I don’t want to say that the appointment was monumental, although to me it sort of has that feel. But, no, I will save that word for a greater anniversary date…maybe I will pull it out for the one year anniversary, that may be a little more appropriate. Today, I will stick with the word significant, that seems to fit nicely.
Reaching this point is significant for me for so many reasons. For one, Mom has gotten to see me live through the surgery and recover well from it. She once said to me, when there was a question whether or not Tommy would be able to donate or not, she said, “I know there is a kidney out there for you if Tommy can’t do it, but where will it come from, and more importantly WHEN will you get it?”
I was at such a huge loss for words…All that slipped my lips was, “I don’t know.” That was the first time I had seen any hint of resignation from her, it crushed me. I just had to get up and leave the room.
So, Mom, I dedicate tomorrow, my three month anniversary, to you. You have been a rock in our family for so long, stood by all of us on good days, bad days and really shitty days. Thank you for not giving up or giving in. I feel comfortable speaking for Tommy and Christine when I say thank you for everything.
|Mom and Dad on their wedding day, June 1963|
So, back to the appointment…Dr. P. comes into the exam room with a huge smile, and says “congratulations on your three month anniversary”. I thanked her and then she threw out that question that I spoke here about earlier this Summer – “So, how are you feeling?”
I could feel a huge smile come across my face as I said, “I feel good”, resisting the urge get up and yell out those same words like James Brown use to. Instead, I just said, “No, that’s not right, I don’t feel good, I feel GREAT!” Dr. P., now beaming, said, “That is so wonderful, I am so happy”.
And before she could say another word, I jumped in and said, “It is so amazing how well I feel today, as compared to three months before the surgery, or even six months before.” I explained to her that, especially in the last two years leading up to the transplant, that felt like crap (I wanted to say like shit, but I was trying to keep it somewhat professional), only I didn’t know I was feeling like crap because everything felt normal at the time. I don’t know who was happier, Dr. P. or me.
I remember hearing from Cora (in Canada), who follows this blog, well before the surgery, and she told me that I really wouldn’t believe the difference that I would feel after the surgery…and she was soooo right. I just never knew how sick I was before because kidney disease is such a slow, plodding disease that you don’t notice that you are really that sick.
Mom, again, thank you. There are a great many people that I have to thank, and one day I hope to personally do so with each and every one of them – for their love and support for me, and Tommy, and for the same to you and Christine. Some say it would be impossible to thank that many, but that is a challenge that I gladly accept.
If you, or someone you know is interested in organ donation, please contact: www.neod.org; www.donatelifenewengland.org, www.organdonor.gov; www.unos.org; www.donatelife.net; www.organtransplants.org; or www.thewaitinglist.org, or, by all means, speak to your own physician, or feel free to send me an email.