Monday, July 25, 2011

Righty's First Solo Weekend

Nurse Ike and Nurse Cricket
I was released from Foothills hospital the Friday afternoon after my kidney donation surgery. It was a beautiful, sunny day and I couldn't be happier to be heading home.

Getting into the car was trickier than I expected. Our "around town" car is a Honda Civic so it's lower to the ground than some other sedans. Apparently it takes ab muscles to both get in the car and also to shimmy your butt over so you don't close the door on yourself. Pay attention next time you get into a car and you'll see.  I also didn't realize how bumpy some of our road are until my trip home-it almost felt like things were rattling around inside because of the space created when Leftie left.

I think the best part of the first weekend aside from just being at home in my own space, were the dogs. They both seemed to know something was wrong and were very careful with me (vs. being the gone-zanies they usually are). Our older dog Ike even would go as far to to gently rest his head on my belly if he was lucky enough to sit beside me on the couch. They both just seemed very concerned and attentive. Yay puppies!

For the first weekend I felt like I was really, really slooooow at everything. Moving between a standing to seated to lying down position took a lot of work and planning. I always felt like I needed to have an extra pillow around to support my back and another to use as a shield for my belly. There were a lot of times where I felt like I couldn't get comfortable although I'm pleased to say I had no trouble sleeping through the night I hobbled around our house like an 80 year old woman. I was remarkably good at bending to pick things up off the floor if needed (thank you yoga) but I had to take it slow.

I wasn't hungry at all. If I did get a little bit hungry it was for weird (and not overly nutritious but highly salty) things like popcorn and cheese (not together). I tried my best not to give into temptation. When I did eat (you really should if you are taking any kind of pain killer) I found I couldn't eat much and I almost always felt sick in some way after. I eventually settled on yogurt and oranges being foods I wanted that also had the added benefit of not making me sick. I think they became my primary diet for at least 3 weeks after coming home. I also learned that walking anywhere (even laps in the kitchen) was a good idea after any kind of food to help with digestion.

I am fairly certain Righty took another span of time off sometime on the Friday night/Saturday morning. My output was a lot less despite the copious amounts of water and tea I was consuming. I seemed to be retaining water a little bit too (puffy ankles). However she was back running at full force by the Saturday night. I'm not sure I have peed as much in a 12 hour period since attempting to use all ten of my Frosh Week draft beer tickets back in university. Note to self: do not attempt to watch a movie with the family when you are experiencing that level of output unless you have a TV in the washroom-you'll miss most of it.

Pain was very manageable-just sore muscles and that was easily controlled with Tylenol. The incisions were looking a little less gruesome although they were still all covered with steristrips. My stomach still looked pregnant-although it was slightly less so and was kind of lumpy. Or lopsided. I also noticed my belly button was stretched in a new way. You don't realize how used to your navel you are until it suddenly morphs. Very weird. Gas was still an issue (and was not nearly as fun or liberating as in the hospital) but it was manageable. I was tired but didn't feel the need to nap at all which was surprising. There was a lot of resting though. Lounging.

My attention span was still short so TV as well as short bursts on the computer were my favourite pastimes. Movies and books and even most magazines were not. They were too tricky to care about at that point. I think I should have purchased more gossip magazines instead of the Economist, New Yorker and Walrus type ones. I probably would have had better luck reading.

Just as I was starting to think that this recovery was going to be a piece of cake and I would be back to normal in record time, I got hit with a cold. No doubt picked up in the hospital, it started out as a scratchy throat and quickly made my head feel like it weighed 100lbs. Sneezing was awesome (if your definition of awesome means horrifically awkward and painful) but I did my best to brace my stomach to prevent any damage to the incision/stitching. I hoped it stayed in my "head" because despite how awful sneezing was, I had a feeling coughing would be way worse.


  1. Boy Lauren that was like deja vu, even down to the pillows! And my cat tokey who was also curiously gentle. They say cats purring can actually aid in healing. And, except for the peeing part...

    I'm still having problems reading which is the biggest problem I've had - just can't seem to concentrate, and feeling indifferent to the thousands of books on my shelves. Not like me at all! Other people have told me it's perfectly normal, so I'm not feeling guilty about Entertainment Weekly and Hello Canada as my main reading materials! I really hope I get my concentration span back again soon.

    I am really enjoying this blog, by the way. It's fair (I admire you for that!) and exceptionally inspiring.

    Keep well!

  2. Thanks Lynda...I'm glad I am not the only one with an attention span of a 2 year old. I bought a billion books (well 10) to see me through recovery and I don't think I've read a chapter of any of them yet. At least they won't go bad right?