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Posts (119)

Thu, Feb 13 8:01pm · Kidney transplant - The Journey from the Donor's Side in Transplants

Congratulations at considering being a living donor! How far are you into the process?
I'll answer your immediate questions and I've written a lot on here about my story that you can go back and look at if you'd like.
The surgery was successful (for myself and the recipient) and much easier than I thought it would be.
I was surprised at how little pain there was afterwards. It hurt but wasn't excruciating and my pain tolerance isn't very high. I was up and walking around by dinner time and released around lunch time the next day. I was on pain meds for a few days and tylenol as needed for about a week. The fear of it hurting was actually greater than the pain.
I just passed my 2 year mark and am back to the same as I was before.
The pros are, I saved someone's life. That's weird to type out and sounds so egotistical but I didn't really grasp that until recently. I knew what I was doing would help this person but didn't really think about all of the other lives that she touches. I've gotten to know her over the past 2 years and have heard her story. She was going to die sooner rather than later and now she's back to work, traveling, marrying off her kids, and watching her grandchild grow up. I am in awe of her determination and the science and skill it took to help her live.
The cons, none for me but I feel very fortunate. Between Dr appointments,evaluations, surgery and recuperation time, I missed about 5 weeks of work. I'm self employed and don't get paid when I don't work so we did a lot of budgeting. My clients were understanding and welcomed me back when I was ready. My flights, hotel and medical expenses were paid by the recipient. Her family went above and beyond and took us out for some meals and brought us groceries while we were in MN. Money was tight but we made it work. I understand that can't work for everyone.
If it helps for your husband (and you) to know, I was told that because I am a donor, I am at the top of the list if I ever need a kidney. Also, There were 1000000 tests and labs that were done before the donor board even approved me and all of them were to make sure that I would have a successful surgery and a long, healthy life after donation.
The whole process was amazing, terrifying, inspiring and awesome and I would 100% do it again if possible.

Fri, Jan 24 10:45am · Living Donor Kidney surgery next Tuesday: Any advice? in Transplants

Will you have any help after the 1st week?
I was able to take care of myself and do most things around the house but had a 10# lifting restriction for 6 weeks and that was the most difficult part. A gallon of milk weighs over 8#. Vacuuming or mowing is over the limit. Driving was not easy for a bit because of the seatbelt (the kidney brace helped with that) and turning to look but was manageable.
You won't need full time help after your sister leaves but if you have someone come in once a week or so, it will make your life easier and you deserve that!

Thu, Jan 23 3:02pm · Living Donor Kidney surgery next Tuesday: Any advice? in Transplants

Congratulations @rickhartleyjax!
Mayo is pretty great at not having "surprises". They do so much ahead of time to plan for everything and the nurses are amazing. Although my husband was surprised that I only spent 1 night at the hospital.
Do you live near Mayo Florida or are you traveling? As excited as I was to get home, the hotel made it a lot easier not to overdo it.
Do you have questions or concerns? It's sometimes hard to voice things in real life. Its also difficult to find other donors to talk to.

Fri, Jan 17 4:57pm · Living Donor Kidney surgery next Tuesday: Any advice? in Transplants

@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!

Wed, Jan 15 5:22pm · From the Kidney Donor's Perspective: Meet @mauraacro in About Connect: Who, What & Why

@cleverusername I was so happy that my info helped you decide to donate. It's an amazing experience and I was glad to share it

Wed, Jan 15 5:19pm · From the Kidney Donor's Perspective: Meet @mauraacro in About Connect: Who, What & Why

Thank you Rosemary, for your hard work! Besides a few posts on social media, I haven't shared much beyond here and with some family and friends. This got me out of my comfort zone and gave me more tools to encourage others to consider living donation.

Tue, Jan 14 10:29am · Kidney transplant - The Journey from the Donor's Side in Transplants

I can't believe it's been a year!
I'm sorry that 2019 wasn't great for you, it seems like life should throw all of the good things at you. Maybe it was just clearing a path for this year?
I have had a slight problem with my blood pressure also. Slight because mine is normally low and it's higher but still within the normal range. A nurse suggested using a free machine at 1 of the stores with a pharmacy (use same machine each time) and taking 2-3 readings with a minute in between but I've only done it twice. I sent off my 2 year and last ever, blood work and sample to Mayo in December and everything came back good so I just work on being mindful of what I'm doing- or not doing.
I forgot about that scar feeling. Not a pain but sort of pulling? It goes away but it didn't happen often so I'm not sure when it stopped, maybe after about 18 months. I gross myself out thinking about all of the layers of muscle, fat and skin they stitched backup and then stop thinking about it.
I'm glad your friend is doing better and hope his other medical issues get resolved soon. My recipient had quite a few problems with viral infections in her first year and didn't ever think she'd feel better but 2 years later she's back to work, traveling for fun and babysitting her first grand daughter. I think back to the first time I met her, the day before surgery and can't believe the difference in her. It is truly an amazing thing.

Nov 23, 2019 · Living Donor Process in Transplants

I am coming up on my 2 year anniversary of surgery.
Mayo sent the box of lab work on Monday to complete and ship back. My blood draw was in Portland, OR on Thurs morning, I Fed X'd it to Mayo and had the results in my inbox Friday at noon. I am equally impressed by the speed of things Mayo does as I am by the fact that I had an organ removed with very little effect on my body and no negative effect on my health.
I checked in with the recipient and all is well from her side too!

To anyone considering organ donation- This was one of the best choices I have ever made and if possible, I would do it again.
No matter how far you make it in the evaluation process, you will have more information about living donation than most people and can use that information to encourage others to consider donation.