It has been about 70 days since I donated my left kidney to my stepfather, Gary. I’m happy to report that we are both doing really well. In fact, I sometimes have to remind myself that I even donated. My stepdad started walking for exercise after the surgery, and he continues to do that. He has also gained a little weight, since he can eat more of the things that he likes now.
I have returned to my triathlon training. I’m swimming up to 2,000 yards in my workouts and running up to six miles. My cycling has just been so-so, but that will improve as Spring approaches. I need to up my running, but I’ve tried to not push myself too much.
One thing has lingered after the surgery. It is not impeding me at all, but it is worth mentioning so other donors can know about it… I noticed a bruise-like pain on the outside of my left hip/thigh a few days after surgery. I figured it would go away just like the other odd pains I had. But even a month later, it was still there. My surgeon had me get an ultrasound to rule out a blood clot, which was unlikely anyway. That came out negative, and I was relieved. But it still bothered me that I didn’t know what the pain was. Finally, another donor told me about nerve damage she had following surgery. It turns out that there are nerve bundles where the kidney is that run down into the groin and thigh areas. Apparently, one of these nerves got damaged, and now I have this weird pain, which I only feel when that part of my thigh is touched.
Perhaps it will eventually go away, but for now, it’s totally not a problem. I couldn’t feel more blessed. To think that my stepdad has a more normal life now and no dialysis, and I have my normal life back also… Well, it really couldn’t be any better.
As I move toward my six-month checkup, I plan to be as good as I can about drinking water. It’s always been important, but for the rest of my life, it will be even more important. By the time I go to Atlanta for my checkup, I will have done my first triathlon of the season. It will feel good to have gotten to that point before I see the doctors again!