There are a lot of resources on the Web for kidney donors. Reading this blog alone would never give you the wealth of information that is out there, with the many varied experiences of other donors. Here are some of the places you should check out:
There is a ton of information on this site:
When you go to the above site, look at the section called “experiences of other living donors” .
Check out the message board here: http://livingdonorsonline.org/ldosmf/
You can post questions on the message boards and get answers from various people. You can also read the exchanges other people have had on a variety of related topics. Just a warning that some of the information can be negative and scary, while other posts are supportive, encouraging, and inspiring. So, you have to know that it will balance out. It is good to see all the good with the bad, as everyone’s experience can be so different.
You can request a “donor buddy” here: http://www.livingdonorsonline.org/buddies/buddies.htm
A donor buddy is a past donor who is willing to communicate with you along the way and share their experience, answer questions, etc. I did this and found it to be SO HELPFUL. There is really nothing like being able to talk to someone else who has gone through what you’re going through!
You can find a nice list of “helpful hints” for your hospital experience that the National Kidney Foundation collected from past donors at:
If you can stomach it, I also recommend watching videos of the type of surgery you will have on You Tube. I did this, and although it was freaky, it helped me prepare for what I’m about to go through. It also helped me come up with questions for my transplant team – since I could better understand in real terms what is going to happen.
I’ll add to this post as I find other resources that are useful.