Saturday, March 24, 2012

Transplant Update: Wrist Bones

Well here we are, one plus week out from my kidney transplant and everything appears fine. My last creatinine (measure of kidney function) before I left the hospital last Tuesday was .57. I've never had a creatinine of .57 before. For those of you who are novice to this whole kidney function deal, .57 is really good. At last labs it was hanging in at .60.The surgery wasn't easy because of my first transplant and subsequent nephrectomy, but my surgeon has done about a million kidney transplants over his career and he was prepared. He got the kidney in and it started working, producing literally 1 liter of urine an hour that first night.

The hospital wasn't bad... I got away with eating as little hospital food as possible. I know they say they've made improvements but  I'm not sure I buy it. Now that I have a working kidney I can eat as much high potassium and phosphorus food as I desire. Can you say hello Diet Coke, oatmeal, and most fruits and vegetables?? I currently take 15 pills in the morning and 10 pills twelve hours later. 

The other day I was sitting talking to my niece and cousin when I noticed a bump on my wrist. "What is that?" I said out loud. Was it a large bite? I felt it. It was hard. It was my wrist bone. At that moment I realized I had't seen it in 2+ years because of the extra fluid I was carrying around from dialysis. It's the little victories. 

My sister is doing well. It's always harder on the donor than it is the recipient. She is perfectly healthy and had never had major surgery before, so this was quite a shock to her system, but little more than a week later she is really starting to improve. Sometimes I wonder, and I've wondered this with my brother, how do you repay someone for giving you the gift of life? Is there anything that will ever feel like enough? When I say the gift of life, I mean it. When that new kidney was put in my abdomen, it put new life into me. The day after surgery I felt better than I had in over 2 years. How do you repay someone who gave you that chance?

For now it's life with a kidney. Blood draws twice a week for 8 weeks, transplant clinic more times than I care to count, lounge pants until that incision is healed all the way and phosphorus that's too low. And renting movies from Amazon Instant Video.

And tonight I just can't seem to sleep.


  1. Excellent. Keep up the good work. ;)

  2. So happy to hear the good news! We will continue to keep you & Liz in our prayers!! Love you both!

  3. Glad to hear you have wrist bones! I'm glad you and your sister are doing well.

  4. Hooray for your new kidney,
    It's in there gettin' busy,
    getting rid of all that urine
    from that Diet Coke you're chuggin'
    This poem is really lame,
    but you're the one to blame
    cuz you're my cousin and I love ya
    and I have to tell the internets about ya!

    So glad all is going well. You both looked so good when I saw you, honestly, and you're both tough as nails (that's the Smith in you) which is why you were both up and walking around two days after major surgery!! Love you both!