Pride and Prejudice is certainly a better title! I’ve been struggling with this blog topic; it seems I can “write” it in my head while on a dog walk, but putting fingers to keypad has been a bit more difficult. Something I have heard over and over through the process of deciding and then donating the kidney is “I’m so proud of you”. I don’t know how to respond to that. My general inclination to most things is an argument, but that doesn’t seem appropriate. Thank you seems inadequate. And responding – thanks, I’m proud of me too – seems a bit egotistical. But when it comes down to it, the latter is probably the best answer. A recent blog of Lisa’s was about Identity and it really made me think. I, also, was always the smart one, the one who would go to college and succeed in whatever I tried. But internally, I’ve always struggled with self-esteem. I wouldn’t say that I’m afraid of my own shadow, but certainly have always had boundaries and walls that I created and prevented me from truly testing myself. I’ve succeeded nonetheless, but really not from trying exceptionally hard. So then this kidney opportunity came along – and the easy route would have been to just wait for someone else to match with Lisa or for a cadaver to become available. But for once, I really felt a drive to step out of my comfort zone and try. It was certainly an act in line with my own beliefs and values, but would really require me to confront some demons. If you are in the health care quality business, you don’t willingly sign up for hospitalization and certainly not surgery. So, professionally I wondered what the heck I was doing. I never thought about scarring my body – not sure if that was ignorance or bliss. I still see my stomach in the mirror and wonder what happened. The biggest demons for one with a self-esteem issue are being ridiculed or failure. Well, with failure and kidney donation there always that chance and it’s really not something that can be prevented with certainty. So – that was a stupid reason not to do it. Ridicule – I don’t plan to run around in a bikini – so there. It’s going to be a pretty rare occasion that anyone will see my scars – so that’s not open to amusement. I really could have gone through this and told NOBODY. Well, maybe Lisa would know. …. Anyway – once I decided to do it, none of my walls worked. So, as I sit here today – 2+ months post surgery – darn it – I’m proud of myself. And I think doing this will really help me break down more of my walls and truly challenge myself.
I wrote a paragraph on heroism and don’t like it – so will have to leave that to another time. For now, I’ll just accept and embrace that donating the kidney seems to be an inspiration to others and I hope I can turn that into something that benefits many, many more people.
Brutus – the real BUCKEYE – has a big night tomorrow in the Sugar Bowl. Lisa – either you or Sophie need to be wearing that ballcap!