Lissette’s Paired Donation Experience

Hello!  I am a 40 year old mother who recently donated her kidney for her husband, who is 56 years old.  We participated in the “kidney swap” with another couple who was in a similar situation. The transplant surgery took place at NY Presbyterian in late November 2008.  Everything went well.

My husband has thus far accepted the new kidney and the other gentlemen who I donated to has also.  My only concern is for the donors (myself) – it seems like after you donate there is not a whole lot of places you can turn to for answers on what you will feel down the line.

Sure, the doctors will tell you you can go home after 2-3 days but that is so crazy.  I had laparoscopic surgery and the pain that you feel from all the air/gas they pump you with is crazy!!  All I can say is stay in the hospital as long as you can because this is about the only time you will be pampered and catered too.   I managed to stretch my hospital stay from Thursday through Monday.

It is true though, as the doctors & nurses will tell you,  that walking will make you feel better much faster.  I was up and walking the next afternoon.  My husband (the recipient) was walking the next morning after surgery.   Once you get “knocked” out in the O.R. room, the next thing you remember should be waking up in the recovery room and having done a wonderful thing.

Just remember to take extra care of yourself for weeks after the surgery (2-3 weeks) because it takes a while to get back to feeling 100%.  If you happen to have children and are doing this as I did, MAKE sure to have plenty of help after you come home!

I created a forum on Facebook called “GIFT OF LIFE – A LIVE KIDNEY DONOR FORUM” to try to help answer questions for fellow living donors.

If you have any questions or need some advice, feel free to contact me on my blog.  Good luck and know that you are doing a great thing.  All will be well!