Sunday, October 31, 2010

scar(y) - boo!

WARNING: Post contains graphic photos, but it's Halloween so suck it up!

I’ll be honest here, I have contemplated sharing this post for some time and it’s all because of my fear of posting these photos. But, this blog is for future donor-wanna-beez, and I’ve decided it’s very important to reveal the incision pics. After all, this is the most important part of the procedure really. This is where it all happened, and it's a mark I will wear proudly, forever.

When I was conducting research about living kidney donors, I can only recall locating one image of a donor’s scar from the surgery. Hey, I’m curious, just like anyone else would be, right? Now, I’m not a narcissist and I’m not terribly vain, but if there’s one part of my body I feel pleased to be genetically blessed with, it’s my waist and belly button. I have a relatively flat stomach, no muffin-top yet, but I’ll never be Jillian Michaels either. I’m healthy, I can complete 100 sit-ups with little effort and thanks to my genes, I just naturally have a small waist. God gave me child-bearing, disproportionately large hips instead. 

Yes, I’ll admit it, I did have concerns as to what my scar would look like 6 months after surgery. I also came to terms that I might not like the results of how it healed, or the shape, or the color. Considering the gift I was going to give, I told myself that this was all irrelevant in the long run. And it is.

So, here ya go... BOO!


This photo taken September 20, 2010 - 2 days before surgery.

12 days post-surgery...

This photo taken October 4, 2010 - 12 days after surgery.
Steri-strips still intact, belly still swollen.

5+ weeks after surgery...

This photo taken October 31, 2010 - 39 days after surgery. Scar getting lighter daily.

So, there ya go... kinda creepy, eh? Kidding. It's not creepy, it's science and as far as I'm concerned it's a medical miracle. I can't believe that they pulled an organ the size of a computer mouse out of that tiny little space. I gotta say, doc did a fantastic job and it's still not healed completely. I know and have learned, it will fade more and not be as tough as it is now. I'm tending to it daily with Vitamin E oil and have been very fortunate that I had no infections during the healing process.

I have had many donor-wanna-beez ask me about the incision.. How big is it? ... Does it hurt? ... How many do you have? Well, every donor is going to heal differently, primarily because we all have different surgeons and they all perform using different techniques. Because my surgery was performed laparoscopically, I was fortunate to have only one incision, some donors will need to have additional incisions based on their situation. Yes, it still hurts, but I'm not in pain. It's more like a hard pinch, and still sensitive around that area. It's getting better every day and I even started doing abs again at the gym. It's hard work, it's uncomfortable to say the least and feels weird (and I know I look weird doing them), but I'm getting there.

My purpose in this post is to convey yet again the simplicity of this experience. Look and see for yourself, I truly don't think that this scar is really that bad. I would do it again tomorrow if I knew I had to live with another one next to it. Hey, it's far less offensive and much more attractive than some of the tattoos I've seen, and this scar saved a life!

Until next time... To all the donor-wanna-beez, keep the emails coming - I have lots to share with you all so don't be shy: