which is bittersweet. I don’t think I would have completed it without 43T. It’s been about 2 and a half weeks since the surgery and I am already feeling about back to normal…just a little sore. I’m going back to work in a few days!
My transplanted kidney began working immediately in its new person, and my donation set off a chain of seven successful transplants. This is absolutely one of the best things I have ever done.
Here’s an article I wrote about the experience.
I have found out that anti-donation activists exist, spreading misinformation. For balanced info about donating, please go to reputable sources such as the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Thank you, everyone, for supporting me through this! Donation is a long process and your cheers and comments helped me keep on doing it!
I have not been active here lately, but I wanted to post about this.
I am donating to either a husband and wife in San Diego…I don’t know which one is getting the kidney and which one is then donating to someone else in turn. On the Kidney Registry, potential donors sign up to “pay it forward.” If someone isn’t a match for the person they want to donate to, they will donate to someone else if the person they want to donate to gets a kidney. My donation will set off a chain of 9 transplants, and maybe more!
This couple has been really struggling. One of them is quite sick, obviously, but they have kids, and one of them works days and one works nights to make ends meet. My coordinator said they are thrilled about the donation, and I am thrilled that it’s working out!
The coordinator was OK with pushing the surgery out till sometime in June if I am a match with this person. His/her hospital in New Jersey asked for a few extra tests…West Nile virus plus two things neither I nor the walk-in lab at the hospital in town had ever heard of.
Getting the labs done was a bit stressful just because I had trouble finding my way to the hospital (even though it’s right there in midtown!) and finding the right building once I got there. I have no sense of direction! But I got it done, and that’s what matters.
An internet friend of mine just had a nephrectomy (kidney removal) and has been telling me about it. It is a serious surgery, no doubt, but I feel like I can handle it fine.
When I first started to look into kidney donation, I told my mom and she got upset, so I stopped talking to her about it. Last week, I told her I was active on their list and the surgery would probably be this summer or fall.
She was infuriated, and said a lot of ugly things to me…that I was very self-centered (by not thinking about how she and other family members would feel) and always had been, and that I was doing this because there was something wrong with me mentally, among other things. I was angry with her right after the conversation. I am still annoyed, but I think she is actually just worried, even if she does express it by being very insulting.
I got a call from the coordinator tonight, and there is a potential recipient in New Jersey. I’ll ship some blood out to their hospital in the morning. If we do happen to be a match, she said the surgery might be as early as May 27th. I said fine, but after I hung up I remembered that I’m supposed to give my employer a few weeks’ notice, plus that would mean missing my nephew’s graduation. I will ask if the surgery can get scootched out a bit.
I may or may not need to send my blood somewhere tomorrow or Wednesday for a potential match.
This whole process is so weird. :)
In real life and online. One request was for the husband of my mother-in-law’s cousin, whom I have never met.
What I didn’t immediately understand about donation is that designated and non-designated donations are completely different paths.
if I switch from a non-designated donor to designated donor I am basically done with the National Kidney Registry and the hospital I’ve worked with so far in St. Louis, where I would prefer to have the procedure done (because they are close to me and because it’s one of the top places for this procedure in the country.) I have met the surgeons there, I have something of a relationship at this point with the transplant coordinator, and I’ve talked to a social worker there.
The NKR has spent thousands of dollars from charitable donations at this point to get me tested, so although I can back out at any time, I do feel an obligation to them.
The people at the top of their waiting list are some of the most desperate cases. My MIL’s cousin’s husband, for instance, will have to go on dialysis if he does not get a transplant. This is awful, absolutely. But some people have been on dialysis for years and will not survive much longer without a transplant.
I think I am making the right decision for me. But, it makes me sad that so many people are in such need…which is of course why I am pursuing this in the first place.
I am disappointed and sad. Hearing about a specific person who needs help, even though I didn’t know her name, made me feel more invested, you know?
Another possibility will come along before long, and the coordinator is sending me more tubes for blood so I’ll be ready when it does.
I got it drawn at the medical department at work, but realized the biohazard bag it was supposed to go in was too small for the shipper box of tubes. After a meeting at work, I found the staffed FedEx office downtown. They didn’t have the larger biohazard bags. I had to drive to another shipping center which was pretty hard to find, way out in an industrial section of town.
But hey! The blood is off and should get there late tomorrow morning. I should hear on Monday or maybe Tuesday if we are a match.
Just got a call from the coordinator. I need to remember to call her as soon as I get home from work tonight to let her know if I got a package from her containing the tubes for me to put blood in tomorrow…I may be getting my blood drawn in the morning and shipping it out to San Diego.
I hope I can help this person. Really really excited.
I am active in the donation system, and the hospital is sending me some tubes to fill up with blood (with a medical professional’s help, haha) and ship to Johns Hopkins I think? where they will do some blood typing. It sounds like there may be several people on the wait list now to whom I could donate.
The surgery may be as soon as May 13th…we’ll see! I’m going to go ahead and start the paperwork at work, because they need it turned in about 4 weeks before the surgery.
hoping there’s a message about a match.
Although at first I was going to wait to go active until after a couple of trips, I decided to go ahead because I’m eager.
Here’a a little bit about Diana, from Wikipedia:
In Roman mythology, Diana (lt. “heavenly” or “divine”) was the goddess of the hunt, the moon and birthing, being associated with wild animals and woodland, and having the power to talk to and control animals. She was equated with the Greek goddess Artemis, though she had an independent origin in Italy. Diana was worshipped in ancient Roman religion and is revered in Roman Neopaganism and Stregheria…Dianic Wicca, a largely feminist form of the practice, is named for her.
This artwork is by Josephine Wall.
I think this will be my fourth try at being vegan! I struggle with planning ahead enough to eat proper meals when I’m not eating any animal products. However, I don’t feel good about factory farm conditions and think veganism would line up better with my beliefs.
I’m going to try it for the month of April, and after that, we will see.
This is about 108” square. I started out following a pattern, but that kind of went by the wayside. I cut up a failed project and sewed it in here, and I think that worked out all right! I love it! I just have to keep it put away for a while until our younger dog gets out of her blanket-and-pillow-eating stage.
I talked to the coordinator. I am officially cleared for donation! After October I would have to do a couple of the tests again, though I hope to have donated by then…we shall see. She explained the paperwork to me and now it makes sense.
I have given them dates when I’m available. I can do the surgery as soon as July 8…I have a couple of trips coming up before then. I’d need to be back at work by mid-September. I have a second window of availability, late September through mid-November.
I feel really good about this, and I can just sort of forget about it for a while. I’ll give her a call around June 1 to confirm that I’ll still be ready in July.
Yay! I hope this happens this summer. We will see!
I just don’t seem to be able to do it every day. Maybe I will try again sometime! Though frankly, I’ve killed a lot of “every day” type goals, so I don’t know. I may not be a “do the same thing every day” kind of lady.
I haven’t been able to get hold of the transplant coordinator.
She or someone at the hospital sent me a bunch of paperwork for paired kidney donation, which is like a swap: like if I want to donate to a family member but I’m not compatible, I donate to someone else’s family member and they donate to mine.
I’m not looking into paired donation. I don’t need a kidney for anybody. So I haven’t filled any of it out.
I want to move forward and talk about dates and I wish she would call me back!
I could not get enough people to come to the disco party. It is always a challenge to throw a big party, and I think the theme may have frightened some people off :) I cancelled it because I think a small disco party is awkward, you know? I don’t really mind! It would have been fun, but it would have been a lot of work too, so six of one, half dozen the other, I think.