Back in Ye Olden Days that were my early career, when I had health issues or problems I’d use panda pictures to illustrate how I was doing. I decided to return to that tradition because I’m getting sick of sounding whiny and complaining.
Today I am Pouty Panda. What reason–you may ask–do I have for pouting? Myself, because WHY DOES RECOVERY TAKE SO LONG. OH. MY. GOODNESS!
So! For those who didn’t know! Last month I had a very necessary surgery. The surgery was a success–with the side effect of my surgeon might need therapy in the future and me getting a hilarious story to share. Since the surgery was in my abdomen, one of the things they do after performing the surgery is check on both of the kidneys on the way out. They have to make sure the kidneys are undamaged from the surgery, because if they’d been nicked and it’s not caught, it’s deadly. But that doesn’t happen often–in fact, it had never happened to my surgeon. So it was business as usual as my surgeon found the first kidney, it looked great, no problems. And then she looked for my other kidney. And looked. And looked. And looked.
She couldn’t find it, so she had to have a fellow surgeon look. He couldn’t find it, so they called in the emergency urologist, and he couldn’t find it! In the end they spent more time looking for my kidney than they spent on the actual surgery. It was getting to the “this isn’t good, we gotta close her up” point, so they glued me shut and raced me off to imaging to see if they could find my errant kidney, and SURPRISE! Turns out I was born with one kidney, and I never knew because the ultrasounds I’d gotten for the surgery hadn’t checked out my kidneys, and I hadn’t been scanned as a baby.
This doesn’t change my life since I already have been living with one kidney–although at the first sign of any kind of kidney disease I’ll have to spring into action–and the only complication from this needless search and rescue mission was that my innards were more banged up than usual after a surgery, but the extra pain only lasted a few days.
The interesting thing, is that I learned one in every 1,000 to 2,000 people are born with one kidney. Between my newsletter, blog, and social medias, there are several thousand of us, so…be aware there’s at least a few others of us here who only have one kidney?!
Hilarious story aside, I’m doing well. In a twist that I’m sure is going to shock you all, it turns out I way underestimated how HARD and LONG my recovery would be. I’m now in week four and I’m finally able to go on some longer walks, though I still have a lot of physical restrictions that I’m salty about. I feel like my brain is finally starting to clear of some of the mental fog that’s been plaguing me for most of the year, but the clearance doesn’t last as long as I’d like, so I’m still writing much slower than usual, hence the grumpy panda at top.
But despite the not-fun parts of recovery, I have so much to be thankful for. Of course that the surgery was a success, but also for my friends and family, who have been so amazing through all of this. Rock Star Assistant Meg has helped me so much with getting Perfect Dog to her vet appointments (she’s fine, she just had a little arthritis flare up) and with making sure I’m fed, while Myrrhlynn has been a superstar for so many things, including driving me because–and NO ONE TOLD ME THIS!!!!–turns out you can’t drive until at least two weeks after abdomen surgery.
My whole family has been absolutely amazing during this–they had so much patience and love during the past few weeks when I’ve frankly been sick of myself and my limitations–and I can’t thank the KM Shea team enough for keeping things going while I’ve been in and out of this. Most of all, I want to thank our community! Your kind comments and emails the past few months were the encouragement and calming influence I’ve so badly needed, not to mention your patience with all of…this.
Thanks for reading, Champions, and thank you so much for your support. Our community is the best!