Chapter One: Diagnosis
Chapter Two: Donor?
Chapter Three: Dialysis
Chapter Four: Transplant
Chapter Five: Recovery
From My Lens

An update from John. Written May 17, 2000.

A little more than six weeks have now passed.

Warning, what follows is a tad graphic and my never-failing good attitude wanes a bit.

I had my stent removed on Monday. What an absolutely horrible day!

For those unfamiliar, a stent is a straw-like tube about five inches long placed in the ureter that runs from the new kidney to my bladder. It was placed during the transplant operation, and as such, I have no recollection of it.

The procedure to remove it, however, will remain in my memory until the day I die.

I won't give any details and there certainly will not be any photos. "Why?" you ask. Because they remove it without making an incision. Get it? It is like driving up a narrow street with a 747. . .

I was more nervous before this 10-minute procedure than I was before the transplant.

It was done in the hospital under IV sedation. Unfortunately, I think I am getting used to the sedative Versed, so the amount they gave me initially was not enough. It only took a second for the doctor to realize this. I think it was my shriek of pain that probably still echoes the corridors of St. Luke's that gave it away. A moment later, another unit of Versed was coursing through my veins, and I don't remember a thing after that. Those first seconds, however, will remain with me.

Looking back over this whole ordeal, I guess it was my time for a little discomfort. I have had it pretty easy compared to most folks, so I just look at Monday as paying my dues. At least now I can say the transplant is over. For six weeks that stent was hanging over my head (and bladder).

In other news, I updated several cutlines in the Transplant section. Dr. Alan Koffron, one of the transplant surgeons, was kind enough to add some details to the surgery pictures. I tried to take notes while under, but it proved futile. Maybe next time we'll shoot it on video and have a commentary track like they have on DVDs.

I am heading home to see Dad this weekend. I haven't seen him since his last day in Chicago, and I miss him a lot. I'll also get to see my stepmom, Patty, and my sister Amelia, whom I haven't seen in six months.

See you guys next week,


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