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Sunday, August 7, 2011

What's Next!?

It's been 2 months since Leftie the kidney departed. Hard to believe in some ways and in others its seemed much more time has passed.

I'm feeling great. My energy levels are almost back to where they were although I still have some days where I suddenly feel like I've climbed a mountain and need to sleep for days. Thankfully a good 6-8 hour night of sleep always makes that feeling go away. I can eat 98% of the time without feeling sick (and yes, I can now eat more than yogurt and oranges). My incisions are now purple lines on my belly. Overtime they will fade but truthfully it doesn't really matter to me because a) I will never be a bikini person and b) I am damn proud of them. They will always reminded me of the leap of faith I took and if I accomplish nothing else in my life, this was something I can be proud of.

I've started running and for the first time in my life I am enjoying it. I am slow, determined and am fairly certain I don't look completely awkward doing it. Every once in awhile if I push myself a little too hard I get a stitch and/or a pang in my upper left abdomen, somewhere just in front of where Leftie used to hang out. I figure right now that is probably the weakest part of my body so its the first to let me know when I am doing something a little physically stupid. I also know that it too, like my scars, will fade with time.

I am feeling emotionally stronger than I was before the surgery-maybe stronger than before I even decided on this whole crazy journey. I think some of that comes from setting a lofty goal and after a lot of hard work, reaching it. I think through this process I've learned a lot about myself I never knew, but more importantly found parts of myself I forgot I had. I feel like I am ready. I'm just not sure for what.

I made a promise to myself (and through this blog I suppose other people) that I would do what I could to create awareness about living donation, make people understand how many people need it and how easy it is for many of us to help. I'll be honest I have no idea exactly how I'm going to go about that or when I will know that I've accomplished it. I'm still trying to figure out what exactly is next for me and how I am going to find my own way of making a difference in all this. I suspect I will need to create some of my own opportunities but that some will also potentially find me (let me know if you know of any!).

I do want to take the opportunity thank everyone who has been along for the ride with me, whether you've just stopped in from time to time as a stranger or have felt every bump along the way. I'm sorry if this comes off as sappy but I've always believed thank you are the most underused words in the English language and I need to do this.

To my family, both my birth family, my "real family" and my "in-laws"-regardless of when you joined the party, you have cheered me on with a proud enthusiasm that has more than once taken my breath away. To my friends, especially Sally and Sarah, you have listened and asked all the right questions at the right times. You've reminded me why this whole journey is important. Along the way I've made a few online "kidney" friends and I cannot explain how much your tips, thoughts and feelings have helped me before and after the surgery. And while there are probably many others worthy of thanks, I hear the music playing and I'm about to get the proverbial hook off the stage so I'd like to finishing by thanking Dr. S and Tina, for showing me and sharing the passion they have for what they do, for being real and for making this for me, more than just donating my kidney.

I'm excited for what is coming up around the corner and I hope you'll stick around for the rest of the trip.

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