Sunday, September 12, 2010

runnin' for my recipient

My surgery date has been scheduled for Wednesday, September 22, 2010!

Sure did sneak up on me, but something told me that I would not be receiving too much of an advanced notice. (A kidney-shaped 'Save the Date' card would be a nice touch, dontcha think?)  I received notice about 2 weeks ago but waited to share with everyone until I got some nugget of confirmation. The transplant coordinator at UCLA called me on Thursday to let me know that I will be required to get one more blood draw. Yep, I get to do that all over again. It was so much fun the first time! I will be FedEx'ing my blood to UCLA on Tuesday for one last final analysis by the brainiacs that calculate this crazy statistical matching process of blood types. At least it's crazy to me because I'm lost after a two-step math problem. They are so smart!

I will be sharing the itinerary of my surgery once I get it and I expect it to go something like this...
I get there and they adorn me with a beautiful, satin hospital gown, feathery slippers and a glass of Pinot Grigio to soothe me. I am transferred to a palacial, private room with soft jazz playing in the background and aromatherapy filling the air. There is a flat panel, hi-def, 40-inch TV with an unlimited number of new release flicks and a fridge filled with chocolate covered strawberries, wine, imported cheese and fresh fruit. The bed is laced with only the best Egyptian cotton sheets and a thoughtful nurse has placed a smokin' hot photo of Derek Jeter (nekked) on my bedside table with his personal thoughts and best wishes scribed on it.

Ok, it might not go exactly like that, but I'm certain it will be very, very close to it.

I'm back from la-la land. This past year I set a goal to run (5) 5Ks before the end of the year. I've exceeded that and I gotta say that it's not getting easier. I suck at it. Many of my friends are elite runners hammering out 10 mile runs on their 'easy' training days. Ugh, are you kidding me? Are you stupid? Not only is my running becoming more of a challenge, my pace is dropping, slowly. I've never been a competitive person, and truly could care less if I won or lost a card game, Monopoly, or a hot dog eating contest. My biggest competitor is myself. I'm my own worst critic and while some might say that's not exactly a healthy approach, I don't really know any other way to achieve my goals. I have always felt weird trying to 'beat' anyone, at anything. To be honest, this thing called running is a huge struggle for me. My form is pathetic, I need to nourish myself better in preparation for it and my 'everything' hurts, every time. But, it's so rewarding when I finish a race and just being able to cross the finish line is enough to motivate me to do another one.

In May, I participated in the kLaVoy 5K, in Saratoga Springs. This annual fundraiser supports Donate Life in memory of Kristen Lavoy, a local woman and kidney transplant recipient who lived freely for 15 years because of this gift.

My sign I wore, pinned to my rain-soaked jacket, during the race.

Prior to the start of the race I was introduced to Jen Salm, who is with the Donate Life Center for Donation & Transplant. She is involved with organ procurement and gave me valuable and interesting facts regarding organ donation. She is yet another special person that came into my life and impacted me on my decision to become a living donor. Thanks, Jen!

I'm running for my recipient now, and have been since I received medical clearance in July. Every time I run I have my recipient on my mind. I'm sweating and gasping for air and thinking how much pain I'm in. Then I think about the pain and discomfort she must endure every day. Her challenge is not an option, mine is. Just when I think I want to give up, or slow down, or puke (yep), I am reminded how lucky I am that I have the ability to push my body like this and I'm inspired to keep going.

Only ten days until my surgery to get in a few more hardy runs. I'm going to give it my all to be strong and complete my workout goals this week. I have my Warrior Dash race on Saturday, and I am so excited to be a part of this!  I just hope that my kidney doesn't fall out when I'm diving through mud pits and climbing over walls. I'll slap some duct tape around it prior to the start. Duct tape is the solution for everything.

I'm dedicated to being very healthy this week - in mind, body and soul. I've put down the tequila shooters, glazed donuts and chicken wings. The cha-cha heels that have smoked up the dance floor in Saratoga the past 5 weekends are in the storage closet. I've put my bungee jumping and sky diving events on hold. I'm finished with my freelance projects and will be getting some solid sleep this week. The only diversion from my clean-living week is the dysfunction junction I must attend daily, called work.

Until next time... I've begun my annual hibernation preparation at the homestead. Fleece and wool have replaced the summer apparel, and I'm in mourning. :-(