Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Kidney Transplant

I know it has been a while since I posted, but I'm sure you'll understand why! I'm still recovering from having had a kidney transplant exactly two weeks ago. Thankfully, I get my staples removed tomorrow. I'm sure a great deal of discomfort I am feeling will be relieved once I get them out.  I have exactly 20 staples on my right abdomen and they are quite sore.

Right after the surgery, I had a catheter, and therefore I did not need to physically get up to go to the washroom.  I was also receiving large amounts of IV fluids. My new kidney worked well right off the bat, and my creatinine was within normal range just 24 hours after the surgery.  Unreal!

I really looked forward to getting the catheter out. When I was in the transplant ICU, I had to keep calling my nurse as I kept getting this "I gotta go pee" pressure feeling even though the catheter was in.  My nurse would remedy this by lifting and turning the tubing which would relieve the pressure.  I stayed in the transplant ICU for two nights and was moved to my regular room after that.

I stayed in the hospital for a total of 7 days.  I'd have probably went home even sooner if not for the fact that my hemoglobin went down to 64 (or 6.4). I received a transfusion and it went up to 78 (or 7.8).
Since going home, I've been going to the hospital 3 times a week for blood work, with one of those days being a clinic day. So far, so good.

Besides the incisional pain that I mentioned above, I haven't had much pain. On the side of the incision, in the corner where my stomach and my leg/thigh join, I've had a little bit of pain there as well, mostly when touched.  Hopefully that will subside. I am also trying my best to eat well and eat LOTS.  My fear pre-transplant was that the transplant drugs, especially prednisone, would make me gain weight by increasing my appetite. I was only on a high dose for a short amount of time, so weight gain did not happen.  In fact, I have lost quite a bit of weight.  I bought some 'Ensure' in order to give myself a 'jump start'.

I am doing my best to increase my water intake.  It is pretty difficult for me.  When I initially was diagnosed with Lupus Nephritis back in 1996, I was told to only drink one liter of water a day. This was very difficult for me.  I was used to drinking what I want, when I wanted.  Then, my restrictions loosened and I was able to drink more. Some days, I drank a lot, others, not so much. Now, I'm being told to drink at LEAST 2 liters of water daily. I struggle with this as water can get very boring. I got on google and found a website with ideas on how to increase my water intake. I bought some cucumbers yesterday and put them in an empty water jug and added filtered water. It really helps me to drink more water and it tastes great.  If you're having trouble drinking more water like I was, or if you simply want to jazz up your water, check out this blog post that I found online: 32 Natural Ways to Flavor Water

So I'll put a few pictures below of my time in the hospital. Both myself and my brother are doing great :)

The day after surgery. I'm doing well! *thumbs up*

My bro came to the transplant ICU to visit me. He's such a trooper!


Meds galore! Some of those meds include mycophenolate sodium, tacrolimus,   and pantoprazole, just to name a few.

Passing the time by reading "The Hunger Games"!

Ouch! This line was used to deliver my patient controlled pain meds as well as used by blood techs and nurses to draw blood.

Whoa Mama! This is the same line in the previous pic as it appears when it is no longer in my neck.  That whole light blue part was in my neck!

Pressure bandage used to make sure I don't bleed.

Patient education video that I had to watch. Based on this woman's haircut...I'd say the video is 100 years old.

Failed IV insertion.  I still loved my nurse Hamed though...in spite of the pain inflicted here.

Matthew, IV wiz, managed to insert this IV into my arm near my wrist on the pinky finger side of my right hand.

Profuse bleeding of my old IV after it was removed.

I complained to one of my nurses, Karen, how we used to get stickers while at Sick Kids hospital. Well, two minutes later, she came back to my room, and....



Window in my room shows a foyer on the 4th floor. Today a band, possibly  high school, played their wind instruments. There was also a choir there too.  Fun to watch/listen to. Takes me back to my concert band/concert mistress/clarinet playing days.

2 thought(s):

Jennifer said...

I'm so happy to hear that you and your brother are doing so well. Aren't you just in awe that you finally had a kidney transplant?! It's just so...major!

Aisha said...

I'm glad your surgery went well, and I'm praying for you and your brother to pull through fine. That's great that's your levels were down YAYAYYAY.
Many blessings and best of luck in the next few weeks

 
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