I Gave My Husband A Kidney

It was a Thursday exactly ten years ago on this date February 24th 2011. It was 3:00 AM. My husband and I were about four hours from home in a hotel room in Downtown Nashville, TN. We had been awake most of the night. Several of our family members were staying in nearby rooms. At 5:00 AM we would all drive the short distance to Vanderbilt Medical Center and check in for surgery. My husband Mark was getting a new kidney and I would be the donor.

This picture was taken as we were leaving the hospital on the Sunday following the surgery. We were headed to a local hotel that would be our home for a couple of weeks.

My husband discovered he needed a kidney in the summer of 2010. He didn’t even know he was in kidney failure. A routine blood work-up revealed that he had a really high creatinine level. Many many more tests were done that summer into the fall and in October of 2010 he was put on the donor list to receive a new kidney.

Fortunately he did not have to wait long. I knew that we were the same blood type and I wanted to be tested to see if I might be a match. The doctors told us not to be too hopeful because the chances would only be about 15% that I would be a match. One test after another was given to me and I kept being compatible. The doctors decided not to test anyone else until I was ruled out as a donor match. We had to go through counseling and lots of the same tests but yet we had different doctors. Each doctor had to make a separate ruling on whether I would be eligible. Then when that decision was made by the individual doctors the results went before an entire panel of doctors at Vanderbilt.

My tests were finished in December of 2010. Mark did not have to spend one minute on dialysis and for this we are so very grateful. But we knew dialysis could happen if he got the flu or pneumonia or anything that could compromise his health.

So we waited and waited for the results. In mid January of 2011 we got the answer we had prayed for, I would be the donor. The surgery was scheduled for February 24th 2011. We had a lot of work to do before that day. We made arrangements to take time off from work. I would need to be out two to four weeks and Mark probably six weeks. We made arrangements to board our baby Patches our basset hound. We had to get a living will and a medical power of attorney. Normally I would have been Mark’s medical power of attorney, to make a medical decision about him if needed, and he would have been mine. But because we would both be having surgery at the same time we had to pick someone else. We chose my sister Sandy who was with us through the entire journey.

At 7:00 AM on the morning of the surgery date I was taken down first to the operating room and my kidney was prepared for the removal. At approximately 9:00 AM Mark was brought down to an adjoining room and he was prepped for his surgery. They took the kidney from me walked through the adjoining room and placed it into Mark’s abdomen. I guess if this had been Grey’s Anatomy this is where they would have dropped it HA!!!! I was really surprised that it was put in the abdomen but that is much simpler than putting it back in the original spot. So technically Mark had three kidneys. The other two have long quit working.

My surgery was done laparoscopically so my recovery time was very short. Mark’s recovery took a little longer. We spent three days in the hospital and left on Sunday. Since we had doctor visits three times a week to keep a check on the kidney we had to stay at the hotel in Nashville to be close to the hospital. If we had had the transplant closer to home we could have stayed at home and gone to the doctor visits from home. My two sisters, Sandy and Pat stayed there with us at the hospital for almost two weeks. They took care of us, took us to our appointments, did our laundry and brought us take out. They were and still are angels and we will never ever forget them.

We don’t have children so we named the kidney Baby Kay. We celebrate every year and this year Baby Kay is ten years old. Mark takes anti rejection meds every day and will for his entire life. He has done great. He works full time, works out and we travel with no problems. He sees his doctor three times a year. I am on no meds and I sometimes forget I only have one kidney. I can’t tell the difference.

There are 93,000 people on the kidney transplant list. Over 3,000 new patients are added to the kidney waiting list each month.
13 people die each day while waiting for a life-saving kidney transplant.
Every 14 minutes someone is added to the kidney transplant list.
The median wait time for an individual’s first kidney transplant is 3.6 years and can vary depending on health, compatibility and availability of organs.

Mark and I have been truly blessed with the path his transplant took. But there are so many many people needing a kidney to live. If you are ever faced with the decision to donate for someone I would encourage you to really consider it. At the very least I would encourage you to sign your driver’s license and discuss with your family if you choose to be a donor. I would be happy to share more of our experience with you.

I am linking with the weekly smile this week over at Trent’s World. Thinking about Baby Kay being ten years old and going strong makes me smilingly happy!!!!!

Always remember

Love your day your way!!!!

We Had A White Christmas

Hello and how was your Christmas? I know that many of you had a quieter and simpler Christmas and so did I and I sort of loved it.

On Christmas Eve I was at work and at about 2:00 and it started snowing. I knew we were supposed to have a chance of light snow later that night but I don’t think anyone expected it to move in as fast as it did. I was supposed to meet Mark at my sisters for a chili supper around 3:30.

By the time I left work at around 3:15 the snow was really coming down. It was crazy how much snow was on the cars and driveway. I wasn’t too worried Mark and I both have All Wheel Drive vehicles. But it still makes me nervous driving in snow. You know we are southerners and not used to driving in any amount of snow. Plus the temperature was steadily dropping and I knew what that meant especially on our backroads where we live.

So we spent only a short time at my sister’s before heading home. A much smaller group of us this year. And though we only spent a short time with each other it was fun and loving and I’m so glad we were able to spend some time together. We have about a thirty minute drive to get home and it was starting to get dark. I was worried about the backroads at our house. We did pass a couple of snow plows scraping the main roads but our roads never get scraped.

This is what our road looked like. I took this through the windshield. My car did fine I didn’t slide one time and I knew Mark was right behind me in his truck if I did. Unfortunately he had to leave for work the next morning at 5:00 AM and the roads were still pretty bad.
This is what I awoke to on Christmas morning. It looked like a winter wonderland.

A much quieter day on Christmas Day snuggling with the fur babies and watching movies and enjoying the snow.

Scruffy loved the snow.
Luckily the snow melted quickly off of the roads.

What a difference the next day made. So much sun melted a lot of the snow.

I am joining the weekly smile at http://www.trentsworldblog.wordpress.com. The snow made me smile and we the fact that it was on Christmas Day was extra special. What made you smile this week?

Have a wonderful week. Always remember.

Love your day your way!!!!

Cyber Shopping and The Weekly Smile

Happy Sunday friends. I was having coffee this morning and enjoying a quiet Sunday morning. If you were here we would chat about all the things that happened this week, Thanksgiving and all the prep work that went into it how it was different from last year and any shopping you may have done afterwards. Just the day to day flow of life. I like that idea. I wish we could do that right now. A fellow blogger often starts his posts like this and I just find it so welcoming.

The weather here has been cold in the mornings so you have to turn on the heat. And then by afternoon the temps are quite warm and you have to turn on the air. However we may have a winter mix by Tuesday morning and I say BRING IT ON!!! I am so ready for some cold weather. Don’t ask me if I feel the same way in a month it will probably be different.

My weekend so far has been great!! My sister and I didn’t get to do our Black Friday shopping as we had done for so many years. I chose to work because we have been so short staffed. So I worked on Friday but on Saturday my sister and I decided to have a Cyber Saturday shopping day. I went to her house and took my lap top and we trolled the internet for any Black Friday left over sales we could find. I found a few things but after a couple of hours we decided to head out and visit a couple of shops and grab something to eat. We didn’t go far just to Athens which is about fifteen minutes from us. We stopped at Hobby Lobby because I wanted to buy some yarn for some earrings I want to make. I can’t wait to show you those as soon as I get them finished. Then we went to Belk. I am not often a fan of Belk but I found some cute booties and a work satchel I had been looking for. Both of these were $19.99 still on the Black Friday sales. Came home and snuggled my Scruffy and everything is right with the world.

I can’t wait to wear these. I am the queen of wearing black so I think these will go with everything.
I’ve been looking for a satchel to carry to work. I needed something large enough to carry my MacBook, lunch, and my big camera that I have started using much more lately. Even if I don’t have it inside work with me I will have it the car if I need it.

This week has been so nice. I got to spend time cooking some of my favorite dishes and sharing them with my family. I spent Saturday with my sister Sandy and we always have the most fun even if we are doing nothing at all. Wonderful times I have had this week and that definitely made me smile.
What made you smile this week? I know there was something.

Have a wonderful week!!!!

I am joining the Weekly Smile at Tren’t World check it out if you get a chance and see what others had to smile about this week.


Always remember

Love your day your way!!!

Another Sister Trip In The Books. 2020

The last few days have brought a wonderful kaleidoscope of color to our little area. The trees, which I thought were turning color rather slowly, have suddenly popped out in color like you wouldn’t believe!!! Orange, red and golden leaves are everywhere. I almost can’t drive down the road without stopping to gawk at the beauty. There couldn’t have been a better time to take a Sister Trip.

I think I have mentioned before that my sisters and I take a sister trip every year. We usually go to a condominium in Gatlinburg Tennessee, which is just about seventy miles from us in the Smoky Mountains. We stay at the same condo every year. Baskins Creek Condominiums, we love this place it is just perfect for us. Our sister trip was supposed to take place about six weeks ago but that was the same time Mark had a stay at Vanderbilt Hospital for the dreaded Shingles virus. So we postponed until this past week. We checked in on Sunday and left on Wednesday. The weather was perfect. We did a few fun things and ate at some wonderful restaurants. But we mostly stayed around he condo and enjoyed each other’s company.

I have mentioned my sister Sandy to you a lot. She is my go to for everything. She helps me take care of the babies when I have to be out of town. All I have to do is call her up and say “I need your help” and she is there. She is my rock. My niece Tammy who we also call our sister goes with us every year and just rounds out our group. We don’t get to see her as much and when she is with us it is so special. But this trip sort of focused on my oldest sister Pat, well she’s the oldest since my sister Carolyn, Tammy’s mom, passed away, Pat is a hoot. Everyone that she meets loves her. She is almost seventy years old but she has such a childlike youthfulness that you would never know it. She always makes the best friends no matter where she goes. Pat is the real deal. She will tell you exactly what she thinks and doesn’t try to impress anybody. Her husband passed away many years ago and me and the other sisters have sort of taken over helping watch out for her. There is nothing we wouldn’t do for each other. O.K. you get the picture, the sisters are incredibly close.

Pat told me that she wanted a cell phone, not a flip phone or anything like she had had in the past. She wanted a phone like me and Sandy had. A phone that she could text and get FaceBook and watch TikTok videos. I know, I am a bit ashamed about TikTok it was my doing. I introduced her and she loves it. Sooooo I got her a smart phone. She is not techno savvy at all and she will be the first to tell you that. She had never texted in her life.

I got the phone a day or two before our trip so that we could help teach her how to use it. And I knew her neighbor and good friend Kathy would help her once she got home. I have to tell you she loved the phone and within thirty minutes she was saying “was that my phone?” to see her so excited over something and learn something new just did my heart good. We set up the texting and calling first and got her used to that and then I introduced her to FaceBook. When we started going through the list to see who she would send friend requests to she agonized over many of them. She said “well I don’t really know them that well should I be sending a friend request?” Isn’t that an age old question? We had so much fun just watching her discover all of this. I am afraid we may have overwhelmed her a little. I talked to her right after we got back from the trip and she was using it, and then I got a text from her yesterday so that is a good sign.

While we were on our trip, we went to the Alcatraz East Crime Museum in Pigeon Forge, it was very interesting and I could have spent hours in there. We so wanted to visit Anakeesta Theme Park, but the line and the crowds were crazy and we chose not to wait to get in. Another time for sure. We walked across the street from Anakeesta and had nachos, chicken tenders and Bahama Mamas at the Daiquiri Shak. It was so yummy!!! We sat at an open air table and enjoyed the river running right beside us. It was perfect. And of course we did a little shopping. Pat and Tammy are not big on shopping.

The Sisters, From L to R. Sandy, Pat, Tammy and me.
This was the view from our condo.

And as always the Sister Trip seems to end almost before it gets started. We headed home on Wednesday and went back to our day to day. We still laugh over our time together and will until next year.

But as I mentioned the colors in our area are absolutely beautiful!!!

Aren’t these colors amazing!!!!
Sunrise from my back yard on Friday morning.

Remember the link party I did a few weeks ago and Linked to The Weekly Smile? I am asking what made you smile this week? For me it would be teaching my sister how to use her first smart phone and getting to spend several uninterrupted days with my sisters.


I hope you have a wonderful week.

Always remember

Love your day your way!!!!1