6 Months on from the Transplant

I haven’t blogged here for a fair while and as my new job essentially involves teaching others to blog, I thought it might be worth a quick update.

So, when we last spoke I’d just had a successful kidney transplant courtesy of my mom (her kidney that is, she didn’t perform the operation (Lazy). Thankfully the kidney is showing no signs of rejection, and I’m now back at work on a full time basis.

Having said that, between the transplant and now, I’ve had 1 additional operation, 2 biopsies, 1 MAG3 scan, 1 angiogram, countless ultrasound scans, 4 stays in hospital, 2 urinary tract infections, lots of meds and a few more scans and tests I’ve probably forgot.

Still, for all the prodding, hospital food and drugs, I now have a functioning renal system that removes the need for dialysis, and means I shouldn’t die young. Which is nice. For the above, I will of course be eternally grateful to my mom, for bravely donating her kidney, and the hospital staff at QE who did such a fantastic job patching me up, as well as Kat, friends and family for keeping me sane.

Anyway, before I begin thanking any I imaginary divine creators on my lunch break, I better sign off, right… about… here.

The Day of the Op

Now, I naturally would have written this post on the day of my transplant – Tuesday, but as I was mostly asleep on that particular day, it may not have made for the most interesting reading. Still, here’s how shit went down, as it were.

After my last night on overnight peritoneal dialysis, I was woken to Kat and her parents, who had made it down from Shrewsbury.

My mom, who was donating her kidney, went down first about 10:15, and was surprisingly quick in returning to thr ward – always a good sign of an uncomplicated operation according to the staff.

Half my concerns about the operation, if I’m honest, was not the op itself, but the tension leading up to it, the slow uncomfortable clink up the rollercoaster slope before the inevitable descent.

Yet pleasantly, it never really came. My anticipation for the anxious moments of anticipation strangely seemed to distract me. After all, I’d be asleep anyway, while my worst experiences in theaters have always been ‘minor procedures’ under local anaesthetic, where you have to make a conscious effort to think nice, relaxing thoughts. I always close my eyes, try to breathe deeply, and think of those warm, soft cuddles I have with Kat.

And that’s just what I did as I waited on a trolley for the anaesthetist to arrive and pump me full of drugs.

Just before that, while my details were being checked, I’d had an impromptu conversation about the joys of lactase enzyme pills with a junior surgeon who, like me, had discovered she was lactose intolerant. This almost got to the point where my arrival for a transplant was delayed, but I was grateful for the distraction anyway.

A cannula was inserted in my wrist, various drugs were pumped in and I quickly slid off to sleep.

The rest of the day I don’t remember that great. Although I do remember performing the obligatory Darth Vader impresssion under an Oxygen mask to Kat before she departed.

The night that followed was splintered into 1 hour bursts of sleep between nurse checks, blood tests and sips of water through a straw to quench my extremely dry mouth. Even a minute sip would prove painful for my body to process.

I’ll try and post more tomorrow about the rest of the days of my stay.

Anyway, in the meantime, to bring it up to the present a bit, all seems to going well so far, and my consultant, Dr Ball, says I may be sent home on Tuesday.