Well hello, beautiful people!
I thought I would start with another amazingly catchy title! 🙂
So yeah, the last time I rambled ad nauseum, I told you about getting prepared to be a live donor for my son, Jordan. I think I mostly wrote about that to get my feelings about the process out in the open and explore them. But now I want to do something different- I want to spread some awareness about renal disease, renal failure, transplants etc. For the most part I can only really talk about our experience, but I will try to get some good scientific info type stuff in here, in an easy to read and sometimes funny format 🙂 let’s give it a shot. I really welcome comments and personal experiences.
For today though, I’m just gonna tell you about the last few days….
Jordan and I went into hospital on Thursday 10th August, for surgery on Friday. It was further confirmed that mine was going to be relatively tricky surgery. Here’s what most kidneys look like…..
Note the nice, tidy “one vein, one artery” set up? Yeah. Well. After multiple scans, the medical team realised that Ernesto has 2 arteries and 3 veins, and Ricardo has 3 arteries and 2 veins. But the surgeon had 20 years’ experience and said I had supercharged kidneys so was I happy to go ahead? Does a bear sh*t in the woods?
Friday morning, I woke up nil by mouth and beyond scared. Brave facing it all over the place but I can’t lie, I was pretty nervous, for me and for Jordan. The anaesthetist was great, she told me she would have to take a few extra precautions as I have always had quite low blood pressure, so I would need a blood-oxygen monitor. I know from experience these aren’t a party to have put in, but she said she would do it when I was asleep. Cool. I won’t lie, I am a wuss. Pain makes me sweary.
The next couple of days are a bit of a blur. I don’t remember much of Friday, except waking up late evening and being told Jordan was fine and in recovery. That’s all I needed to know. I’ve always suffered from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), so obviously I had to know how it ended 🙂 lol
Saturday, I remember waking up to the terrified face of my youngest son. I was still pretty sore and must have looked quite ouchy.
Sunday, I was full of gas. Even more than usual. Like, it was pretty sore and bringing me down. And I was acutely aware that I wasn’t managing to follow the recommendations of the medical staff to move around as soon as possible to aid healing, so I admit I was giving myself a pretty hard time. Jordan was in a fair bit of pain too and I am going to tell you this in the interests of total honesty, because if you may think of doing this for someone one day, you need to know EVERYTHING. Please don’t hate me. I regretted it. I thought, why have I done this, put my son through yet more pain, for what? Is it going to make that much difference to his life, given the pain that he’s endured and the other medical complications of renal failure? Will it have been worth it? I would definitely say that Sunday was the darkest day.
Monday was Change Day. I can’t really explain it. I felt euphoric and determined when I woke up. The people I had met on the renal ward and become friends with had totally inspired me. A woman who had recently received a transplant, I won’t use her name. It was her second transplant and she had been waiting for it for 12 years. She came back to her bed grinning like a Cheshire cat and told me she had been for her first wee in 12 years! She was honest to god the most courageous, upbeat, optimistic person I have ever met. She made me cry, listening to her matter of factly tell me what she had endured but how grateful she was for her life and for everything ❤ her arms were full of bruises, she was having kidney biopsies regularly (they aren’t pleasant) but she took everything in her stride. Absolute warrior woman.
So I dragged my sorry ass out of bed and got a shower, dressed myself, started to feel lots more human and received THE BEST NEWS. Ernesto had settled into his new home perfectly! No more pressure headaches and general horrible ill feeling for Jordan! His blood toxins were well within normal ranges, I mean like normal for a person with 2 working kidneys!! He was a couple of days behind me recovery wise, and still feeling pretty damn low. Well, it is major surgery! So we talked loads and gave him loads of encouragement, cos now I finally understand what its like to be in pain, in real pain so you can’t concentrate or communicate your needs. I hadn’t really understood that before, I had tried but its hard if you haven’t felt it.
Tuesday (yesterday) I was sent home. I didn’t really want to go cos I hated leaving Jordan feeling low and I wanted to help him but I knew I needed to recover too. Properly torn. So we spoke loads on the phone and almost hour by hour he started to improve, as I told him he would! But it’s hard to see it when you’re in it. Tuesday was pretty much hell for me for a few personal reasons that I don’t want to discuss here, because they’re not related to this. All I will say is this:- *L.M.P a.k.a Mine*- “Love, love is a verb. Love is a doing word. Fearless on my breath”. You taught me how absolutely true those words are, and how brave I can be ❤
Aaaaaaaaand let’s take it all the way up to today. How do I feel? Pretty damn good actually! Barely sore at all, I’m only taking paracetamol in fact, and as previously I’m a total wuss. I’m resting (sorta) but absolutely bubbling with excitement for the future we now have as a family. I had the best call with Jordan, he sounded better than I have heard him sound in at least 4 years. The strength is back in his voice, he is himself again, calm, patient, a very sweet soul. He’s feeling differently about the future. He feels like he has one now 🙂 He said he appreciated what I’d done, I got all emotional cos to be honest I have felt like I’ve dragged him into this at times. Dialysis works well for some people, but for others their quality of life is really depleted, so this had to happen and I didn’t think we could afford to wait too long as it would have meant further invasive procedures for Jordan, such as having a fistula created (in straightforward terms, they join an artery to a vein to create a port for dialysis. It’s not fun).
We are just a normal family. We eat takeaways and probably don’t get enough exercise, we don’t have a perfect lifestyle. You don’t need to be the strongest healthiest person in the world to be a living donor. I’m not saying it won’t be a bit painful at times, but we are talking a matter of a few days, its completely achievable. I’m not in pain today, 5 days post op. I can move around, do things, get a shower, make a cuppa. No skydiving for a while maybe (LOL) but sooooooo worth it 🙂 You got this!
Thanks for reading!