So my recovery is continuing and I notice improvements every day and less pain – until today. I have been having some continuing pain in my incision which is weird and I just don’t feel as good as I have been feeling. Usually I don’t feel it at all and only have pain when I get up or down and then when I cough (a lot of pain when I cough). I am walking better although I get winded when I do too much. So this week I had three trips to Yale. Monday I went in and saw the surgeon (and they drew blood). He said things are healing nicely. Thursday we went back for the big meet and greet (more in a bit). Friday I saw the nephrologist and drew blood of course. My kidney function is doing great. My creatinine level is down to 1.5. It was at 11 when I went in for surgery. This measures the amount of impurities in the blood. they don’t think it will get much lower but they are happy with the 1.5 level. I go back twice each week for the next three weeks or so then once per week and eventually just a monthly visit.
Thursday was the big meet and greet and a public press conference. I met my donor – Patricia. She is from Mystic and was the altruistic donor that made this whole transplant chain possible. I can’t express my gratitude for the gift she of life that she gave to me. She came with her daughter who, like Kate went to Providence College. After a lunch with all the donors, recipients and the transplant team we did one on one interviews with the NBC Connecticut TV station which actually had cameras in the operating rooms. Then there was a press conference with all the donors, surgeons, and hospital administration people. In attendance were all the Operating Room Techs and Nurses, all the transplant center people and other hospital people connected with the surgery and lots of press people.
The surgeons reviewed what happened that day and who donated to whom. They started the first surgery at like 7:30 AM and finished the last surgery at like 6:00 PM. Patricia spoke about why she made the decision to donate. Then the four recipients spoke for a minute each about how we are doing and feeling. We all feel about the same. I seem to be doing maybe a little better but some of the other recipients have been on dialysis longer than I was. One guy was on dialysis for over 5 years. One of the donors was not yet on dialysis but was about a month away from starting. We all are very grateful to our donors and to the whole team at Yale. After the press conference I spoke with a reporter from the Connecticut Post and from another TV Station about the process and how I’m doing.
Thursday evening we were on several news reports and web articles. We started getting texts telling us that they just saw us on TV etc… Friday it was in the newspapers. A big article on page 2 of the Connecticut Post and Page 1 in the New Haven Register and the Hartford Courant. I hope that Yale gets lots of mileage and that they get more altruistic donors as a result. This one altruistic donor made new kidney possible for four of us and then we come off the list and four more people move up on it and they can get closer to their dream of a new kidney. I enjoyed my 15 minutes of fame but now it is time to concentrate on my recovery.