4 Month Post Op Report

9 Nov

It’s been 4 months since my LDLT (Living Donor Liver Transplant) surgery. I am still feeling tenderness around my scar as well as constant itching. The feeling is not so painful, but more uncomfortable. My local doctor here in Los Angeles told me that I have “graduated” and do not have to see him anymore. My liver function is 100%! I have found a new respect for the human body. It is so intricate and efficient, it just blows my mind. Upon researching Adult LDLT procedures, I found that the approach is different here in the U.S. versus Japan. In Japan, they tend to be a lot more cautious as far as pre and post op treatment goes, but in the U.S. they are just cautious about doing the surgery in general. I believe there were a few highly publicized deaths that lead to the decrease of LDLT in the U.S. Rate of mortality due to LDLT is lowest in Japan. Also it seems that in the U.S. they usually take the right lobe, but in Japan, they decide which lobe is best suited for the donor and recipient. They took my left lobe which ended up being about 30%. In Japan they generally like to hospitalize you 1 week before the surgery and 4 weeks after surgery. In the U.S., you come in the day of surgery, and leave about 5-7 days later. I’m sure this difference is correlated to universal versus privatized health care. I will say that the Japanese nurses and staff are so kind and attentive. The staff in the U.S. at Cedar Sinai seemed as though we were bothering them when asking for assistance. The food in the U.S. is also terrible. Its all cheap, packaged food. Nothing seemed fresh and healthy. Which I don’t understand because if you are sick, you should be eating healing foods. I’m just glad I was well taken care of at Kumamoto University Hospital. They were so helpful and kind. My father has decided to send a generous donation to the university hospital for saving my mother’s life.

I spoke with my mother this week for the 2nd time since the surgery. I could not believe who I was talking to. She was the most present and alert, I had ever heard her in my entire life! She says she has been taking walks every day. She goes to the market and leads a pretty normal life. She has a slight diet restriction. Most of her food must be cooked, but a few weeks ago, the doctors allowed her to eat salad. She is not allowed to ever eat grapefruit because it messes up the medication somehow. My mother sounded so amazing. I am so proud of her and her will to live. She has one more final procedure next week. After that she might come back to the U.S. I might go there to pick her up in December.

My mother and I share a bond forever now both physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Although it took us 35 years to get here, I think this might be the beginning of a very special relationship. I think I am done being angry and resentful and looking forward to spending what time we have left experiencing this beautiful life.

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2 Responses to “4 Month Post Op Report”

  1. June November 9, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    I am so happy for you, Ai. It seems as though this has been a life changing experience for both you and your mother.
    I will be in SB for the month of February. I hope I will get to meet you then.
    Sending love, light and peace……

    • aiball November 9, 2012 at 10:57 am #

      I would love to meet you! This experience had its blessings as most hardships in life do. Thank you for your support, love, & light.

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