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Pull Up a Chair: The Gift

(photo: Maeflower72/flickr)

[As many of you know, KarenM recently donated a kidney to her son-in-law Jimmy. Of course there’s a lot that went into getting them into the OR, but we’ll start with some tales from the surgery.  What a beautiful gift.  -Ed]

First off, after getting there ready to go, they delayed the surgery by one day. My son-in-law had to have an upper and lower endoscopy on Tuesday and they wanted him to rest afterwards. Originally, the surgery was scheduled for Wednesday, October 19th, but they re-scheduled it for Thursday, October 20th.

Paul came down after my surgery on that Thursday and stayed with me in recovery and then came to my room with me. He came down again on Saturday and took me back to Theressa’s hotel suite (she had a lot of meeting planning points) and was able to get a suite. Paul stayed over… we had breakfast the next morning in the hotel and the chef picked up our check. I told her that I had just donated a kidney. After that, we went back to the hospital to see Theressa and Jimmy again, and his brother and sister-in-law and his aunt.

A funny story… they had given me some Versed and then introduced me to Jimmy’s surgeon. Theressa said I was polite and greeted him, but I don’t remember any of it. That Versed makes your forget everything!!!

Paul took me home on Sunday.

I couldn’t sleep in the hospital. They had those massage thingies around my ankles and they kept waking me up. The next night they kept waking me up to take my vital signs. I was really glad to get home where I could get some sleep. Of course, I did get some sleep in the hotel suite on Saturday night.

Jimmy looks great now. He was looking a bit grey about the face and his skin was a bit puffy, but now his skin is tight and he has a lot of color in his face. He looks fantastic! His hernias had come back. The surgeons fixed them and gave him a tummy tuck. He didn’t have much belly fat, but he had some loose skin and they wanted to get rid of that, so that he would heal better. Fat does not heal as well as muscle does.

When they put the kidney in him, it started making urine right away. He says he feels great now. They removed the staples a few weeks ago and removed the tubes that were draining his kidney. He looks great now and a bit slimmer. He had to lose some weight… he cut down on his portions and did a lot of walking. They have a dog and Jimmy probably walked him quite a bit.

We went to their house for Thanksgiving and had a wonderful feast… though I could not eat much because I had filled up on the nibblies before dinner.

I am just thrilled that they will be able to have a normal life in a month or two. My daughter used to work all day, then they would eat dinner and then do dialysis at home until 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning.

Everything I went through was worth it!!! …even all of the invasive tests they did throughout the screening process.

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