This is a continuation of a story of Sally who received a kidney transplant in September, 2009. The story is told by her husband, Greg. [The couple’s first names have been changed at their request.]
Three hours after surgery, Greg writes:
“They just brought Sally back to the room at 9:45 pm. She is pretty groggy, but surprisingly cognizant when awake. She asks, “am I peeing”? The nurse reports that indeed, she sees some urine in the catheter tubing, so maybe this kidney will wake up sooner rather than later.”
Two days after surgery, Greg writes:
“Sally is on the dialysis machine right now, in the hospital room. I’m right next to her. She is rather sleepy as you might imagine. The doctor decided to dialyze her because her potassium was a bit on the high side, so they’re trying to get it lowered down into range.
”The new kidney is putting out between 3 to 6 cc (milliliters) of urine per hour. It should be putting out approximately 35 cc/hr. Well, 3 is a heck of a lot better than 0 in cases like this. Just hope the kidney adapts and gets up to full function!”
And seven days after surgery, Greg writes:
“Sally is doing much better now, so all those prayers, along with the excellent care she is receiving at Swedish Hospital, is making a difference! She was able to get out of bed and start walking on Tuesday, and was able to start drinking a clear liquid diet (broths), as she had been restricted to chewing ice only up until that time. The doctors want to wait until they can hear, with a stethoscope, that peristalsis action has started again in the intestines. If a person attempts to eat even broths without peristalsis, they will immediately throw it back up.
“By Wednesday, she was able to eat a renal diet (foods low in sodium, potassium, and phosphorus). This morning, they removed a catheter from her bladder. She was able to pee on her own, for the first time since August, 2003! They also removed the renal diet restriction, so she’s now able to eat any foods without restriction (including cheese, which is loaded with phosphorus). She put out nearly 800 cc of urine today! That’s pretty amazing to me, although it was with the assistance of a diuretic drug. The kidney is still in the ‘waking up’ process; the output is good and the urine is yellow, but it’s still a bit cloudy and her blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine measures are still high. But, these things take time, so they’re not too worried about it. Sally reports feeling much better as well.
“Right now, it is looking like they will release her from the hospital next Monday. She has to be extremely careful for the first 3 months to avoid being around anyone who is sick or coughing, since her immune system is really suppressed. She’s also not allowed to do any gardening work, one of her favorite activities, because dirt has a lot of bacteria content. And, doing doggy ‘doo-doo patrol’ in our backyard will be my sole responsibility from now on, for the same reason. All in all, the results are looking very positive.”