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Finally...Pt 2: The Surgery and the Stay

Warning: This post may be a little TMI for some…So as of April 12th, 2020, I am the proud owner of three kidneys. My other kidneys were not removed. Instead the new kidney is placed in the front, and the old ones stay where they are. I went into surgery around 2:30PM. A few hours later, I was back in my room. The nurses said I was crying for my mom during recovery. I don't remember this, but it sounds likely. Honestly, I feared that I'd wake up talking with an accent or thinking I was a Disney princess. So, crying for Mom was much more appropriate and less embarrassing. I felt some pain and weakness but not nearly as bad as I'd anticipated.

I was connected to an IV and a catheter. The nurse would come in every so often and empty the catheter bag. Wait-is that pee? Am I peeing?! For the last four years, I have gone to the bathroom maybe once or twice a day. Sometimes after a kidney transplant, the new kidney is "sleepy," and the patient may even have to do dialysis while the new kidney wakes up. Thankfully, mine was wide awake and had clocked in for work immediately.

As for the scar/incision, there were no stitches, bandages, or staples. They'd just used a surgical glue. This made me a little nervous. I could feel pain and pressure anytime I coughed, sneezed, laughed, or as I would later learn, vomit. The staff and my mother encouraged me to try to start walking around. The first walk was with two nurses. It was difficult I felt swollen, weak, and nauseous. It didn't end well. I had a lot of swelling, and I had gained about 12lbs of IV fluids. I came in at 114lbs, and I left around 126lbs! As time went on, Mom and I got more walks in. We even found a window that we liked. We would walk to that window and look out at the lake. One day we spotted baby ducks AND otters! The catheter was removed, and I started going (a lot) on my own and getting rid of some of the extra fluid. Is this what normal people have been doing?? Just going potty all different times of the day?? Crazy...

We left the hospital on Friday the 17th. However, we have to stay in Jacksonville for at least 30 days. We have appointments almost every weekday including blood work and urine tests every other day. By "we" I mean me and my parents. My mother was with me the entire time in the hospital. My dad has been in Jacksonville the whole time minus trips home for laundry and supplies. We rented a two-bedroom hotel suite with a full kitchen and living room. My parents have done a lot to give it the comforts of home. To stay busy and active in between appointments, we take walks around the "neighborhood," do puzzles, plan meals, and watch movies and game shows. I do paint-by-sticker books, crochet, experiment with my hair and nails (currently pink and blue respectively), study French, order from Target online, and write blogs. Hopefully we get to leave in a week! Counting down…

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