Tag Archives: Donating a kidney

Giving

Donating a kidney has been a catalyst to finding joy in my life. Part of this journey was staying at the family home just two days after donation.

At the family house I connected with a dozen or more families who had a loved one in need or were receiving an organ. My own situation seemed trivial at the time. The worries that kept me up at night suddenly felt wasteful. I found myself feeling present and seeing the world entirely different. 

I love this excerpt from David Whyte’s poem “Giving”.To give is to make our own identities more real in the world by committing to something specific in the other person and something tangible that could represent that quality. To give is also to carry out the difficult task of putting something of our own essence in what we have given”.

Giving takes practice and commitment in seeing the other person. Isn’t that what we all want? To be seen? Some of the stories I hear from friends this holiday season are about simple moments of giving. Someone that cares and takes the time to listen with humility, or small acts of kindness from strangers.

Home for the Holidays

Home for the Holidays

On this Christmas Day I find myself grateful for having my grown children under the same roof, the health of my family and friends and the love that we share. The blanket of snow that covers the ground and the sun that pours in through the window makes a beautiful day.

My wish for everyone today is to take a moment and appreciate the gifts in your life.

Wendy

 

 

Attitude – Living Kidney Donor Journey

Friday evening I attended one of my favorite yoga classes of the week. In this class I can usually find myself letting go of my day, my week and my thoughts. When I am in this space I tend to move into a feeling of gratitude which is almost magical where every fiber of my being feels joy.  I let go of my fears and my worries and I am focused on the present, the here, the now.  

Wendy, Audrey & Allegra

Wendy, Audrey & Allegra

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Max Planck, Nobel Prize-winning physicist  this is so true for me this past week. Last Saturday I had gone for a bike ride and then became sick and passed out later that same evening and I became overwhelmed with new fears. Then on Monday morning I read a question a member posted on a forum who continues to feel exhausted a year after her kidney donor surgery and wondered if anyone else had the same experience. Within 53 minutes 12 people had responded with the same experience including myself.

The evidence of the post along with the 12 responses backed up my own personal fears. (I was attaching myself to someone else’s experience that I know nothing about) I began to think that I would never feel completely healthy.  My energy was low for the next few days, I felt exhausted and it was difficult to get things done. We all have our own unique experiences;  however I personally feel that our attitude can fuel how we perceive a moment, a memory and life in general.

I often think of bike riding as a metaphor for life, when I am tackling a large hill and I am confident that I can make it up the hill–  the ride is much easier. However, when I am not in a confident state I find myself negotiating….” If I cannot make it up the hill, I can get off my bike and walk the rest of the way or if I do make it up I won’t have the energy to go the distance  and I will need to shorten my ride or even worse I am not good enough, I am not strong or healthy enough”.  By the end of the week I had completed two long bike rides and four yoga classes and I feel great!   I listened to my body, took care of myself and didn’t over push. All of this has left me feeling more confident in moving towards perfect health. 

This week was a great reminder that attitude is a choice and I get to make that choice in every experience.

Cheers to a beautiful productive day!

Wendy

Great experience – Living kidney donor

If I could do this all over again, would I?Absolutely! The only thing I would do different  is worry less, not sure if that isMy brother Tim and I feasible. It’s been 13 days since my surgery and I can see my old-self. Yesterday, I walked about 1/2 mile or so once in the morning and once again at night. I walk like a turtle, but I am building stamina. It feels good.  I am beginning to focus on work and things I need to do.

I had my post-op exam today at Starzl transplant institute and  met with Angela the transplant coordinator, Sue and Dr. Tevar my surgion. I had an excellent experience with everyone that I was in contact with– at Starzl transplant institute, such a caring and professional staff – I love that they always took the time with me. Never in a hurry!

Tim’s surgery is tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 pm, I am nervous and excited for him. His kidney is going to be driven in from Philidelphia and brought directly to Tim while he is in surgery. It’s amazing how they do this.  I wonder how the donor is doing, if he felt as I did just two weeks ago… I would love to tell him it’s ok, it will hurt the first day and everyday is expediatialy better and that after just two weeks it will be a memory.  I would thank him for doing such a wonderful thing and grateful that his kidney was the exact match for my brother. I am praying all goes well for everyone!

Now that I have been enlighented, my wish is for everyone to consider being a donor. Whether it’s a icon on your license that says if something happens– you are willing to donate your organs.  I have seen first hand the families that wait for an organ that can save a child, a spouse, a loved one. It really can make a difference.

Donating a kidney or any organ is obviously a personal choice.  I would recommend it and I am grateful I was able to do this for my brother.  It takes time and when is it really the right time, as my earlier posts have indicated. However, these things are only a moment in our life, this too will pass. The lessons along with the gratitude I feel helps me move way past all of my personnal issues.

I can physically see the difference in my brother and his family, so much hope. Again I feel grateful.