Going back to work after donor nephrectomy

By Michelle Rogers
Kidney donor

I’ll be going back to work Monday, 19 days after donating my kidney to Nancy Noble April 2 at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak. It’s about nine days earlier than expected and to the surprise of many people around me, but not me. I’ve been determined since the beginning to go back as soon as possible, but needed to wait for my doctor’s appointment April 15 to ask for the go-ahead.

My follow-up appointment was Tuesday with Dr. Steven Cohen, the surgeon. Screen Shot 2014-04-19 at 9.48.21 PMI had to give blood and urine samples, and he checked my incision site and asked me how I was feeling. It was a little rough driving the hour to get there — hitting all of those potholes and being jostled around while still healing — but otherwise I felt fine. He agreed to let me go back to work the following Monday, giving me Wednesday through Sunday to continue to recover and ease back into my daily routine.

And get back into my routine, I did. Immediately.

Later that same day, I had an appointment to have my hair cut, colored and highlighted. On Wednesday, I went shopping at the mall, but didn’t find anything that fit right, probably because I am still a little swollen, or at least that’s what I told myself. On Thursday, I went grocery shopping and did some housecleaning. Friday was more shopping, but this time with a friend, and I had a great evening with friends at the Tigers’ baseball game at Comerica Park. More shopping and cleaning today, and tomorrow is Easter, so my boyfriend and I will spend brunch with my mother.

As you can see, I am feeling like my old self — doing more shopping than laying around in bed — and now I am ready to dive into work.

I am ready to get out of sweats and back into professional attire.
I am ready to get out of sweats and back into professional attire.
I am a little nervous about what that will entail since the community media lab I was running was shut down just as I was going on medical leave, and I’ll have a new gig going back. I am still waiting to find out exactly what that will entail. I am usually excited about change and new endeavors, but I’ve been out of the loop and not involved in the planning process while on medical leave, so I don’t feel as confident or in control as I usually do.

I keep telling myself whatever will be, will be, and not to sweat it. I take comfort in my decision to donate one of my kidneys to my boyfriend’s sister, my fast recovery process and opportunity to finally get out of pajamas, leggings and workout clothes and back into professional attire, even though I didn’t end up buying anything new.

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