Well, I’m home now following yesterday’s kidney donation. The surgery itself was remarkably fast. I’m told that thanks to the technical proficiency of Dr. Talia Baker, my left kidney was removed in about an hour. Of course, for all I knew, it could have been a week as I was unconscious the whole time. Pain meds upon my awakening made the whole thing a non-event.
(Trivia: My entire Transplant Team was female – surgeon, anesthesiologist, physician’s assistant, nurse, and resident. “Ladies and gentlemen, The Kidnettes.”)
The best news of all was the fact that Brenda’s body accepted my kidney (or the kidney formerly known as my kidney), and it began making urine before she was even stitched back up. Her incision was much larger than mine, so her recovery time will be longer, and she will likely go home tomorrow. We were both up and walking shortly after surgery.
I was pretty groggy and anti-social last night, and I slept poorly due to the octopus of I.V. and catheter tubes. All of the tubing was removed around six this morning, and I shed my hospital gown in favor of street clothing. I cleared my head by walking around the hospital and entertaining guests at my hospital room after-party.
Before I was able to leave the hospital, I had to urinate on my own (just like my three year old son just learned to do). This was the topic of lots of complaining and whining on my part (“I can’t do it. I can’t go potty.”), but the nurse assured me that I could, in fact, make tinkle-tinkle, and then mission was accomplished.
I spoke, via phone, with the founder of MatchingDonors.com, and he assured me that any recipient who is unable to pay the fee for a listing could get listed for free. It was clear that he was a good-hearted man who cared a lot. He said he loses money on the site, but he believes in the cause. Brenda and I had the 42nd successful transplant brokered through the site. He also said that the media blitz surrounding our procedure resulted in 32 new people stepping forward to register as donors through the site.
Again, mission accomplished.
Finally, thanks to all of you who wrote or called me over the past few days. Corresponding with you took my mind off things and helped pass the time as I was waiting to pass urine. I owe you one.