!’ I met the recipient and he is doing great! Thanks for all of the good advice!

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@earlenes

My surgery is done and I am now an official ‘one beaner!’ I met the recipient and he is doing great! Thanks for all of the good advice!

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@earlenes, I am so very happy for you and for your recipient. Congratulations on your new title! Later on, after you are rested and have recovered, I hope that you will tell us more about your experience.

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@earlenes

My surgery is done and I am now an official ‘one beaner!’ I met the recipient and he is doing great! Thanks for all of the good advice!

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@earlenes Wow! Congratulations to both you and the lucky recipient! Life-changing for you both, and another fine example of giving a second chance to someone. We look forward to more progress reports!
Ginger

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@earlenes

My surgery is done and I am now an official ‘one beaner!’ I met the recipient and he is doing great! Thanks for all of the good advice!

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I am to be an anonymous donor on Feb 11 at Mayo Florida. Any surprises and words of advice??

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Welcome to Mayo Connect, @rickhartleyjax. I commend you for your decision to be a living donor, and I am happy that you have joined this discussion where you will hear from other living donors.
I am a recipient with no living donor experience of my own to share with you. However, here are some more discussions about living donation and I have included the links for you.
Kidney transplant – The Journey from the Donor's Side
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/kidney-transplant-from-the-donor-side/
From a Living Donor: One year later, what is your life like now?
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/a-post-donation-check-in-one-year-later/

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@rickhartleyjax

I am to be an anonymous donor on Feb 11 at Mayo Florida. Any surprises and words of advice??

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No surprises for me. The team was great! I had quite a bit of pain immediately after surgery but they were able to get that under control quickly. I’m at home and able to control the pain with Tylenol. Best of luck to you!

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