Easier on the recipient…

That really doesn’t make much sense to me.

But first, as Karen asked last night – let’s keep praying and hoping for a rebound by Brutus! Of course, I believe this is a little stumble and Lisa will come through with flying colors. Ironically – for those of you unaware – I AM A BUCKEYE (by default so is Lisa’s new kidney); she is a GOPHER. And the teams meet today on the gridirion. And both Lisa and I live in states where the game on ABC will not be the important one. Boo. Anyway – let the best team (Ohio State of course) win and Brutus prevail as well. For those of you wondering (and you know you are…..) the Ohio State mascot is Brutus Buckeye. I think Lisa should count her blessings that I dropped out of Alabama – or else the kidney would be named after an elephant.

Now than back to the whole experience being easier on the donor and my assertion that it doesn’t make sense.

I should also state that health and releated experiences are totally subjective and very dependent on the individual. The reality – a donor goes into surgery with a full battery of tests behind them indicating they are HEALTHY. This evaluation (described in an earlier post) is to assess if the donor can live with one kidney and if he/she is healthy enough to donate. Now, by default the recipient NEEDS a kidney – not that they are the unhealthiest person on earth, and also need to be cleared for surgery, but a person NEEDING a kidney to live is at a lower health status starting point due to their kidney disease.

I think some of the myth of the recipient doing better may come from history and the fact that kidney removal was much more invasive. It’s now laproscopic – I have 2 1 inch incisions on my left side abdomen and a lovely larger one over my belly button. I don’t know what Lisa’s are – frankly, I don’t like looking at my own, so asking to see hers is not particularly interesting to me. Anyway, prior to surgery, Lisa had been on dialysis 3x per week, plus her super special treatments for the 1-2 weeks prior – and while she felt pretty good and has been optimistic throughout this – it’s not the same as a donor who walks/runs every day, has not been on dialysis and has no discernable health concerns. Some folks who need a kidney are actually in much worse health status at the point of transplant – so really it doesn’t make sense to me that a healthy person and person with kidney disease walk into surgery and everyone expects the not as healthy person to do better?

So we should move onto perceptions. My hypothesis here is that since the donor is healthy prior to surgery and has an organ cut from them – thus body has been invaded – they may FEEL worse. You walk in whole, you walk out with your tummy carved up; you’ve been sedated so your body is reacting to that, you need pain meds which make you feel like crap and it seems to me like everyone WANTS you to feel bad. The recipient, on the other hand, has a new lease on life and a new organ doing those things their body failed to do. Thus, perception wise – perhaps when compared to the donor – they do feel better.

With that… I personally think it’s all about perception, it’s all about the pair (donor/recipient), but in this specific case – the myth didn’t jive. I certainly wish Lisa’s receovery was as easy as mine has been but sometimes our bodies just don’t listen!

First day at home was spent going on a long walk (by how I feel today- maybe too long), and running some errands with my mom. Today, we’re going to do some yardwork – I need to get my tomato plants pulled, some grass seed planted (window of opportunity since the dogs are gone for 10 more days), and my spring bulbs in the ground. We’ll then head up to the Hyatt Tamaya to meet some friends for dinner. If you’ve never been to Tamaya – let me know next time you are in town – absolutely lovely! We’re having beautiful fall weather.


One thought on “Easier on the recipient…

  1. Carol (Kirsten's mom)

    So glad the surgery is behind you and that you are doing well. You are so very brave and should be commended for donating one of your very vital organs!

    Say hi to your mom for me!

    Carol Stearns

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