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Posts (15)

Nov 15, 2019 · Kidney transplant - The Journey from the Donor's Side in Transplants

Posted to you privately and here in case others need to read this!

So exciting that you’ll be donating in less than a month! What a beautiful gift you will be giving to someone and in turn to your mom. Way to be brave and generous.

I was very active and healthy (still am) going into surgery day. My husband and I rented an Airbnb the night before and days following surgery because we live about 2 hours away. My surgery was very early so I was admitted the night before. I said my goodbyes to my family as they wouldn’t see me before surgery, slept in my own pjs, took a shower with the cleanser that was for pre surgery. I signed some paperwork and hardly slept because I was anxious, excited, and nervous!

They woke me pretty early to get ready. I gowned up and they wheeled me to surgery. All the while, the team was caring for me….they were my team and I felt so comfortable with each of them. Every single person was so thankful and grateful for what I was doing. The surgeon had met with me the day before when I had my last bit of testing and discussed all that would happen.

The anesthesiologist was who greeted me in the surgery room. He explained exactly what was going to happen and what I needed to do and how to move to make that an easy process. I’ve had three c-sections before, so I knew how I had reacted in the past to meds…. I was out pretty quick and woke up in the recovery room (can’t remember how many hours later, maybe three). I was pretty shaky, so they gave me something to combat that. I fell asleep again and then woke up and was wheeled back to my room.

My husband, and kids were there waiting when I came back. From there I had great constant care in the transplant wing. Pain was managed well, I got walking as soon as they let me, used the catheter only as long as I had to-I wanted to get that thing out! They continuously checked my different blood work to make sure my kidney was doing what it was supposed to be doing.

I had a good nights sleep, showered, ate, breathed into the tube many times to make sure my lungs were good. I saw the surgeon and all those who were part of the donation team that morning and afternoon. I was released to go home that afternoon because I was doing so well.

The two hour drive was a little hard with bumps, I used a small pillow to hold against my incision. I am a teacher and had my surgery when I was done that spring 2018. So I didn’t need to rush back to work.

I rested a lot. A lot of naps because I got tired easy. I ate well, drank a lot of water, and walked every day. I’m a runner so it was hard not being at my activity levels those first few weeks. But really listen to what your body is telling you so that you don’t get a hernia or an infection in one of your incision sites.

I have two very small scars from the laparoscopic area and then one larger from the belly button down about four inches. They healed nicely and most days I forget about this until someone like you asks! I was an anonymous donor who started a chain of 7. My recipient is in FL and is doing well! I’m so thankful to have been a part of this journey that is blessing so many others.

Six weeks later, I was back to normal life, running and working out m. Lifting things. And sometime forgetting what I had done.

Your mom is blessed and many others will be because of the paired donation process! Please ask any other questions if I haven’t answered what you needed. Let people care for you, you deserve it. And let people care for your mom-she’ll need them as well!

Blessings and prayers as you count down the days. Stay healthy and we’ll
Penny

Jun 5, 2018 · Transplant Evaluation - What to expect in Transplants

I haven't read everything to be honest, but as a donor, we don't have as many restrictions. Our bodies aren't trying to accept something foreign. I have no restrictions other than a 10 lb weight restriction until my incisions heal.
I don't know where you live @beckyjohnson . I'm just about twenty minutes north of the twin cities. My husband and I rented an airbnb in Rochester. I stayed there before surgery and then he stayed there until we left to go home. I didn't have to stay in town because we live close enough if I had needed to return. I saved all my receipts for non medical purchases dealing with the donating, as you can write it off for tax purposes.
I'd you are considering the Gift of Life house, you do need to tour ahead of time. Perhaps try doing that while you are having your three days of testing.
Im not really good about following all of these feeds. I've been considering writing a blog of my experience from start to now…. and then add as my journey continues. It's a good thing to our my energy in to while I'm healing. Then future donors can read about my experience to help them in theirs!!!

Jun 1, 2018 · Kidney transplant - The Journey from the Donor's Side in Transplants

@beckyjohnson in the months leading up to my surgery, I watched every YouTube video and read every blog and website that had to do with kidney donors, kidney disease, transplants, etc…. there's some good stuff out there. As with anything, you'll have to sift through what has value to you and what does not.
I was very prepared mentally and physically because I did a lot of research ahead of time. By the time I got to the three day testing, I hardly had questions because I had learned so much.
Im also a strong woman of faith, really did not have any anxiety or worry because I trusted this was the journey that God had intended for me.
Good luck!

Jun 1, 2018 · Kidney transplant - The Journey from the Donor's Side in Transplants

@mauraacro it is amazing! Costco was hard yesterday…my sister was in town helping a few days with things like vacuuming and errand running. I wanted to put everything in the cart, but she scolded me and did it for me.
Recovery is just a short blip in life, so I'm being thankful in those moments where i can't do it yet!

Jun 1, 2018 · Kidney transplant - The Journey from the Donor's Side in Transplants

@beckyjohnson I was an anonymous donor by choice. I did sign a form giving my email address to the recipient. If they sign it as well, then we can know each other. Maybe months from now, I might get to know my recipient and the chain of people that my donation started, but for now I'm happy knowing that it made it from Mn to FL and into the recipient!

May 30, 2018 · Kidney transplant - The Journey from the Donor's Side in Transplants

I'm doing great!!!! One week after donor surgery, and I'm taking it easy, but pain free and feeling more like myself every day.
I had surgery at 5am on the 22nd, back in my room by 9am, walking by noon that day. I was released the next evening. Haven't had to take any pain meds, other than Tylenol. Resting when I need to and getting moving more each day.

My kidney went to a recipient in Florida. That's all I know at this point. I heard that it started a chain, but that will reveal itself over time!
I'm just so thankful to have been a part of this for someone else. I imagine that person feeling good today, feeling like there are new opportunities for them. Hopefully my 42 yr old kidney is serving them well. Ha!

If anyone has any questions about the whole process, please feel free to ask. I would love to share from my very positive experience!!!

May 20, 2018 · Kidney transplant - The Journey from the Donor's Side in Transplants

thanks so much. I have a very good friend who donated seven years ago. She has been a great support and reference for questions!! Thanks for your support

May 20, 2018 · Kidney transplant - The Journey from the Donor's Side in Transplants

Thank you. Just really feeling honored and blessed to be a part on this journey! Heading to rochester after my daughter's lacrosse game tonight. I have pre op appointments early tomorrow. Excited!