As someone who likes to stay in shape by going for jogs around the neighborhood, one of my biggest concerns about becoming a living liver donor was the fear of the unknown.
What if I can never run again? What if my body will feel weird or I won’t be able to move a certain way?
Well, I’m here to tell you that a full recovery is entirely feasible. Sure, for several weeks there was extreme discomfort. Then for a few months after that some limited motion. But, when you are someone who tries to stay in shape, it’s difficult to sit idle.
Getting up and moving is the key to everything. As soon as your body feels up for it, go for a walk. Even if it hurts, it will help in the long run. And, speaking of the long run, it was a mere 16 months ago that our surgery took place and this past weekend I ran the Newport Marathon. Though I’ve run many times since our surgery, I hadn’t properly trained for this distance. But there was a determination to complete the race despite the cramps, hills and more cramps.
I wanted potential donors out there with the same fears as I had to see that this is possible. A complete and full recovery seems to be in the past. Four years ago I ran the nice flat Hartford Marathon with my brother after an entire summer of training runs. It was my first marathon and figured would be my last. After becoming a living liver donor, and almost exactly four years after that first one, this race was over 20 minutes quicker.
For the record, I’m not a marathoner and barely consider myself a runner. I’m just a guy that runs. And I am very grateful that this is all still possible.
If you are a runner, you are likely in good physical shape. If you are in good physical shape, then you may be a good candidate to be a living liver donor. Give it some thought!