Beaumont Hospital · kidney disease · kidney donation · kidney transplant · Media

Beaumont Health System features kidney donor, recipient on website

By Michelle Rogers
Kidney donor

I became acquainted with Beaumont Health System’s media relations coordinator, Mark Geary, on Twitter just before he started his job with the hospital. He was searching what people were saying on the social networking site about his new employer and I happened to be tweeting about my and Nancy Noble’s upcoming surgery. The relationship has resulted in a fantastic piece, coordinated by Mark, on the hospital’s website that gives Nancy and I a platform to share our story in an effort to encourage more people to consider live kidney donation.

What I like about the story and video, packaged together here, is that, contrary to the WDIV Channel 4 news piece, it incorporates information from one of the doctors, Dilip Samarapungavan, involved in Nancy’s kidney transplant.

“People doing something special purely out of the goodness of their hearts, purely because they know it’s the right thing to do, on a human level, is so incredible,” Samarapungavan is quoted as saying in Mark’s piece. “The data is actually very clear. If you’re healthy and all of your testing is normal at the time of donation, people who donate kidneys do excellent. It doesn’t have any long-term impact on their health, in general.”

Information from the experts and specialists involved is critical to a well-rounded piece, and improves the understanding of readers.

It’s my and Nancy’s hope that we will inspire more people to consider live kidney donation. For more information on Beaumont’s transplantation services, visit the hospital’s website.

Beaumont Hospital · kidney disease · kidney donation · kidney transplant

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.


Recouperating at home after kidney transplant

By Nancy Noble
Kidney recipient

I have been home from the hospital for a week now. It is nice to be home. I think each day is a little better than the last.

It’s kinda hard to tell if the pain is better or not. I am able to get around the house better and have been walking on my street. Today I walked from corner to corner, which I think was pretty good!

I am also doing more things for myself — taking my blood pressure and my meds on my own. I have been making my own lunches and breakfast, too. Sarah helped Mark out today and vacuumed. First time ever! I vacuumed for my mom all the time. Kids are different these days. I’m sure Sarah thought it was a big deal, but she did a great job without complaint.

Sarah goes back to school tomorrow, so we will be back into the schedule of school. Mark goes back to work, also. So far, all my blood work has come back great and even though I need to go to the lab twice a week for blood work, the doctor doesn’t need to see me for two weeks. I guess that’s a good sign that he is happy with my progress. My blood pressure has been really good, too. I haven’t had to take blood pressure medicine for three days. Yeah, Michelle’s kidney is supercharged!

Stay tuned for further updates.

kidney donation · kidney transplant

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.

kidney disease · kidney donation · kidney transplant · Marriage · Patient advocate

Full days and fresh air as kidney recipient recovers

By Mark Noble

Yesterday Nancy and I took two walks outside. We went two houses down one side, then back to our house and two houses the other way. This way we would never be far from home, so to speak.

Nancy “worked hard” during these walks. They were slow, slower than a grandmother in a walker. But that’s the speed Nancy needed to go, and it was her first foray outside since coming home on Sunday.

Nancy also took a two-hour nap today and has professed to do so each day.

I helped Sarah with her homework and continue to prepare all the meals. I’m exhausted, but I keep going. I did take a break today to go for my workout, which was a struggle because I was so tired, and I followed it with a swim, a hot tub and sauna. I think it was the shower at the end that woke me up.

I brought Nancy a hummus wrap for lunch, and dinner was our leftovers from school (Thanks Liz it was delicious!).

Today I planned to wake up Nancy before 9 for blood pressure, temperature and medications, and then make her breakfast as I did today. Perhaps later I’ll go back to bed, who knows? I might slip away to Nip and Tuck to see Becky and the crew for breakfast and coffee. That’s my biggest vice, but I love going there.

I have a social event for a few hours, but I’ll have to prepare dinner before I can go. I’m going to search Facebook to see which of Nancy’s friends wish to come over for a few hours to help keep an eye on things while I am out.

Each day is a long day — for both of us, I am sure. But, I’m glad to have them. I’ve forgotten all about my job, because I’m too busy to think about it. I can’t get a breather in except a moment here or there. I cleaned out the garage yesterday because I needed a break. I’ll do more today, probably that’s when I can drag trash out to the curb.

I tried to start my motorcycle, but it needs a new battery. I think I’m going to need a jumpstart myself soon, maybe a massage at Trim or my club.

More to come as I return to work soon.

Beaumont Hospital · kidney disease · kidney donation · kidney transplant

Kidney recipient glad to be back home

By Nancy Noble
Kidney recipient

It’s Monday afternoon and five days past the day of my kidney transplant. First, I want to say that the staff at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak was outstanding! The nursing staff was incredible.

I went in for surgery last Wednesday earlier than predicted — at about 11:30 a.m. — and I believe I was done by 3:30 p.m. I had a hard time waking up, so they had to keep my breathing tube in, which was a little scary and unexpected. Wednesday night is a blur and most of Thursday, also. On Thursday, I did get to start eating and I was moved out of the Intensive Care Unit. I was able to see my donor, Michelle Rogers, for the first time since the transplant later that day. She looked incredible! She was walking around and looking as though she just come back from the spa, except she was in a hospital gown.

All my labs have come back great and my new kidney is working great. There are not many side effects from the medicine, really, just pain near the incision site. During my first visit this morning at the clinic, things went well.

Thanks for all the well wishes and the incredible support from all my friends and family.

Beaumont Hospital · kidney disease · kidney transplant · Marriage · Patient advocate

Donor leaves hospital but recipient stays behind

By Mark Noble

Granted, Michelle deserved to leave the hospital yesterday, and I’m both thankful and happy for her. However, Nancy still remains.

At 8 p.m. Saturday, I’m by my wife’s side. It’s fairly quiet, too. We went for two walks down the halls. We ate dinner together. We’ve been chatting, looking at each other in bewilderment, and I’ve played nurse helping her around the room, in the bathroom, moving things around, etc.

Nancy had swollen ankles, but we learned that is also normal.

I ran over to Rite Aid and picked up the eight or so medications that were ready. Thank you, Verizon, my employer, for a great health plan. There’s one more to pick up, along with two generic blood pressure meds. I initially worried about the cost, but this had to be done, and the greater cost of not doing it would have been unbearable.

Anyway, half our hospital story is over. Michelle has departed and is in her own bed now, and Nancy remains. We are hoping for release today, which can only truly mean one thing: I’ve got a lot of house cleaning to do.

It’s time to get to work.