Tag Archives: Healthy living

Attitude – Living Kidney Donor Journey

Friday evening I attended one of my favorite yoga classes of the week. In this class I can usually find myself letting go of my day, my week and my thoughts. When I am in this space I tend to move into a feeling of gratitude which is almost magical where every fiber of my being feels joy.  I let go of my fears and my worries and I am focused on the present, the here, the now.  

Wendy, Audrey & Allegra

Wendy, Audrey & Allegra

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Max Planck, Nobel Prize-winning physicist  this is so true for me this past week. Last Saturday I had gone for a bike ride and then became sick and passed out later that same evening and I became overwhelmed with new fears. Then on Monday morning I read a question a member posted on a forum who continues to feel exhausted a year after her kidney donor surgery and wondered if anyone else had the same experience. Within 53 minutes 12 people had responded with the same experience including myself.

The evidence of the post along with the 12 responses backed up my own personal fears. (I was attaching myself to someone else’s experience that I know nothing about) I began to think that I would never feel completely healthy.  My energy was low for the next few days, I felt exhausted and it was difficult to get things done. We all have our own unique experiences;  however I personally feel that our attitude can fuel how we perceive a moment, a memory and life in general.

I often think of bike riding as a metaphor for life, when I am tackling a large hill and I am confident that I can make it up the hill–  the ride is much easier. However, when I am not in a confident state I find myself negotiating….” If I cannot make it up the hill, I can get off my bike and walk the rest of the way or if I do make it up I won’t have the energy to go the distance  and I will need to shorten my ride or even worse I am not good enough, I am not strong or healthy enough”.  By the end of the week I had completed two long bike rides and four yoga classes and I feel great!   I listened to my body, took care of myself and didn’t over push. All of this has left me feeling more confident in moving towards perfect health. 

This week was a great reminder that attitude is a choice and I get to make that choice in every experience.

Cheers to a beautiful productive day!

Wendy

Fearless…. Kidney donor

Tonight I felt frightened for the first time as long as I can remember. The day started really nice with a trip to the public market to pick up lots of fresh vegetables and to share a cup of coffee and conversation with my friend John. 

It was a beautiful day– after a long winter it’s pretty exciting when Spring truly arrives and most everyone in Rochester is outside and enjoying the weather. I had planned a long bike ride with my friend Kyle immediately following my trip to the market, so I had loaded up my road bike, my head gear and water bottle and headed to the lake to see my friend. I was excited about going on this ride, it had been almost a year since I had been on the bike. I wondered what kind of experience it would be for me today. In the past I had always shared these bike rides with a man I was in a relationship with and we had enjoyed the ride together talking about life, enjoying the views and we would challenge ourselves physically with speed and distance. Things changed and towards the end of our relationship these rides had become bitter between us and a place to argue and discuss our issues. 

So today was a new day and it felt exhilarating to be on the bike. Kyle and I rode hard along the river, over bridges, up and down hills and the sights were beautiful. We saw a swan sitting on her nest protecting her eggs, a boy scout troop, and many other riders on the path. We rode 20 miles and challenged ourselves with this first ride of the year. When we were done Kyle made a nice salad and we enjoyed some intesting conversation in her home on the lake.photo[1]

Afterwards, I stopped at Wegmans a local grocery store thinking I would stay in for the evening and enjoy a movie and just relax. I was tired and felt fulfilled after a busy productive day. That changed when my friends called and invited me to a fundraiser for the RPD, typically I would say no– but the new me is looking to be more adventures and say yes.  I was dressed and ready to go in 15 minutes.

When I arrived I was happy to see many friends that I had not seen in a long time; however within an hour I was dizzy and ready to collapse. I knew I was in trouble and wasn’t sure if I could move in fear of passing out, let alone drive home. I confided in my friend Shelly who escorted me to the ladies bathroom, she found a paramedic to see if I was OK – my pulse was low, my face was flushed and my skin clammy. I found steadier legs after sitting down in a quiet space for a while and drinking some cool water. I am not sure why this happened, was it the affect of the rigorous bike ride and perhaps I didn’t stay hydrated enough? Or could it be my creatinine levels from my kidney, what I do know is that I have found myself easily tired since the kidney donor surgery.

I felt frightened and alone, I realize it was nothing serious however moments like this can bring out unexpected fears.  For example; I have no family nearby,  who would be called if something serious happened? Would I no longer be able to push myself as hard as I used to?  Can I complete some of the goals I had set out to do this year, such as the 100 mile bike ride and the Tour De Cure ride? 

I know this too will pass. I find myself thinking about what others have to deal with and I feel embarrassed for giving this any power over me.  In the meantime I will continue to ride and build myself back up and definately look to stay hydrated during my workouts!

W.