Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Many of you remember I have been trying to donate a kidney for my niece through a Paired Transplant program. Meaning, she and I don't match so they match us with another pair in the same situation. We've been trying to get this going for 3 years and finally got listed about 14 months ago. We matched another pair in Pennsylvania. So the date was finally set for December 19th, after much orchestrating of surgery times and flight times. They arrange 3 different flights just in case one breaks down, is late, etc.... Of course the only snowstorm we have had came in then. So after at 3:00 a.m. pow wow between the transplant center in Denver and the transplant center in Philadelphia, they decided to go ahead. My surgery started at 4:30 a.m. mountain time and the other donor in PA started about the same time. Then our kidneys made the flight and crossed paths somewhere in the Mid West I'm sure!! My niece, Emily's kidney arrived about 3:00 and she was peeing like a champ soon after!!! Hooray!! I hear my kidney was doing the same for it's recipient in Pennsylvania. Emily hasn't peed in years because of her renal disease, so we were very excited to see a urine bag FULL! So, all is well and God is good!! It was an amazing experience and we are both doing really well. I'm sore and slow and won't be running on the treadmill for awhile. I have a restriction of no heavy lifting for 4-6 weeks, so I won't be going back to work for at least a month. Heck of a way to take some time off!! But so worth it. A friend of mine told me that God gives us 2 kidneys so we can give one away! My niece is 34 with 2 daughters who have never known her to be healthy. I'm so excited for them!!
I did retain about 15 lbs of fluid immediately after surgery. But once the kidney kicked in to do the work of 2, it came off really quick. I'm now 1.5 lbs down from when I started. The real caveat to having one kidney is they stress over and over - maintain a healthy weight because diabetes is a kidney killer. They even recommend Spark People!!!
I have a check up in Denver tomorrow and then will stay down there with my niece until she's released to go home - probably 2-3 weeks. I won't have internet access while I'm there but will check in when I get back.
Thanks for all the prayers and well wishes Spark Friends. Have a blessed New Year. And if you are ever thinking of donating a kidney for someone you love, or maybe an acquaintance, I can tell you- IT IS SO WORTH IT.