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What kidney donation is like

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Day 7 Recovery Walk with Amy, Peter and Goldie I'm only a week post-surgery, so I'm still very much in recovery.  That said, I feel like I'm over the worst of the pain already. The procedure itself was short - only two hours.  I received a four-inch incision that goes vertically right next to my belly button.  I also have 3 smaller one-inch holes, for laparoscopy, on the left side of my belly.  For me, the worst things to deal with in recovery are the ancillary things.  Having a four-inch incision, plus three smaller holes (for laparoscopy) in my gut are the most obvious place of pain.  But the nagging ancillary issues that come from having a catheter, being intubated, dealing with drug side-effects (like constipation and nausea) and aches/pains from positioning on the surgical table are the things that frustrate the most.  It doesn't feel any different as of now to have one kidney instead of two.  I was really fatigued for the first several days, but that could be due

Dad, I will be your living donor

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'Twas the night before the transplant #kidneybuddiesforlife Below are the words I read to my dad when I told him I was cleared to give him a kidney. I share this, vulnerably, praying that it may help someone find hope, joy or inspiration.  On the eve of surgery, I have some nerves, but I feel very loved. I'm so thankful for so many encouraging words and prayers from so many people.  I am ready. Let's go! -- Dad, It is my honor to give you the gift of new life.  Extended life.  And healthy life.  I have been cleared to give you a kidney.  Just like any gift, you have to choose to receive it.  Why am I doing this? Because I have a divine conviction that I was selected for this. Because I want you to have the opportunity to be here with us, and to not have the joy-robbing distraction of pain over the next several years Because I want you to pursue better health later in life and to be an example and an encouragement to others of what flourishing in your later years can look li

Living Donor

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My dad, Joe, and me. House money. "Playing with house money" is a phrase used in reference to gambling or investing.  If an investor just saw huge and unexpected gains on an investment, he may feel like he can take more risk on his next deal.  He has already been given beyond what he wanted.  His future is taken care of, and he can now risk a little because he knows there will always be enough.  From this position of security, risk looks different.  When you are playing with house money you already know your ultimate destination, so taking a few scenic detours doesn't feel like a waste of time. -- "Bllekk! Why would you do that?" It was an honest reaction from someone I spoke to on the phone.  I've been sharing with various folks for the last week or so that they shouldn't expect to hear from me for a week+ because I'm taking a medical leave.  When I tell them my leave is to give a kidney to my dad - a living donor transplant - they give me a variet

On risk

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Cutting my dad's hair during April 2020 quarantine. . Analyzing risk is something I do professionally.  Clients consult with me on the risks their businesses face, and I help them find solutions for those risks. In business or enterprise risk, your four main response options are to mitigate, avoid, transfer or accept the risk. A majority of the time, the solutions are wrapped in a combination of those responses.  For example, a commercial building owner has a risk that his building will become damaged or destroyed in a fire.  That owner will mitigate the risk by installing sprinkler systems and warning systems.  He will avoid the risk by only allowing tenants to rent from him who don't increase the probability of a fire (e.g. a restaurant or a manufacturer of combustible products).  He will transfer a majority of the financial risk of a fire via insurance.  He accepts that certain aspects of this risk can't be avoided, transferred or mitigated.  He understands that statisti

Only real relationships bring about the change you desire

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She was visibly upset.  Trembling.  She was sharing her heart, and being open and honest about the way the author's words made her feel unsafe.  These words cut to a deep place.  A place that I've never been.  Actually, a place that I can't even go because I don't have her eyes, her experiences, her skin.  Inside, I felt confused.  I even felt like downplaying her feelings, or cracking a joke to lighten the mood.  This would only dismiss her feelings.  This would cause more pain.  She said she didn't even really want to show up that night because the book we were reading grieved her so badly.   Another in our group spoke up and said he was feeling the same way.  I listened.  We listened.  I'll be honest - I didn't truly understand.  I don't have the context, the experiences, to read the book we were reading and have it draw up feelings of xenophobia or racism.  But I also would not argue someone's feelings. We were a small group.  A Bible

Thank you | Two more CuddleCots

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Thank you! With a grateful heart, for a sixth year in a row, our donors have gifted two CuddleCots.  One will be sent to  Kosciusko Community Hospital  in Warsaw, IN close to the  You Made Me Mom  Milford, IN chapter.  The second CuddleCot will be donated to a hospital which will be determined in the near future.  If you know of a hospital in need, please email me (amy@youmadememom.com). Thank you for loving our family so well and remembering Simon. Through generous donors, our family has donated cots to the following hospitals: -St. Luke's Hospital Kansas City (2015) -Children's Mercy Hospital (2015) -Truman Medical Hospital (2016) -Research Medical Center (2017) -St. Luke's Hospital North (2018) -St. Luke's Hospital South (2018) -Regional Medical Center in Anniston, Alabama (2019) -St. Luke's Hospital Kansas City (2020) -Kosciusko Community Hospital, Indiana (2020) -TBD Hospital (2020)

COVID-19 Thought Journal | May 21, 2020

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Today was Simon's last day on Earth 6 years ago.  I can remember that day.  It is amazing that each of his seven days are still distinct in our minds.  Certainly the blogs, photos and the videos help us retain those specific moments.  But the moments were little.  The days were slow.  We stayed cooped up in our house. The music we played was important.  The natural light through our windows was energy for our tired bodies.  Teddy was an escape - during and after Simon's life.  We wanted to see everything through his eyes, to put on his cloak of innocence. -- As I think back on this day, I feel like we knew it was nearing the end, but it was still a shock.  Nothing is more shocking than holding someone as they take their last breaths.  Nobody held Simon that day but Amy and me.  The rise and fall of his chest was more labored.  He was less hungry.  Less talkative.  We soaked him in as we soaked in the sunlight from our windows.  We cried mid-day - not with sadness or pity