We got home and got settled in. My daughter was
comfortable lying on the couch, and I was comfortable
in my recliner. My husband had been here in Utah for
a week and needed to get back to work in California, so
he had to leave...that was hard. My other daughter and
my brother were here for a few weeks to help both of
us during recovery. We were very blessed to have them
sacrifice their time and energy to help us.
It was very difficult to even walk at all. The pain
was much more than I ever thought. Thank goodness for
the pain pills; that helped some. I thought that once I
received the kidney I would have a lot more energy and
feel great. I forgot I was in my early sixties, and my body
would need a lot longer to heal then my daughter who is
twenty-five years my junior.
Unfortunately, my right leg was bothering me.
While I was in the hospital, I complained of pain and
numbness from my right hip to my knee. The doctors told
me not to worry, and it was likely from the surgery. It
would eventually go away. I also had pain in my foot, but
they did not seem too worried about that either. To ease
the leg pain, even a little bit, the only place I could stay
was in the recliner chair. I slept there, too. Little did I
know I would be sleeping in that chair for a month, only
sleeping about two–three hours each night. I knew that
I needed more sleep for my body to heal properly, but that
was the only place I could be comfortable at all. My
daughter was able to sleep in her own bed, which was a
blessing for her and her recovery.
Early the next morning I had an appt. with the
surgeon. That was extremely difficult to go and do all
that moving around. The pain was terrible! The doctors
said that the pain in my right hip, thigh, and leg were
from the nerve. It was likely stretched during surgery
and would take a long time to heal. It felt like the numbness
of Novocaine that you might get at the dentist's office, but
with hot needles stabbing continually at the same time.
The staples and stitches from the kidney transplant
were painful as well. However, one bright note...the kidney
was functioning great! There are blessings even in the worst
of circumstances...we just have to look for them.
Weeks went by, and I still couldn't do anything but
stay in my recliner. (Thank goodness it was comfortable.)
I was very surprised by how tired and weak I felt. I had
to take between 50-60 pills (result of the transplant) which
were giving me terrible side effects: tremors, hot flashes,
weakness, feeling tired, insomnia, and un-steadiness, to
name a few symptoms plus, we found out the pain in the
bottom of my left foot was actually gout. It felt like I was
stepping on shards of glass each time I put pressure on my
left foot. So, the pain was excruciating! I stayed on pain
pills longer than expected because of it, although, even the
pain pills didn't seem to help.
I kept wondering why I had to go through so much
pain and suffering after the transplant when I had felt so
much better before the transplant even with my kidney
function as low as 7%...at least I had energy. During this
journey of pain and suffering (with so much time to ponder
life), I learned a few things.
I had a few epiphanies that have impacted my life.
I found that all sadness, pain, suffering (physical and
mental) connect with the atonement (that Jesus Christ
suffered on our behalf.) During the first part of my journey,
I learned to listen to Him and let Him “drive the bus” so
to speak. Stop trying to take the steering wheel away from
Him. He knows so much better what is best for each of us.
I learned to depend on Him more and have patience.
You cannot force a tulip to come up in December...you need
to let nature take its course and be patient until the Spring
when it has had the time needed to grow, and then blossom.
During the second part of my journey, I found the
principle of acceptance was key in my learning process.
It's amazing to me that when we accept what the Lord has
in our path, it is much easier to follow Him than resist or
try to force a 'square peg into a round hole'. He always
knows what will help us learn and grow the most. Through
this journey, I have learned so much about empathy and
want to help others more.
I thought that getting the transplant would be the
end of the waiting and the physical and mental roller-
coaster but that was not to be the case. As my daughter
has said, “This is the test after the test.” There were
more important tests yet to come during this journey
of a kidneytransplant.