So, earlier this month, I and my recipient had our first Kidneyversary! It’s been just over a year since I donated my kidney to my stepfather, and we are both doing well! I waited to post this blog until I had my one-year test results.
In posting my results, I hope that readers will respect them as my private information. I provide them to give other donors or prospective donors a point of reference from one person’s experience. Please respect my information and use it in the helpful way that I intend it. Thank you.
Before I list the results, I wanted to mention something that came up recently… During my marathon training in the fall, I had a couple of instances where I felt my heart racing and tightness in my chest. (Or at least, I thought I did.) So, I began to worry about my blood pressure. Making sure your blood pressure is okay is definitely important once you donate a kidney, since kidneys help regulate blood pressure.
Well, in the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I am a worry wart. I worry needlessly about so many things. (I’m working on not being this way!) But, in any event, I bought one of those at-home blood pressure machines and started using it. Every time I take my blood pressure reading in my right arm, it’s high. But when I immediately take it again in my left arm, it’s low/normal. So, I asked my doctor about it.
First of all, she looked at me like she thought I was crazy, because my blood pressure –taken manually in my right arm by the nurse– every time I’ve visited my doctor’s office – has been normal and good. So, she had the nurse take it again in my left arm, and it was also fine. She explained that those machines aren’t always so accurate and that it’s better when the nurse takes it manually and is actually listening with the stethoscope. The at-home ones can vary according to how you put it on yourself and so forth. So, I will at least keep that in mind now. Who knows what was going on when I had the heart-racing thing. But so far, I think I’m okay.
Now, for my test results…..
My creatinine was 1.1, which is a little high but normal. My estimated GFR was 54, which is a little low (normal with two kidneys is over 60, but with only one kidney, 54 isn’t bad). My hematocrit was 41. My sodium was good. Protein in the urine was negative. So, all good. There were other results, but those are the ones I think I need to pay attention to. Ideally, I would want to see the creatinine go down and the GFR to go up. But you can only achieve so much with one kidney, so I am happy with what I have. I hope that posting this information is useful to other donors or prospective donors.
Now, I can get back to my Ironman training. It’s still weird saying that I’m training for an Ironman. Eventually, I’m going to have to really believe that I am going to do this!