Make Life Happen! Welcome to all of you who visit. If you are looking into becoming a Living Donor and would like a detailed idea of my journey..scroll down and begin with the older posts first. I welcome any questions or topics that you would like to know more about.
Being Responsible to yourself through the donation process
Yep that's me being a bum and watching my favorite football team The Packers.
There are times that we should all just lay back and relax, take things in that we enjoy. But when it comes to donating a kidney well...it's time that you make yourself accountable for your well being.
In many of my posts I have given lists and ideas of questions that you should ask during the early stages of going throuh testing, being prepared for when you come home, what to expect in the healing process. As I continue to mentor others that are either thinking about donating or are in the process of donating I have to stop and remember that not everyone is as agressive as me. I have no trouble speaking what is on my mind or any concerns I have. In other words, I suppose I am a big mouth.
I have an enormous respect for anyone in the medical community. But how can I say this delicately...ok I can't. Doctors are just like anyone else and when I look at it as a marketing manager, my analysis is if you're not getting what you need from one...there are plenty of others! It is imperative that you feel comfortable with your team and you should be able to discuss any questions or concerns that you have. They should take whatever time is necessary to make you feel comfortable and that any concerns or questions have been answered fully. This should be during testing, donation and after donation. If an explanation is given to you in vocabulary or mannerism you don't understand just hold up your hand and say whoa...I am not understanding this. Could you please use different terminology I am not a medical expert.
If you have any issues or concerns it is your responsibilty to communicate these to the medical transplant team, especially your transplant coordinator. People always tell me well I don't want to bother them, or I don't want to call too often...I say call them whenever you have a concern. You just donated a kidney! You just gave life to another human being. What could be more important than your well being now?
I can see people from the medical community cringing now as they read this but frankly, I don't care. Donors need to feel that their health is important especially following their donation. I have had people call me in agony and the first words out of my mouth are "call your transplant coordinator immediately". If they don't call back within 1 hour keep calling every hour but you must be pro-active and unafraid to make these calls.
One area that many donors overlook because we are all anxious to get get back to "ourselves" and a normal routine is mental well being. Although the percentage is low, there are people who struggle with depression following donation. Your mental well being is just as important as your physical and you should not heistate for one moment to call and ask to set up an appointment to meet with one of your transplant team members.
Do not be intimidated. Command the respect that you deserve in your care. Make sure that you reserach different facilities and how many live donations they have performed. This information is available for every authorized transplant facility in the United States on the OPTN site.