I know I haven't blogged since May, I've been pretty fatigued and not "up for anything". Even though regular visits to my Nephrologist showed my numbers were steady, I felt myself slowly feeling worse.
Then on June 23rd, in the middle of prepping dinner, we got a phone call. It was the Kidney Transplant Clinic and they found a kidney for me! I rushed around packing a hospital bag, and waited for Randy to come home from work. Our son stayed home, which was a good thing because later in the car we realized our cellphone doesn't go international and we couldn't call my folks in Canada for any updates, so he was the "Relay". Our daughter came along with us.
The Hospital is an hour and half away from us. Halfway there the realization hit me that someone had to die for me to receive this gift of life, I cried the rest of the way to the hospital.
We had requested an interpreter, but after checking into my room, lo and behold there's a laptop case on the table. It's a laptop to connect to VRI (Video Remote Interpreting). Oh gawd no! It connects to the hospital's wifi and y'all been in hospitals know the wifi is crappy, you have to sign in every 15 - 20 minutes and it's not "high speed". So how the hell do I have a conversation if the screen freezes due to a slow connection, or the connection drops every 15 - 20 minutes? Why must Deaf people be burdened with this? The hospital doesn't do this for Spanish, or other language speaking patients! Besides the "sign in" alone is overwhelming! "Enter Department Number, Department Head, Floor Number, Room Number, Patient Name, Patient's ID Code, Name of Firstborn, 5 Hieroglyphics, Goat Sacrifice". Ok the last 3 I'm being silly, but seriously if you're in a hospital, on meds, groggy, pain, etc. You just don't want to deal with that crap! Luckily I had my iPad Mini and I used the Notepad app to communicate.
After settling in, we were informed that the surgery will be at 5am with Prep starting at 3am. Randy & my daughter went home. Shortly after, a technician came in to insert a large bore I.V. in my NECK! What a terrifying 10 minutes that was! I think I only got about half an hour's sleep that night. 5am came and I was wheeled down, the usual checking in and I was out.
Here's what they do in a Transplant:
The standard hospital stay for a Kidney Transplant is about a week with 2 or 3 days in ICU. I spent a 1 1/2 days in ICU and was home 2 days early! I was given a looong list of Medicines, anti-rejection meds which are for life, and anti-infection meds, which will be weaned off in about six months. At first I was taking like 14 different pills in the morning, and about 8 at night, but three weeks later I'm already taken off one meds, reduced down to about 10 in the morning and 6 at night.
Diet restrictions is bottled or canned drinks only, 6 - 8 16oz. bottles of water a day, no raw veggies or fruit for 3 months, limit salt and phosphates, but eat all the protein I can.
I also have to avoid crowds for a while and wear a mask in public as my immune system rebuilds itself.
Today's my 3 week "Transplant-versary" and I'm feeling great! The fatigue is gone, gaining energy every day, I'm still a bit weak and I shuffle around like an old lady Heh, but getting there!
The other night I had a dream I got a tattoo on my scar line, who knows, someday I might just do it.
I'm so looking forward to getting stronger, getting more energy and getting more done!
One finds limits by pushing them" ~ Herbert Simon