Some of you may remember Michael who has previously posted comments on this blog. Here is his story about his kidney donation. I know this isn’t his blog but he hasn’t got one, so this is the next best thing!
What makes a person want to donate a kidney and particularly to make a non-directive donation. I knew there would be psychiatric test and I would have to justify my decision so I explained it this way – if you were passing a river and someone had fallen in you’d jump in to save them even if you could barely swim – it’s not so much that it would be the right thing to do indeed it would probably be foolish much better to call for help. However there is a more selfish motive – could you live with yourself if you didn’t make the attempt? The same could be said of the idea of donating a kidney – I would have found it much more worthy if I had chosen to give up my time to helping down and outs for instance – that’s why I can truthfully say it wasn’t a big deal; the real work was done by the drs and nurses and friends and family who supported me.
I have often said that giving to charity wasn’t morally worth while unless it “hurt” by that I mean we all contribute regularly to charities but not to the extent it would impinge on our lives – giving up a holiday for instance.
So that’s why I say this hasn’t been any effort on my part.
When I was in Hospital I saw people coming in hoping for an organ transplant – they had received “the call” perhaps this time there would be a match. Seeing this was very humbling, even thinking of it now my eyes are filling – how little we think of good health until we lose it.
I’ve mentioned before that none of the pre op test nor the hospital stay itself involved any more discomfort that giving blood.
Here there is a caveat I had my operation by keyhole which I understand is considerably less invasive than the “regular” method.
So how do I feel after nearly a month?
Mine isn’t a typical case as I contracted double pneumonia a matter of hours after the operation. I should say that at one point I really thought I wouldn’t make the morning and sent for my family. I seem to remember in this very sick state someone saying “ I think he’s given up” whether this happened or was due to delusion it served to pull me together and start fighting at least mentally.
I went into hospital with sciatica which had come on the previous month and I also had a problem with my right shoulder, neither was serious but they did impact on my recovery. Todate I’ve not walked any distance due to the sciatica however I’v a dr appointment to see about my “creaky” the residue of the pneumonia so I’ll try walking then.
Apart from that how am I? I’m fine though still find having a bath and dressing tires me but generally moving about the house I’m fine – looking forward to cycling again : -)
At least with all these aches and pains I feel I’ve made an effort and done something morally worth while.
The complication of double pneumonia that Michael got is very rare and the belief is that there would have to have been an underlying reason for this to happen.
28th April 2010
How quick a recovery did I have:
I had the op and although unfortunately contracted pneumonia. I made the first tentative moves on my c2 rowing machine a few weeks later and just over a month later was rowing 10,000 metres – so you can say complete recovery in a month. I am now on tablets for high blood pressure but it was slightly high before the op and it’s a common condition.
Would I do it again:
yes no doubt about that.
What advice would I give?
Be certain in you own mind you accept the risks!
Though the chance of death is slight it is there 1 in 3000 is quoted.
The above will not be such a consideration if you are giving to a specific person but if you are thinking of making a non-directive (altruistic) donation then that emotional factor isn’t there.
I was 60 at the time and by good fortune had been able to retire so there wasn’t the concern of getting back to work and I have no dependents to be provided for. I also had friends and relatives available to help out if required – it wasn’t.
Practical things – have you been in hospital recently? –If not ask to be shown round where you’ll be staying – get an idea of the layout.
Ask if you can use radio with headset or take in an ipod or similar. I was able to plug in my laptop and keep in touch by e-mail. The obvious is to take some books in but you’ll probably be out so quickly you won’t have time for more than a couple.
So I’m back to working on my various researches – family tree –one day I’ll write it up – oh which reminds me when contemplating the operation I decided that I must write up the family history because if the worst happened it would be lost – did I - no –let that be a lesson to you all!
Now back to my work for the bi-centennial of the war of 1812 – never heard of it shame on you.
Best wishes to you all,
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