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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Checking Out

Four days after kidney donation surgery and I was going to get to go home. Yahoo!  I've actually read that in some US hospitals they are now sending people home after 48 hours. That seems a bit crazy to me-but a part of me also wonders if I should have somehow recovered faster.

Doctorpalooza told me it would take a couple of hours to process the discharge but thought I'd be able to get out around lunch time or early afternoon. They asked if I had any questions (which of course I didn't) and then off they went. A few minutes later Dr S returned with the nephrologist, (Dr W). Dr W wanted to give me a few more instructions including not lifting more than 10lbs for at least a month, no strenuous exercise, keep walking lots and generally take it easy when I need to. There was the usual "if you develop a fever, pain, wound oozing etc. come back to the hospital".  I had a quick chat with Dr S about some other things and off they went.

I sat in the room and thought "now what?".  I had a shower and got dressed and gathered up my things. That took all of 30 minutes at the most. I was barely 9:30. What was I going to do for 4 hours?  I looked outside-beautiful day out-and envisioned myself shuffling out of the hospital on my own, bag in tow. If I had lived within walking distance I probably would have tried to shuffle home (although they wouldn't have let me). But alas I had to wait for the nurse to tell me I could go and for Charlie to have a window of opportunity at work to pick me up. I was very impatient with everyone and everything.

The door curtain started to flutter and in came the Program Coordinator (let's call her Tina). She looked frazzled to say the least. She came in and sat down, all smiles. "Dr S. just called me and told me they were letting you go so if I was going to come see you I should now!".

I laughed. I didn't want to tell her I probably had another 2-3 hours being stuck there. She asked me how I was doing-all the usual medical questions. I told her I was doing quite well and was happy to be going home. She reminded me of all the things I shouldn't be doing (lifting, walking two big dogs) and those that I should (like drinking lots of water everyday and eating lots of fruits and veggies). She thanked me for all I had done for the program so far and said she looked forward to reading the blog to see what improvements they could make. We did talk about a couple of big concerns while I was there (the anti-flower lock down, the lack of call to my family) and she took notes. She told me everyone involved in the chain was doing well as was my recipient (yay!). I asked if all the transplants were done the same day and I was told she couldn't tell me that (not sure why but whatever). She let me know down the road if I was curious about the recipient I could send the program a letter and they would make sure it was unidentifying and forward it on...shades of my adoption search process in way.  We'll see what happens.

She presented me with a medal and a pin from the program too as well as a bracelet. I have to admit I was pretty proud of the medal. I know it seems like a weird token of appreciation but I think it's a great idea.

A few hours later the paper work was ready, Charlie arrived and I was good to go. We gathered up my flowers and suitcase and I walked right out of there (I did kind of wonder when they stopped wheeling patients out in a wheelchair but I wasn't going to stop and ask that question!).

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