Friday, July 1, 2011

Multiple Living Organ Donation - Kidney 7 Months

Yipes! Once again, this update is long overdue! May 19th marked my 6 month anniversary for donating my kidney at Toronto General. I feel great! My incision has healed up very nicely, I have no pain or discomfort at all, and I have no adverse effects or feelings since the ordeal began! In fact....I feel great!

Shortly after I was discharged, the hospital sent me an aftercare package that outlined when I needed to have follow-up testing done. This package included forms and requisition papers for a six month follow-up. The tests to be done? A 24 hour urine collection followed by a blood test. The instructions were pretty simple.

1) Obtain a clean plastic jug from your Coordinator or local lab.
2)At the start of the test day, void (pass your urine) and discard it.Write down the exact date and time of that first void. This is the start of the test even though you have discarded the urine.
3) For the next 24 hours, each time you void, put the urine in the jug. Save all your urine for the next 24 hours.
4)The following morning at the same time as your first void, empty your bladder and save that urine in the jug as well. This is the end of the test. Write down the exact time and date of your last void.
5) While collecting the urine, keep the jug away from any source of heat.
6) Return the jug to the lab once your 24 hours is complete. At that time, they will take a blood sample.

Now, I'm no stranger to the 24 hour urine collection procedure, it's just hard to be discrete. I mean, the container they give you for the actual collection isn't exactly a fashion accessory. In looks like a gas can!

Behold...the 24 hour urine collection vessel!

Of course, that wouldn't even be an issue if I had started the collection say...on a Sunday morning, in the comfort and privacy of my own home like any normal, sane person would have done! But no...I decided to do it midweek.....while at work.

Now, even that wouldn't be so bad if I worked in an office, or in a place where I could just leave the container and fill it when I needed to pee, but the fact is I'm on the road all and out of places every few minutes...surrounded by people, but that's what I did. Any time I had to pee, I grabbed my bright, neon-orange piss jug, tucked it into a plastic Wegman's grocery bag, and ventured through the particular store I was in to the bathroom where I would collect my precious urine! Ummm...don't think for a minute that this didn't raise a few eyebrows...although I did tell a co-worker it was my kool-aid jug! This went on all day till the following day when I dropped off the jug and did my blood test.

The purpose of this test is to see how well my remaining kidney filters waste products. The amount of waste product, (creatinine) in the urine is compared to the amount in the blood. The lab will test my pee and my blood and send the results off to Toronto General. If there was a problem, or any unusual readings, they'll get in touch with me.

The entire process is fairly harmless, but as a public service I offer this careful with the piss jug. Even though it does have a lid on it, it doesn't 'seal' very matter how tight you think the lid is on it. While in transit, place the jug on a level, secure surface, not on the front seat of your new Toyota Matrix. Lastly, and I can't stress this enough, do not at any time shake the piss jug for any reason! Just trust me on that. 24 hour pee jug, with 'void'!