Four Months!

Today is the 4 month anniversary of Brutus (formerly known as – my left kidney), moving to become Lisa’s third addition to her kidney family. I think we should count her first 2 kidneys since they did serve her well for years. I find myself pondering if she had been a Purdue or (egads) even a Wisconsin fan if Brutus would still be thriving – but it’s not worth the experiment. Sorry for those of you who don’t follow college sports, specifically Ohio State athletics, in order to understand why Lisa being a Golden Gopher is probably contributing to the success of this transplant. Ah, I digress…

Back to time. 4 months, 16 weeks, 124 days, 2971 hours (give or take a few based on actual transplant time) ago – 4 months seems like such a short time period in the grand scheme of things. But the reality is – it seems like FOREVER ago that we started this journey. At this time last year, Lisa had not yet returned to work – so those of us who work with her were still pretty much in the dark about her prognosis. We knew there were kidney concerns but not the extent. I had not even begun to think about becoming a living a donor in 2010. At this time (writing in the am of 2/21/11) four months ago – I was either still in surgery, or recently moved into post-op but still sedated. That really seems surreal to me.

So, at four months post-op – I feel fine. Actually my allergies are starting to get REALLY bad due to the juniper in New Mexico – but this is part of my life no matter how many kidneys I have. I really haven’t noticed any significant changes in my scars. They are still red. They still exist. I do periodically have some discomfort – but it’s directly related to dogs pulling on their leashes at significant force. For the most part, to realize I had surgery – I have to look in the mirror to see the scars. I previously wrote that this process had given me incentive to lose weight in order to prevent diabetes and hypertension. I’ve gained weight. Oops. I blame that on Lisa and travel. So, when I return home from a 6-day trip to DC early next week, I will be joining Weight Watchers. I’ve done it before and very successfully – so look forward to starting and of course getting weight loss back on track.

I had an opportunity to spend time with the Atlanta contingent of the Sampsel family last week. It was great to see everyone, share a lot of laughter (I can’t remember if there was snorting with the laughter) and great food. But it also reminded me of the importance of my health and the need to focus on diabetes (and kidney failure prevention). The reality of my family tree looms before me and I’m the only one who can change that course for me. I have grandparents on both sides that had diabetes, a father with diabetes, an aunt (not a Sampsel) and 2 uncles with diabetes….and I realize I’ve been wasting the momentum of the last 4 months. You are all thus now recruited to be my constant reminders to get back on track and focus on health! I, of course, plan to lose 20 pounds in one week.  Ah time……
Today’s blog photo is of the orchid Lisa sent me on National Donor Day. An unexpected, but very much appreciated gift. have the pleasure of enjoying every day as it sits on my desk. (For those of you who recall that I have a cat that eats plants – he doesn’t seem to like orchids…..)

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