Hi, my name is Allie Parker, I am a female Pro Wrestler, and Lingerie MMA fighter based in Las Vegas, NV.
My brother was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes when he was 9. This changed our family forever, we spent Christmas’ and many holidays in the hospital with him. We’ve seen him very close to death, having seizures, among other horrible things to happen to a child. Over time diabetes caused him to lose his eyesight, making him legally blind, and giving him kidney failure.
My brother was on dialysis for about 5 years when they FINALLY allowed him onto the kidney transplant list. Within days of him getting onto the list, they suggested they test me as a possible donor. My brother and I are close in age and my kidney would last him for a lot longer than an older kidney.
Before the donation, I was an active Pro Wrestler, and working for a popular gym in Los Angeles, so I was very active on a daily basis. Through all the testing they found me to be a match, and with my healthy lifestyle to be able to donate!
During the process of donating my kidney, the doctors kept telling me there was a chance I wouldn’t be able to donate. I was under the impression, even in the hospital the day of the surgery, that I most likely wouldn’t end up donating. I’m not sure why they kept telling me that, but once I woke up I remember saying “Did they do it?” I feel the whole process was strange, I was sold this idea that I’d be back up and walking within a week and everything would go back to normal in my life. That was not the case.
I only share some of the negative parts because when I was looking into donating I couldn’t find any REAL information or stories, and I want people to know my real feelings on the situation.
Before the surgery, I was living in LA, and the surgery was taking in Las Vegas where my brother lived. I was working for a large corporate gym, and I knew getting time off would be difficult. I came three months in advance with all the doctor’s notes you could have to request the time off. It was approved.
After the surgery was a very difficult time for me, I did not recover as fast as the doctors said I would. Without trying to sound negative, I felt like they were more interested in getting their Living Donor numbers up, and once it was done they just moved on to the next project. (See details from my blog post weeks after my surgery, below.)
After the surgery things all went downhill for me. My job fired me the day before the surgery for taking too much time off (I asked for 1 week, and was approved 3 months prior.. LA FITNESS is an ugly company!) Things got worse, while I was away donating my kidney my boyfriend at the time was fooling around with some girls. So days after the surgery I had to break up with him. Already going through a donation is a lot for a person but to have all of these other things happen at the same time just made me extremely emotional.
I think of this as the hardest time in my life, but with much strength and determination I pulled through and am just as strong as I was before the kidney donation.
Since the donation, I don’t wrestle the same way I used to before. I’m a bit more careful, and conscious of my single kidney. I’ve worked more on my submission wrestle and working in more lucha so I can roll more, rather than slam my body on the mat. Still very active daily, able to do anything! The only thing I have noticed since the surgery, is I get more dehydrated than before, and I’ve noticed more infections popping up more frequently. Now I’m not positive this is directly a result from the surgery, I just notice this more since the surgery.
My brother has recovered very well from this donation. Since then he’s also had a pancreas transplant, and no longer has Diabetes. Although he still suffers from nerve damage and other things as a result of having Diabetes for so long, he’s recently graduated from massage school and gotten engaged!
Taken from my blog right after the donation:
“Monday, June 1, the morning of surgery was good, I was calm. Broke down crying at one point, but other than that I remember laying there and a bunchhhh of people gathered around Ryan and my beds. Next thing I know they are saying how do you feel? I said, “What do you mean, is the surgery done?!” It was.
The next few days were focusing on small goals of standing, walking, and breathing in deeply, oh and eating! I was released from the hospital on Wednesday, I was doing well with the walking, but everything else seemed to be such a struggle. Eating especially, I just had no appetite at all. Ryan was released that Friday, with all thumbs up! Ryan healed a lot quicker and better than I did, this is actually normal for the living donor to go through a tougher recovery. Ryan also cheated at our breathing exercises and made me look like a weenie to the Dr.s. This was a great sign that he was getting back to his old self.
Tuesday, June 9, I woke with blood all over me and the bed sheets. Scared to death. My large incision had some “leaking” so I had to cover it with gauze to catch the “little bit” of blood. So here’s the deal, my incision was sewn up from the inside out, so on the skin, there was just a glue holding the skin together. Well, my skin is very sensitive and ended up getting an infection on the inside breaking open parts of the glued skin, pushing out blood and other yuckies.
Wednesday, June 10, went to see my surgeon about this continuous bleeding. He has me just put another gauze on it and wants me to come in again tomorrow to see its progress.
Thursday, June 11, back in the Dr.’s office. No real progress, so he starts “milking” my wound to get all the blood and other bad stuff out of it, that was painful. Felt better though. Still feeling extremely fatigued and had no appetite. Dr had me do a few other tests to see what was causing some of my issues, and I had to return yet again on Friday. He said that if I didn’t get better I would have to be admitted back into the hospital.
Friday, June 12, I woke up in so much pain, I couldn’t pee due to pain, and my wound was still bleeding all over the sheets. I knew I was going back to the hospital, and I was so frustrated because all I wanted to was to move forward and start getting better. With that said we went to the Dr’s office early because of the pain. I will never forget what happened next. The Dr has me laying on the normal typical Dr. bed….not a hospital bed, mind you! My Dr. then takes scissors and CUTS OPEN MY WOUND! There was no numbing, no “hey I’m gonna…” NOPE. Tears couldn’t help but come out of my poor eyeballs because I had no idea what else he could have been doing down there but he just kept digging and scratching and ugh I don’t even know. Once he finished doing this open surgery on me, he packed my deep wound with gauze, and I was later admitted back into the hospital for two infections. I stayed in the hospital for only one night to get everything under control. My Dr. decided it was ideal to not re-close this wound but to keep it opened and packed until fully healed.
Since leaving the hospital I was instructed to pack and clean my own open wound on a daily basis, twice a day. The first time I took the gauze out blood gushed all over my legs, it was absolutely frightening. As time has passed I’m pretty much a pro at packing deep wounds now! I still today have gauze covering my large incision, but it’s very close to being completely healed! This open wound has really set me back a lot in my recovery, but it was completely necessary for me to heal properly.
The turning point for me was when the Dr. cleared me to start walking on the treadmill. The first two days were difficult, but that third day a lot of my pains disappeared. As of last week I was fully cleared to work out with weights, etc. Although I still have to be mindful of my open wound, and it bleeding out onto people and machines 😉
My brother has been doing great since the surgery! Although he still has diabetes, and some issues with his eyesight, he is sooooo much more lively than I’ve seen him in so long! This guy can eat way more of the things he wants to eat now, no more dialysis, and is working out! For so long Ryan was always in bed sleeping, to see him out and about, with a pep in his step makes this all worth it! Ryan’s been cooped up in the house since the surgery, as his surgeon directed to avoid any infection. He also cannot have any outside food, so he must have home cooked food for every meal until 8 weeks after the surgery.
EVERYTHING has changed for me since this surgery. I really have learned who my true real friends are, and how great my family really is. Since the surgery, and the loss of my job in CA, along with other personal events, I have moved back to Las Vegas and am exploring the great things MY city has to offer me :)”
Full Blog post available at www.allieparkerwrestling.com