I am 5 days out from donating my left kidney to a total stranger. And for the last three days I have been on a total roller coaster.
Ever since I started this process more than a year ago I was eagerly awaiting the experience – what would the anticipation feel like? What would those last few appointments at the Transplant Center be like? Who would my surgeon be? What will the weather be like that day? What kinds of things will I have in my overnight bag?
Well, most of those things are now answered. And the worst part of it all is the anticipation. It’s the anticipation of this procedure that gives me these periods of time where my heart races, I obsessively clean, get super angry, I miss my dog like crazy, or even cry. It’s BIZARRE.
I generally logic my way through everything possible. If I can boil something down to a formula in a spreadsheet, I’m happy.
There’s no spreadsheet-ing this experience.
And then there’s moments like this morning. I started really thinking about the person who will be getting my kidney, and I realized that by this coming Tuesday night that person will feel the best they have felt in YEARS. Seriously, years. It happens that fast for recipients (assuming all goes well – fingers crossed). I was elated as I imagined this person (I’m picturing a woman in her 30’s/40’s that lives in California for some reason) with good color in her skin, friends and family crowded into her hospital room that are all feeling relieved, and a calendar that this woman owns that will now have future plans on it that she wasn’t comfortable with committing to before.
What a powerful thing. This is all getting so real.
In the meantime, I’m attempting to focus on things that will make my recovery easier, and also enjoy the freedoms I have right now that will be put on hold in a few days.
I tried to be grateful while stuck in traffic this morning, since I won’t be able to drive for a while.
I moved my recliner and a side table into my living room, and stocked the table with some books and activities I can do when I’m sitting there.
I played my workout music extra loud at 4am today because…. Just because. It felt good and no one was around to hear it.
I want my posts about this experience to be honest and truly reveal the process so that it may help other people who are thinking about it. I am so thankful for the people I’ve connected with recently on social media that have donated kidneys and have shared their stories. There’s camaraderie in that!
All the kind words, and offers to help have been awesome and I feel very, very supported in all of this, so thank you for that. It’s making this roller coaster more bearable!
5 days and counting!
4 Replies to “The Roller Coaster of the Week Leading Up to Surgery. (My Kidney Donation Part 2)”
Wow, I can’t believe you donated your kidney to a total stranger. I always wondered what kind of person would do such a thing, so it’s wonderful to stumble across your blog. I just got declined as a donor trying to give my brother a kidney. It’s good to know people like you exist so the wait for people is a little bit shorter. 🙂
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Thanks so much for the comment! Though sorry to hear that you weren’t a match for your brother – I hope he gets one soon!
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Thanks. Me too!