My (Temporary) Pee Bag Life

Last Monday I had a procedure done to install a tube in my back so my left kidney drains directly into an external bag. Because said bag has to stay below my kidney, I have become accustom to velcro-ing it to my left calf. It’s convenient, but probably not an “on trend” look.

The procedure itself was pretty smooth. I was in and out of the short term stay hospital in less than 5 hours. The pain was intense for awhile – like I’d been stabbed in the back – but bearable as long as I didn’t move my back. Initially sleeping was rough, but over the course of the last week the pain has dissipated and I’m sleeping much more regularly. I wouldn’t say that I’m quite back to feeling like my normal self – I still tire out really easily, but I’m certainly closer than I’ve been for awhile.

For the most part I’ve been pretty confined to my house since the procedure and will probably stay that way until my left kidney is removed next week. When I do get out to watch one of the kids play ball, I don’t really mind the double-takes or staring that occasionally occurs. I know it’s just curious folks trying to make sense of a bag strapped to my leg. But it’s physically hard for me to be on my feet for long periods of time. I’d compare the exhaustion of a typical grocery shopping outing to be similar to trying to keep up with Tony during one of our 6-hour adventure races. By the time I’m done, I’m ready to just sit down and watch TV for awhile.

Up next: Surgery to remove the left kidney is scheduled for Tuesday. I’m nervous, but also eager to get this all over with and behind me.

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