Chapter 6- Complications

Bea Concepcion takes a swing at Chapter 6.


In this chapter Vanessa describes the events immediately after their surgeries.  Initially things go well which is to be expected. There is pale yellow urine in the foley bag.  Robert already notices that he feels less fatigued. He is told to drink rather than to limit his fluid intake.  The pain doesn’t matter. He can now start making plans for the future and there is hope.  Suddenly, on post-op day 2, something is noticeably wrong.  Robert’s urine output decreases, an ultrasound shows a swollen kidney, and in comes the transplant nephrologist trying to explain what is going on.  This is something that is NOT to be expected.  Why is this happening? Vanessa then describes the kidney transplant surgery in detail and she tells us about the challenges encountered in the operating room during Robert’s surgery.  The scar tissue he had from prior hernia surgeries led the surgeon to improvise by sewing in Vanessa’s ureter into Robert’s ureter (instead of his bladder).  This ultimately resulted in the blockage of urine flow causing the kidney to stop working.  As with any complication, the team of doctors try to fix the problem. Unfortunately, they fail at the first attempt. Now Robert has another tube attached to him. His swelling does not improve and in fact worsens.  At this point, four days after his transplant, Robert is in tears and breaks down. “I’m scared I wasted your kidney”… “It’s not your fault”…

This is an emotional chapter which describes the highs and lows that Vanessa and Robert go through immediately after the transplant. What a nightmare. As a reader, you share in the joy that Vanessa and Robert feel in the recovery room and you are excited for both of them.  But the story very quickly turns for the worse and now you are scared for them. You ask, “What happened?” … And you think, “This is unbelievable”…  At the end of the chapter, it is Vanessa’s faith that pushes you to believe that despite the complications that have occurred, everything will be all right.