I have one kidney now, and my mom has three. Odysseus is functioning beautifully in her body, and Mike Tyson is rising to the challenge of filtering my blood alone.
I've declared the next two weeks Snooze-a-palooza 2011, as I get used to being a one-kidneyed wonder. Ethan is taking great care of me here at this cute B&B in Rittenhouse Square, where our basic schedule is: snack, perambulate, watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Wes Anderson movie, pop Percocet, nap, repeat.
My kidney buddy Flannery, who donated several years ago to her aunt, made me this paper doll set to play with as I recover. Flannery is yet another miracle revealed to me through this ordeal. Both kidneys on the paper Sarah doll are velcroed on and may be detached over and over again, so I can relive the exciting experience of nephrectomy. On surgery day, to make sure they removed the correct kidney, the surgeons wrote the word "yes" in black magic marker on the left side of my belly. It's faded slightly but still remains, next to my scary new scar.
The surgery, my first, was harder than I ever imagined. Here I am looking sanguine as they roll me into anesthesia. I had no clue what I was in for, despite accounts from all the donors I'd met of how hard it was. You can't really prepare for this kind of pain. Here I am afterward.
I felt so bad they gave me a CAT scan to make sure everything was okay, which it was. It just pretty much sucks to get your kidney removed, and hospitals suck, and surgery sucks. I am hoping this is the last time I will ever spend the night in a hospital, Ethan and I having a longstanding plan of dying simultaneously during sex at age 96 and 95, respectively. Until then I'll be taking extra good care of this body.
Two days after the surgery, to the consternation of the nurses, Ethan and I rode the elevator down to see my mom on the ICU. The underwear pillow was instrumental here, as I was able to walk more easily when clutching it to my raw abdomen. Thanks, Peekaboo! Seeing this look on my mom's face made it all worthwhile.
Now I will eat some rice crackers, take some Percocet, and sleep, and tomorrow I will eat some scones, take more Percocet, maybe watch Rushmore, and receive some dear friends visiting from NYC and DC. I hope they will be up to the demanding schedule of Snooze-a-palooza 2011, which is strictly professionals-only. If they get too rowdy, I may have to show them my scar.