What’s Life After Donation Like For Me
My name is David Russell. I gave my brother a kidney in December 2011 and I’d do it again without hesitation. The screening period was long and protracted, surgery went well, and recovery is just that, recovery. It will hurt for a bit but not forever. In the end, my brother has his life back and my niece and nephew have their father there for them. This is worth the world to me, and if you’re here reading this, you already know vaguely what this feeling is all about. Believe me, it will be worth it!
Assuming you’re considering donating, here’s something that I wasn’t able to get solid answers to prior to surgery. Perhaps this will remove one more possible obstacle from the donating decision making process.
I exercise. I run (recreationally), and I cycle (cross country mountain bike mostly). It’s a big part of my life. It’s my outlet, my therapy. I’m not a professional or elite athlete, just an average 49 year old guy that loves to mountain bike. It’s important to me, but I couldn’t really find clear answers as to whether the surgery would impact my activities?
- Will having only one kidney impact my fitness level?
- Will it make them harder?
- Will I have physical limits that didn’t exist before?
- Will only having one kidney have an impact on my endurance?
- Will it have an impact on my recovery from exercise?
I’m 2 ½ years post surgery, and I have to say NO. For me, there have been no differences or new limits in my abilities. I’m actually in better shape now than I’ve ever been. Earlier this year I competed in the Austin Rattler 100 Mountain bike Race (62 miles) and set a new personal record. I just completed a 12 hour endurance Mountain Bike race in Palo Duro Canyon, TX just last weekend and won my age group. In August this year I will be participating in the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike race. If you don’t know what this is, look it up. It’s a one day, 100 mile Mountain Bike Race in Leadville Colorado that has a total of 14,000 feet of climbing. All of this above 10,000 feet of altitude. What’s the point? My limits are the same as always. Training, preparation and commitment are what matter. Having just the one kidney won’t hold you back. Don’t let this scare you.
- Does having only one kidney impact my fitness activities? NOT AT ALL
- Will it make them harder? NOT AT ALL
- Will I have physical limits that didn’t exist before? NOPE
- Will only having one kidney have an impact on my endurance? NOT AT ALL
- Will it have an impact on my recovery from exercise? NOT AT ALL
So do it. Don’t fear. It will be one of the most fulfilling decisions you will ever make in your life