It worked. (WARNING: Post may contain grossness.)

So, I gave my mom a kidney. It immediately began working, and she is supposed to get discharged from the hospital this afternoon! She'll continue getting radiation treatments, and then they'll give her my stem cells (remember those?) and hopefully she won't have to take any anti-rejection meds (yeah, I'm all hospital now) after that. She's doing really well, but I haven't seen her yet, as I've been doing my own healing.

How am I, you ask? I'm awesome! My 3-day hospital stay was generally yucky (3 IV's, a creepy medicine bag that was like a squishy canteen hidden in a fanny pack hanging out of my main incision, and if you're not a fan of televised poker, it's not that fun to stay up all night while strange men keep appearing to take your blood), but it was all like a weird dream.

I got to the hospital on Sunday afternoon, where I shared a semi-private room with my mom. We didn't really do anything that day except get hooked up to our IV's and met up with an endless stream of nurses and doctors. We lay in our beds reading magazines while my brother, dad, and boyfriend paced the tiny room, not wanting to leave, but not really knowing what to do. It was tense. Between anxiety and my mom's unbelievable snoring, I was up for most of the night, but it didn't really matter since I was roused at 5:00 AM for my pre-op shower. A nurse sent me off to the shower room with two pre-packaged cleansing sponges, which emitted an iodiney-red soap when squeezed. I bathed in a stupor and returned to my bed wearing only the designer Stanford hospital gown, and waited until 7:30 when they rolled my weary ass into anesthesia.

That was the part I was most scared of. I don't know why, it just freaks me out, the way you lose time. Peter told me that one time his friend was getting anesthesia, and counting (sometimes they have you do that) "1, 2, 3," and when he woke up, he kept counting, even though like 4 hours had passed. So weird. My surgery was 3 hours long, and they planned to do it laproscopically, meaning that instead of cutting a big ol' hole where your kidney is, they do a series of smaller incisions, blow up your abdomen like a balloon, and use a camera to see what's going on in there. In the anesthesia room, I was there, along with a bunch of other patients waiting to get surgery. There was a family across from me, a large Hispanic man and his crazy wife, who kept asking him questions loudly like, "Now, did they put a diaper on you? Do you still have the diarrhea? Johnny'll be here soon. Do you remember the name of that one store?" I guess he was hard of hearing. They were deeply trashy and entertained me until the hunky anesthesiologist came in. He was built like Babe Ruth and had the softest rosy cheeks! He touched my foot reassuringly and told me about what would happen, including the breathing tube that would be shoved down my throat, then left promising that I would soon get "a margarita through my IV."

Then I had to say goodbye to my dad and Peter, and they wheeled me into the operating room, which from my vantage point looked like the biggest operating room ever, with a million people bustling around inside wearing blue hats. Before I could decide how I felt, I woke up in a new bed, in a new room, with someone telling me it was over and successful.

Part II up next.


Derek said...

Whoa, that sounds even stranger and creepier than I'd imagine, iodine soap, breathing tube?!? Sounds more like an alien abduction. I'm glad it's over and everyone is in the clear.

Squidhelmet said...

So glad to hear everything's going well!

ted d. said...

I'm glad you're doing well enough to blog!

The first organ you donate is always the hardest, remember that!

love from ted and jonathan.

Sue said...

I love you, Saint Polly!


maysha said...

Polly, you did such an incredible thing. Amazing. And thank you for sharing the details. I am blown away reading about what you did, what you went through. I hope you and your Mom are okay and well.
Love, Maysha