One of the purposes of this blog is to document the timeline of a kidney donation experience so people considering organ donation have an idea of the time and resources required to get through the experience. Obviously this will vary from person to person and center to center. Through my journey I have gotten to know several other kidney and liver donors, and none of us had the same exact experience. You can check out the detailed blow by blow of my experience on the This is Timed page of the blog.
Broken down, getting approved to donate and being matched was a minimal time commitment (36 hours) stretched over 8 months. After surgery I was pretty useless for 2 weeks. The third week I didn’t feel great, but could work 1/2 days at work. I had one extremely rough day during week 3 where the pain peaked, and spent one night back at the hospital. Week 4-6, I felt great other than needing a little extra sleep. By week 7-8 I felt completely back to my old self, and my vitality had completely returned. It was a major focus of my life and energy for 10 months from the time I decided to do it, till the time the donation was over, and I felt back to my old self. Not bad! This week I am 11 weeks out from surgery, and feel awesome. I think I actually feel better than I did before the donation!
If you are trying to figure out how this timetable will translate into your donation experience, it’s a great idea to talk to multiple donors. Don’t make the mistake that I did and assume that your recovery will be on the short end of the spectrum, because you are superwoman. That sets you up for disappointment if you don’t hit the benchmarks in your head. Figure out what you need to do to be patient with your body during recovery, and just give your body what it needs when it needs it! Walk as much as you can and water the bean all day. Plan for a long and slow recovery, and then be pleasantly surprised if it goes a little faster than expected!
Please contact me if you would like to be connected with other kidney or liver donors to see how their donation timeline compared to mine. There are tons of donors out there who would love to talk to you, including me! If you are a kidney or liver donor, I would love it if you would comment about your donation experience so that our readers can see what the experience is like for multiple donors. If you are open to being contacted, feel free to post your contact information as well. Thanks in advance!