I Donated My Kidney

I Donated My Kidney

In 2018, I read a story in my local paper about a man who needed a living kidney donor, and that’s when I knew I wanted to donate my kidney someday. I decided to wait until after I gave birth to my last baby, which I did in June of 2019, so in January of 2020, I volunteered to donate my kidney, naming the local man as my recipient.

After a lengthy delay thanks to COVID, I finally got all the testing done and was approved to donate in November 2020. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a match for the man from the newspaper, but I agreed to donate to anyone.

Then, just last month, a full year after I was approved to donate, I received a call that they had found me a match and wanted to have the procedure right away. So I got busy organizing childcare, pet care, and my own post-op care.

It turned out that I would be the start of a chain of donations that would allow several people [at least three at the time] to receive new kidneys.

Before the surgery.

The surgery ended up being pushed back once, but then on 11/30/2021, I underwent a nephrectomy and my left kidney was implanted into the recipient.

It is a privilege to be healthy enough to do this for someone and I’m grateful to the excellent transplant center nurses, surgeons, and medical team who took such great care of me.

After the surgery [I took this picture to show my husband that I was ok because he couldn’t see me right away after the procedure]

If you have any questions about living kidney donation, please feel free to ask! I will be posting with more detail about the process of donating and the recovery from donating in the future.



Lessons in Motherhood and Trusting the Doctors

Lessons in Motherhood and Trusting the Doctors

As I’m writing this, my son is in surgery. It’s a common surgery for kids [tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy] but still requires a general anesthetic, an OR that I’m not allowed to enter, a two week recovery time, and a fair amount of fear.

I could go into all the reasons we decided to have this done – but the truth is, we are trusting our doctors. Theo was hospitalized twice before he turned one and has always struggled with breathing issues and chronic ear infections and mouth breathing. So there are reasons. But we didn’t have to have the surgery. We could have continued to treat his issues as we have been. We could have waited to see if he grows out of it. We could have told the doctors that we don’t think he should have this done because he’s so young and there are risks.

But I can’t pretend that I know more than the doctors who have recommended this procedure. And I know that they are recommending it because they are trying to do what is best for my son.

In the end, I’m not a doctor and I don’t know anything about tonsils or adenoids. I take my kids to see a pediatrician I trust regularly because I am not knowledgeable enough about healthcare. I need a professional’s help.

Like the first time I took Theo for a routine well visit and told the doctor that he was fine. Two breathing treatments later we were headed for the ER where he was hospitalized for a week. Or the time I took him into the pediatrician because I was worried about his hearing and it turned out that he had a double ear infection that required two rounds of antibiotics.

I clearly need doctors for my kids.

In the western world today, it is common to question the doctor, to look for advice on the internet and from friends, and to think that we know better than the professionals. And while I think it is important to advocate for yourself and make the best choices you can for yourself and especially your kids [I gave birth to my babies at home, you may recall], there comes a time when you have to trust your doctors.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this recently – even before this surgery came up – because I saw a rant on Instagram about doctors hiding lots of vital, black label information from patients. As if the entire medical world is out to get us. Trying to trick us into doing all these things [vaccinations, flu shots, epidurals, etc] that are really going to hurt us instead of help us.

I don’t believe that the medical world is out to get us and I think it’s a sad perspective to have of a profession that is trying to make [and keep] people healthy.

I, of course, realize that the issue is more complex than I’m making it out to be in this short post, but the main point is that we all need doctors eventually and all we can do is find the best doctors available and then trust them.

Theo is fine, by the way. And hopefully on his way to fewer encounters with doctors in the future.

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