But this isn't about me. I'm very happy that things are still going well for my transplant.
This is about the waiting room.
I was sitting in the waiting room, (waiting, appropriately) when there was a young girl and her mother sitting in the room, reading over the massive amounts of literature that they give you when expecting a transplant. She must have been between 15-17. She was really young - and she seemed upbeat, but was getting a little worried about all the rules and regulations that come with having a transplant. Another patient and I who were waiting started to talk to her about it, and we were all laughing in a few minutes. She said "Well, it's better than dialysis, right?"
"Hoo yeah, " I whistled.
She asked me how long I'd been on it. I told her a total of five years.... turns out, she'd only been on it since December. She was getting a live donation next Thursday - from her aunt.
I was so happy for her - what an amazing gift. Though I was sad to - someone so young and exuberant had to endure all of this. I thought I dealt with it pretty young, but she was just a teenage girl. Of course, my mind wandered to all the youngsters who have had to deal with this. Jordan and I have a friend who has been on dialysis since he was a baby - and had several kidney transplants. I think of him everyday, and how he's struggled but he's made a life for himself through incredible adversity.
This disease is really hard - sure there are treatments, but there are no cures. A transplant isn't a simple guarantee or a permanent fix. It's a borrowed gift, and you have to maintain it. It's another form of treatment. All of use will be dealing with all our lives. Me, Our Friend and this girls. Hundreds of Thousands across The United States of America. Millions around the world.
I know people don't know much about organ failure, and kidney failure in general. I still get asked all the time by people "How's Your Liver?" or they accuse me of drinking myself into kidney failure.... it's quite annoying. But that's how people deal with disease.... even when someone gets cancer, many times they'll say something like "He smoked himself into it!" or "He ate carcinogenic food!".... it's just a way people deal with it. It's easier to put the blame on someone else, rather than realize that it could happen to themselves. Disease can, and does, strike anyone, anywhere, at anytime. It's a hard fact of life. But you can survive. You can go on.
I wish this girl so much luck and love from the bottom of my heart. I hope things go well, she goes to school, has fun, falls in love and does all those other things that make life the amazing and grand adventure that it is.
I hope that others will not live in fear of disease, but give of themselves when they can to those who do have to fight it.
I hope that scientists can work to find a "cure" for kidney disease, and other organ failures.
I hope - and that is what keeps me alive and going in the most trying of times.