In reflecting on the last year, plus or minus a couple months, I can summarize this kidney donation gig in the following bullets:
1. Pondering getting my blood drawn to be tested as a possible match for Lisa
2. Actually getting tested and waiting for results (I actually still remember being really nervous when I told Lisa what I had done…)
3. Finding out I was a match. Not a perfect match but viable
4. Full steam ahead – tests, tests, and more tests to figure out if I was healthy enough
5. Being told the transplant team wanted to find a closer match (but I was also REALLY healthy and had nice looking kidneys!) Maybe I should use that with online dating: Normal outside, and darn good looking kidney
6. The waiting game, with Lisa periodically reminding me not to give my kidney to someone else (don’t interpret this as coercion, it actually got to be a joke. I didn’t exactly have people lining up hollering pick me, pick me!)
7. Disappointment and frustration for Lisa when her closer matches fell through and the dawning that I was “it” again
8. The final cross-match and wait for the transplant team to approve my donation
9. Full steam ahead – again – this time we actually scheduled a surgery date
10. Going on Atkins to lose as much weight as I could in 3 weeks. Note – this was not required for me, I was just trying to be proactive. I figured if I lost weight before surgery, and felt sufficiently like crap after surgery that I’d lose even more and actually be close to goal. I did, however, lose 9 pounds in 2 weeks on Atkins before I started to hate barn animals with great intensity.
13. Realization that not only was I not at goal weight, and didn’t feel like crap long enough to lose more weight – my plan to lose weight and hit my goal had failed.
14. Reminder that family has a diabetes history and I best get my arse in gear and start losing weight
So, to summarize – it’s been about 10 months of some pretty big highs and lows. Over the past month or so that I’ve been traveling more than normal and not always exercising nor eating nutritious, weight conscious foods – I’ve gained weight. I’m up about 10 pounds from pre-surgery. Three years ago, I lost 30 pounds on Weight Watchers. I’ve regained 15. Ouch. But now, it’s time to celebrate successes and focus again on being proud of my body. So from the above summary – my corresponding successes.
1. Getting the nerve to actually be tested.
2. Having numerous and I mean numerous vials of blood drawn.
3. Losing 9 pounds in 3 weeks.
4. Not chickening out of surgery when I was TOTALLY freaked out in pre-op.
5. Waking up from surgery and not killing anyone when I simply wanted some friggen’ ice.
6. Losing 12 pounds in 1-day – you have to love IV fluids just to see it happen!
7. Walking around the hospital floor in a hospital gown, dragging my IV.
8. Going to get real coffee in hospital cafeteria – in jammies (to id myself as a patient).
9. Removing myself from vicodan within 5 days of surgery. Because I really didn’t need it. Wahoo – pain threshold!
And probably the most important one since surgery – Joining Weight Watchers again and going to my first meeting last night. If you’ve never tried to lose weight or never been to such a thing – let me tell you – going in and getting weighed where someone else sees that number is HARD. It sucks. It’s all about facing the facts. And I didn’t want to face those facts, yet know I needed to. So, today is day 2 of weight watchers. I peed enough in my first 2 days to be very confident about my next weigh in. And I’ll let you know how that goes next week….