#15. Eavesdropping - October 2011

Yesterday, while I was sitting in the transplant clinic waiting to talk to the co-ordinator, I overheard two people talking about their experience with their transplanted kidneys. A young man explained he was on his second transplant and things were going well. “The first time…within two months I was out paintballing. It was that much of a miracle.” The second person, a woman around 65 said, “This is my first kidney, I was on dialysis for three years. I don’t want to go back to that…every day I pray that I won’t reject it.” They went on to talk about good news stories of people whose transplanted kidneys had lasted decades. As they chatted, they both talked about how they had tried for a kidney from a live donor, but their family members either had health problems, or they were not a match.

I went in to see the co-ordinator; she went over a few things with me and answered some questions. I asked how long this whole process would take. She said, “We do all these tests to make absolutely sure that we will not compromise your health by taking out a kidney. Once you’re approved, then it could be two or three months to find the suitable donor and set up the surgeries.” So that’s promising; I thought it might take much longer.

I actually met the transplant doctor, he came in with a coffee for the co-ordinator, and we were introduced. I’m going to be seeing him at the end of November. Later that morning we met again in the elevator; “Who do you want to donate a kidney to?” he asked. “I don’t know,” I answered, “I guess I’ll find out when they choose someone. But no…I guess I’ll never find out, that’s the point!”  As I was saying this, I saw his eyebrows go up, "That's really interesting," he said, "I look forward to meeting you in November!”