Thursday, March 22, 2012

1 Month Update: Jeremy

I’m not sure I ever considered what it would look like 1 month after the donation; it is really crazy to think that it has been a full month.  I mean we haven’t even been home for a full week yet, the time has kind of stood still for us, yet it just continues to march on.

I don’t really have any new information from the doctor’s; I haven’t seen a doctor since we left UNC.  I did have blood drawn yesterday and peed in a cup so that everything can be analyzed to make sure I am doing well.  I have my 30 day follow up appt. on Monday which is a couple of days late but not that bad.
I don’t expect anything to be that unusual.  Kate and I are both anxious to find out what my Creatinine levels will be (that is what they check for kidney function).  My blood pressure was a little high 140/90 during my last visit to UNC so we hope that will come down a little bit, we bought a BP machine for home so we can monitor it and it has been lower when I take it at home so it might be a case of white coat syndrome (nervous in front of the doctors).
As far as my recovery it is going well, I’m not out jogging or anything yet, but I was able to drive myself around the last couple of days and I have been off pain medication for about 5 days.   A lot of people say they like pain medication but I really don’t enjoy the way it makes me feel, kind of like I am drunk all the time. 
As far as the incision goes it seems to be healing, I’m not sure if I can tell that much difference between now and the last time we took a picture but there seems to be a lot less seepage. 
Here are some answers to the most popular questions.
When am I going back to work?
My goal was April 2nd before the surgery, I haven’t been given approval to return to work yet I hope to get that when I see the doctor on Monday.  If I get approved on Monday I might try to do a half day on Thursday and Friday so I can ease into it a little bit.  But right now I should definitely be back by the 2nd.
Do I feel different inside?
I still am not sure how to answer this.  My stomach is definitely misshapen, I’m not sure if it is still swollen or that is permanent.  I see people walking around sometimes with parts of their stomach sticking weird directions and now I wonder is that going to be me for the rest of my life.  Sometimes when I take a deep breath or yawn I can feel something on my left side, originally I thought it was the air stopping there but I think it is my lung pushing on the empty space.  This is one of those times where I should have probably kept my mouth shut to avoid sound dumb about where my organs are. 
There has been one time that I noticed it, I was sitting on the couch and I lifted my left foot to scratch it up by my side, and I had an incredibly sharp pain in my side, like I was pinching something inside of me.  I have no idea what it was, but I try not to do that anymore. 
Can I see the scar?
Yes, Sorry I don't have that attractive of a stomach.
30 Days After the Surgery
14 Days After the Surgery
What does it feel like to have a part of you inside someone else?
This is way too deep and hard to answer yet, so I will do an entire post about this at some point.
 A month later I feel well, probably not as good as I thought I would.  If I sit upright for more than an hour I am very sore.  If Kate and I do any activity, driving, walking even animated conversations for any length of time I am very exhausted at the end and need to rest.  I’m still not making particularly quick movements from side to side, and I know if I had to I could throw or swing something but I would pay a heavy price later.
This has been a very amazing experience for me and I feel very blessed to have had this opportunity and I would do it again in a heartbeat.  I just want to give a real picture of what the recovery looks like.
So many people online say they are back to work in 2 weeks, which I guess is possible with lots of pain medication, but my production would have been awful.  Other people have said things like it is a piece of cake or no big deal, which doesn’t paint a fair picture, It is a big deal, and it does take time to recover.  
As I look back on the last month, all I can really think is a month ago they took an organ from my body, (seriously), and put it in Ashley and now it is filtering her blood, how cool is that.

1 comment:

  1. It is very cool! Thank you again, Jeremy, for both sharing your hard-workin' kidney and for putting out great information about the donation process.