Tag Archives: Nephrectomy

3 years and counting! | Kidney donation success

It has been 3 years since my Dad received his new Kidney! A day worth celebrating because it represents so much to my family and I.

A couple of times a year my Dad will make the trip to Dunedin to have a checkup with the Nephrologist. Going by car each time seems a little bring, so this time both Mum and Dad decided to load their bikes to the car… Mum cycled the entire way from Wanaka totaling over 300km in 3 days! Dad has ridden much of that trip before riding as far as Middlemarch which is still an impressive 240km.

All too often people will take health for granted. It is a constant urge to maintain fitness, a balanced diet and well-being that keeps us all healthy. When we pay attention to what our body truly needs we move closer to an intrinsic balance. Move every day, eat & drink well and trust in your bodies ability to deliver. Dad and I are doing great.

It seems my family believe in this idea of a healthy lifestyle. The more km we clock up on our bikes the better we feel. Choose to take the bike more and the car less this Summer. Move more, sit less and keep your Kidneys healthy!

Bike vs Car                 

It is done! (Caution: Graphic photos below)

I wake to the sound of machines beeping and the familiar smell of hospitals. My abdomen feels tight and a little swollen. There are tubes coming out of my body including a catheter which drains my bladder. I vomit multiple times and the constant waves of fatigue will be something I need to get used too.

The phone rings and it’s my Dad! He cracks a joke and I instantly know he’s okay. I have spoken to him a few times since the operation took place on Monday morning. It is now Wednesday and I will finally be able to visit him.

Prior to the operation we asked our surgeons if it was possible to have photos taken throughout the procedure, or ‘harvest’ as they liked to call it. They said yes, and the assistants took a couple of shots. Read no further if you feel queazy at the sight of blood, guts & organs!

We will both stay in hospital for another day or two. The doctors need too see/hear our bowls are moving and the pain is under control – the morphine and other assortments of pain remedies are helping but often need to be paired with anti-nausia.

Overall we are doing pretty well and able to move around on our own. Dad’s operation was less invasive so he will naturally make a faster recovery. Mum, Dad and I will eventually move out and head to Dunedin to recover some more. Then I will make my way back to Wanaka before the end of the month… Fingers crossed i’ll be in Whistler soon.

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It’s all coming together nicely.

With less than three weeks to go the final details are being put in place. The education and communication from the transplant team/staff have been great. Mum & Rose especially have been wonderful and have always been there for me. This process has bought my family even closer together.

Both the Wanaka Sun and Otago Daily Times have taken the time to interview my Dad and I which was a nice surprise. I think it is important for more people to know about the role of Kidneys and what happens when they fail. More importantly, the solutions to improve the quality of life or the ones you love.

I’ll have a go at posting the links to the articles in the next post.

Thanks for reading.

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Photos and words by Richie Johnston, WordPress

The count-down has started!

On Wednesday I received a call from Dr John telling me they have booked my Dad and I into surgery late October. I thought great! That will be enough time to recover before the Winter season starts in Whistler. So I went to visit friendly Jayne at Wanaka Flight Center and booked my flight for November 30th.

Today I get a call saying that one of the Doctors will still be on holiday and will not be back until a week later. That will then give me 5 weeks to recover before my flight. This is okay and I will be able to deal with it, however Dr John did say that there is a 6-9 week recovery time post surgery.

With my healthy and active lifestyle I am determined to be as fit and strong as I can be before and after the opp takes place. My Dad and I will be out on our bikes roaming the streets of Christchurch a few days before November 7th staying active! Luckily I have my my sister Rose and some friends who work at the hospital there to bring me assorted snacks and DVDs. My Mum (Janey) will be around to visit too which will be awesome.

I plan to start work for Whistler Adult Privates on December 15th so there is a goal to look forward too. Kenrae has been awesome and after visiting for 3 weeks here in Wanaka, she is helping me look for a place to live for the season.

Off for a bike ride to the gym…  50 days to go!

Words by Richie Johnston, WordPress