In my role at WellPoint I used to run the Transplant Centers of Excellence program and learned quite a bit about transplant. It was interesting as an academic exercise but I never felt touched by it. I never thought I would need to get so deeply involved in this world of transplantation. Two moments in time from this ordeal stick in my mind – one is when I was still in Rose Hospital ICU, a few days after I had been extubated. My smartest friend, Dr. Lynn Barbour was reviewing the literature with me and for the first time I realized that there was a possibility my kidneys would not recover. I didn’t for a moment believe it to be true however. Remember that first stage of grief – denial.
The second is when I was in the acute dialysis unit at the University Hospital and we were talking about biopsy. I wanted to wait to biopsy my kidney because frankly I didn’t want to know the results. I didn’t want to know FOR SURE that my kidneys weren’t coming back. The nephrologist, Dr. Isaac Teitlebaum, told me I HAD to get a biopsy as soon as possible so that I could get evaluated for a kidney transplant. A transplant!!! That absolutely shocked me to the core and I started to cry. This was just a pregnancy related thing – it wasn’t going to affect me for the rest of my life!
Time passes and humans can get used to anything and I got used to this idea. Here I am poised to get a transplant. Despite my circumstances, which one could argue is the antithesis of lucky; I cannot express how lucky I feel. First, I am lucky that I have two beautiful healthy children and if this had to happen, it happened to me, not to them. Second I am lucky that I have still pee’d through this process (see previous post) and so been able to function pretty dang well. Third, I have had a plethora of individuals, many of them strangers to me, who were willing to donate. There are so many people who don’t have the options I have had and I feel so fortunate. Fourth, this experience has brought home to me the amazing support and love with which I am surrounded in my every day life. It is sad in a way that something bad has to happen for us to appreciate the wonderful people in our lives. So tomorrow, please send Sarah and me your good wishes, but also look around at the people who love you and thank them for being in your life; tell them how much you appreciate them. It’s the lucky thing to do.
Tomorrow we have asked our friends Karen and Mary to post updates on how things go with the surgeries so stay tuned!