Our own Nicole Harr, Director of Community Engagement, has spent the last two years sharing pieces of her journey as she’s prepared to receive a kidney transplant. Now, as the day of her surgery approaches, she shares her reflections on the journey and her anticipation for the road ahead with the PKD community:
In just 96 hours, I will have a new kidney and be recovering from kidney transplant surgery. My best friend will be on the same floor of the hospital recovering, too. We knew this day was coming for many months, but it is very surreal to think about the change that will take place in my life and in Sue’s in just four days If I am being honest, I am both nervous and excited. There is a certain amount of anxiety that comes with medical stuff for me and surgery is pretty high on that list. I am confident that all will go well but I have to admit that I am nervous. Everyone I speak to is so excited, and while I share in that excitement, my nerves are working overtime at the moment.
I have made many adjustments over the last few years to compensate for my failing kidneys and the fatigue that goes along with that. These changes have taken place over time and I realize that I am not completely aware of how “bad” I actually feel. To think about how I will feel after I recover from the surgery is hard for me to visualize. To combat the nerves that keep creeping into my thoughts, I am trying to concentrate on all of the things I want to do that I have been putting off because I just don’t have the energy right now. I have a list of projects to do around the house, things I want to cook! I haven’t done many of these things lately.
In the last few weeks, I have talked with many PKD patients who have received a kidney transplant. Their excitement and willingness to celebrate this day with us is contagious. I am grateful for the support, words of wisdom and encouragement that have been shared with me recently. I want to thank everyone who has emailed, called or texted to wish us well. I know I speak for Sue and for both of our families when I say thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and for all of the support we have already received. It is empowering to know that all of you will be with us as we continue our journey and take the final steps toward transplant.
I have also spent some time thinking about how I can say thank you for this generous gift. I am confident that there are no words to adequately express my gratitude. I think that I can express it by living a full life and enjoying every minute this new kidney will give me and my family. While there have been many emotions and thoughts rolling around in my head as we get closer to transplant day, I am very much overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude. There will be adjustments to make and a new normal to get used to, but I am ready to leave fatigue behind and join the kidney transplant recipient club!