Recovery: 4 Weeks Post-Transplant

It's been 4 weeks since Jason's transplanted kidney started my new lease on life. Many thanks to Linda's and my parents' incredible care, the surgeons that consult with me during my kidney clinic visits, and the support from friends everywhere. Every day I feel more reborn and rebooted!

Overall, my body is doing great with the new kidney. They removed my PD catheter after the kidney was transplanted, and I don't have to connect to a dialysis machine overnight, 7 days a week. I no longer experience occasional ammonia sensation in my breath and mouth. The slight headache I used to have is gone. I've stopped applying lotion to my face a few times a day, because it no longer gets so dry. My hands feel less cold than before.


I'm eating well with a good appetite, and drink lots of water to keep working the kidneys going (they didn't remove my old kidneys; I now have three). I'm taking longer walks with less hobbling. I've felt well enough to see figure skating at the SAP Center one night and on a different afternoon, to try the Impossible Burger at GOTT's - it was pretty good. 

The pain around my abdomen is at 2, sometimes 2.5. The surgical glue on the incisions have fallen off, and the scars are healing up nicely. Typically, people with new kidneys report feeling like they have a ton of energy right away. I can't say I felt this way at first. I actually felt quite weak, probably because of the surgery's toll on my body. However, I am feeling like I have more energy now, and I don't get tired as quickly. I still have to nap, but less than before.

Dietwise, I now get to eat more phosphorous and potassium! That means more nuts, dairy, fruits, and chocolate. Since I'm on immunosuppressant drugs, I have to avoid certain foods that at higher risk of contamination, like raw fish and undercooked meats. I wish I'd known about that so I could have had a last bowl of chirashi, but obviously, that's no biggie in the scheme of things.

I am not lifting anything heavier than a gallon of milk. I haven't started driving again yet. On rides to Stanford for clinic follow-ups, I place a small pillow across my stomach before fastening my seatbelt, to help with the painful jostles from bumpy roads.

At these clinic visits on Mondays and Thursdays every week, they take blood samples and run tests on them. They adjust the dosage of Prograf and Cellcept - my anti-rejection, pro-accepting meds - as we get the balance right. The doctors also check on how my incisions/scars look. Starting soon, I'll be tapering down my frequency of clinic visits to once a week for a month, than maybe once every two weeks.

Anyway, that's a quick update. I still need to talk about the surgery day itself, the thoughts and emotions surrounding it, and the initial post-transplant days recovering at the hospital. Thanks for reading!