Recovering from nephrectomy

By Michelle Rogers
Kidney donor

Yesterday marked the one-week anniversary since my nephrectomy as I donated my kidney to my boyfriend’s sister, Nancy Noble. I came home on Saturday and the last five days have been pretty uneventful. For the most part, I’ve stayed in bed, keeping entertained on my iPhone. Today, I decided to pull out my laptop and finally write an update.

Jim Walsh, my boyfriend, has been serving as my caregiver, which basically means he’s making my meals and taken on all the household chores — for now. I don’t think this is going to last much longer as he has seen I am pretty capable of doing all of this myself, I just haven’t felt like it. I feel a bit lazy, but I keep telling myself I have every right to milk this as long as I can because, after all, I just donated a kidney to his sister.

My pain has been relatively light. I can take hydrocodone every three hours, so up to eight a day, but I’ve been taking two or three per day.

This incision looks worse than it feels. It's about 4 inches long and was closed with surgical glue.
This incision looks worse than it feels. It’s about 4 inches long and was closed with surgical glue.
My incisions, where the surgeon cut my torso for the laparoscopic surgery, are healing fast, but don’t look very pretty. I am glad the doctors went with laparoscopy because, from what I’ve read and experienced, the amount of pain medication required, time in the hospital and time to return to work is significantly shorter, and cosmetic results are supposed to be better.

I have my first follow-up appointment with the doctor on Tuesday. I think everything is going pretty well. I haven’t had a lot of pain and the incisions are healing fast. I don’t expect there to be any problems.

For having undergone this major surgery just eight days ago, I am surprised to feel almost totally back to normal. I want people to know this wasn’t a big deal. Yeah, it’s a little more involved than donating blood, but probably equivalent to giving birth, maybe even easier — and you don’t have an 18-year commitment ahead of you.

Please consider the gift of life.

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