Beginnings and Endings…

Tomorrow will be three weeks post-surgery. Lisa will be celebrating by getting her staples removed and me by returning to work. Not that I wanted staples, but hmm….returning to work. I have never taken this much time off, unless I was going to school full-time. I am now admittedly a bit stir-crazy, but at the same time it seems strange. Three weeks ago, I had an organ removed. I have the scars to prove it; yet don’t feel much different. Perhaps it’s because I had talked to people and read accounts from other donors who weren’t ready to work at this point of recovery. I read something about one guy who described post-surgery to be like being hit by a Mac Truck and only very gradually feeling better. I had been warned that I’d need frequent naps and probably wouldn’t have my normal energy level for months….
At three weeks post-surgery, I feel like my energy level for the most part is perfectly normal. I’ve always liked naps, now I just have more excuses to take one. I’m no longer having dizzy spells which was my most frustrating symptom post-surgery. I continue to have a rather poor appetite and some soreness in my abdomen. I think my appetite issues are due to experiences of the first couple weeks post-surgery – I’d eat and not feel good. I’m now eating, but just don’t have strong feelings about what I’m eating. But that’s good! I need to keep my appetite under control. My abdomen soreness – totally blaming it on Sophie. She is just too darn cute and hasn’t learned (at almost 1 year) to jump into my lap! Actually, I’ve done a poor job following the don’t lift more than 10 lb rule and Sophie is an easy rationalization.
When I returned from Denver (1-week post-op), only Sebastian and Kirby (the cats) were home – but my mom was staying with us, and then her husband came for a few days, and friends were in and out of the house. Both cats were on bizarre food strikes and I was really getting concerned. As of Sunday morning, guests are gone. I returned to Denver to retrieve the dogs and now everyone is back home. The cats are eating normally, the dogs are better behaved and I’m struck with this need to have defined parameters around this experience. Now that I’m feeling much better, my kidney is gone and I can’t do anything about that (and don’t regret it), the animal contingent of my family is home, and I’m returning to work…. is this over?
In some aspects – yes. Brutus is now living with Lisa and after the early hiccup seems to be thriving. That was the goal – Lisa would get a kidney that would get her off dialysis, back to a better lifestyle in which it would be easier to raise Daniel, Sophie and Bingley, and continue her career. My part is done.
For myself physically, this creates new goals. The need to keep my weight under control, and hopefully lower than it is now to prevent diabetes and hypertension. For me, that means eating more sensibly and healthfully and increasing my activity levels. That is a lifelong journey. This experience has created added incentive for me to get down to a normal BMI and stay there.
Also, as Lisa and I indicated when we started this blog – we need to get organized in what we can do to support living organ donation and create resources for people who might consider donation and also those who might sometime need to accept a living donation. So, the right answer is – for me- the journey has just begun. I need to spend some time outlining and getting a better understanding of what opportunities exist in this area and start to develop a plan to determine what I can do. I will definitely be looking for input, so stay tuned! Now to get organized……
Pics – taken this morning – Brin and Gabby are now recovering from training! Denver Dog Works did a great job with them. I’m super glad to have them home, and seeing some positive evidence of what they have learned. Gabby is still a bed hog though….


8 thoughts on “Beginnings and Endings…

  1. Congradulations Sarah, you are a hero!! Maren

    • Hey Maren – thanks to you and Barry for your continued support and words of encouragement! I had actually meant to stop by, but last week was a bit crazy with family here and how I felt was pretty variable. I need to look at my schedule, but plan to get Brin and Gabby back into day care very soon. I’m also trying to work with them on their training, so have to balance that. It will be interesting to hear if you think there is a change in behavior! I’ll call soon and get them back into their groove! Thanks again – support from friends has been an incredible boost to me. Sarah

  2. Glad you’re feeling so fell Sarah & that Brutus is doing his job. I see the dogs didn’t do very well with the stay off the furniture thing… Take care. Love, Dawn

  3. So glad to hear you are doing well. So do you really notice a difference in Brin and Gabby’s behavior?

    • I was going to blog about how you, Adrienne and I compared scars! I found that pretty funny. And yes, it’s going to take diligence on my part – but they are MUCH better on leash and some commands like wait and stay. Thanks so much for supporting their board and train program. I want to hear about the film festival outing!

  4. Glad to hear that the house is back to normal! Kramer and Newman can’t wait to see Brin and Gab. They look thrilled to be home (in their own cute way).

    You know you’ve always got a (beginning) Web designer available if you need one!

  5. So happy that all is returning to status quo for you – continue to take good care of yourself and slow down should you need to. Sarah Sampsel – I could not be more proud of you. You are and will continue to be an inspiration to me. You are simply AMAZING. Love to you and the animals…oh, and take care of that fatankle disease as well. 😉

  6. Sarah,

    Glad life is getting back to normal and I’m so glad your family is back together. (Great pics, BTW!)

    Slow down…


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