Dr. Zendejas

Get it …? I’m actually out and standing. For the first time in almost 9 years, I’m standing. I’m standing! Can you imagine the joy of standing after having leg pain so great you can’t for the majority of your growing-up years? After being teased and made fun of and after having missed out on so much of life? I’m STANDING!

So here’s a bit of an update:

I’m about 2 ½ weeks post-op and feeling great. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to say that before. Feeling great. “Great” hasn’t been in my vocabulary because it ceased to ever apply to me. Now I’m legitimately feeling great 2 weeks post-op? It’s so incredible to say. 

For those of you who have been following along, you know that my leg pain has been a debilitating issue for me the last almost 9 years. I can’t stand or walk for long, I’ve had to wear compression stockings for years, and I have to shower sitting down. There were even points where I couldn’t have my legs hanging down normally while sitting because the pain was so bad at times that if you even brushed against my legs you would cause me extreme pain. There were also times where I never wore clothes other than basketball shorts and tank tops because even clothes touching my arms and legs were excruciating. 

After 9 years of trying SO many other things, this blessed auto-kidney transplant surgery is seeming to have actually helped. I’m not 100% sure to what extent it has taken the pain away since I still have incision and internal pain, but what I can tell you is I’m hopeful. Another word that hasn’t been in my vocabulary much for a very long time. I am even almost more than optimistically hopeful.

I have taken 2 showers since being home from the hospital (don’t judge, surgery is hard and I’m just being honest) and normally the act of taking a shower wipes me out and renders me useless for hours. Bad. Post-shower naps were always a thing. I’d have to plan when I would shower because I also needed to plan for a bad pain day and needing a 2 hour nap afterwards. I’ve used a shower chair since middle school, and even sitting down the whole time would cause me extreme pain and wipe me out. The 2 showers this week? No pain. NO leg pain. NO fatigue. NO feeling wiped out. Can you believe it?! When I stood up to rinse off and rinse out my hair, it didn’t hurt. I actually enjoyed being in the shower. I enjoyed standing. I’ve always wondered why people love showers so much when I’ve dreaded them, and now I’m just starting to realize why. When there is no pain, it’s actually relaxing. Getting out of the shower I was still in a lot of pain internally and from my incision, which is to be expected as I’m only 2 weeks into recovery, but there was no leg pain. I could have cried. I was so happy. 

Another leg miracle, I went out for a bit and I was able to walk around and stand WITHOUT compression stockings for 40 minutes. 40 minutes in a row. No compression stockings! I’m starting to think a burn party for my compression stockings is going to be a possibility in the near future. I can’t wait to not have people (especially kids) ask “why are you wearing ballet tights under your pants?” or “Are you a dancer? Why are you wearing tights?” all the time. Obviously they mean no harm and I think it’s hilarious, but for once to not have to wear stockings and explain they are a medical necessity? Stop … you’re making me drool of excitement!

Two miracles this week. Two times I’ve been able to do something I haven’t done since middle and high school without unbelievable amounts of pain. 

I’m still thinking this is too good to be true. I can’t 100% say with certainty that it has fully taken away my leg pain because I haven’t been able to test it much. I don’t want to be too hopeful for fear of disappointment. I have experienced absolute crushing disappointment after other surgeries. But what I CAN say is that a tiny spark of hope grows each and every day. 

I know I’ll have a lot of muscle rehab I need to do for my little unused chicken legs (can you say major muscle atrophy?). It will be so worth it. Maybe I’ll go for a walk on Sunday? That’s pretty wild. Look out world, Becca is out and STANDING again!  

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Jen

Jen