Monday, March 31, 2008

By the way

I'm still thinking very seriously about donating a kidney. There's a website that matches people who need kidneys with people who have them. =-) I have two very important things: a) healthy kidneys and b) time off in the summer to allow me to recover. Is it kind of scary? Hell yeah. Do I wonder what would happen if I give away a kidney to someone now, only to have MY remaining kidney go bad down the road? Of course. But damn, right now I'm walking around with something, technically unused, that could SAVE A LIFE. As some of you know, I can be a bit impulsive =-) so I've been sitting on this for almost exactly a year, to really think about it, and I truly think it's something I want to do. Plus, the recipient's insurance pays all cost, this organization pays air fare (although usually they would come to me). I select someone based first on blood type and then we go through further tests to see if we're compatible. If it turns out we're not, then I go back to square one and find another possible candidate--sadly, there are a lot out there.

I don't know. Like I said, I'm still a little scared but the part of me that wants to help is weighing in more strongly. And I just have to have faith that I won't need one myself someday. Let's face it, most people don't. And if I do, one of you bitches can just give up one of yours. =-)

What do we think?

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh God.

Renee said...

Um. you want honest opinions, right? I don't think it's the best idea you've ever had. Seriously, you're not the picture of health yourself. I know, most of your health problems stem from asthma, but still. Plus, it's just scary.

*I* wouldn't do it unless it was for someone I actually know. Very well. After I die, my kidneys are up for grabs, but not while I'm still amongst the living.

And, LOL. As much alcohol as you teachers consume, you may very well need your other one some day. LOLOLOL. Burn!

Jen said...

I hear you Renee, but out of all the times I've been sick, how many times was I like, "Man, it's those darned kidneys acting up again" ? Hell, those are the healthiest part OF me! =-) i'Ve never had a kidney-related sickness before (knock on wood)

Jen said...

Anyway it's mostly my LIVER affected by my teacher-imbibing. Sheesh.

Jen said...

And one last thing. One of the teachers at work was like "You can't save the world, you know" and I was like "No, but I can save ONE guy."

Anna said...

That's an amazingly giving and wonderful thing for you to think of doing. I'm glad to hear that you've put a lot of thought into the idea over a rather significant amount of time. I heard about people doing that on the radio show This American Life.

You're so giving! First you give someone a baby girl, now you give a kidney. Man, I'm a miser.

I think I kind of feel like Renee does- I'd prefer to wait until I'm dead.

Keep thinking about it. You can always do it but you can never take it back. Of course, I'll support you whatever you decide whenever.

Renee said...

Yeah, quit giving away all your shit! LOL.

I, of course, will also support you whatever you decide. I guess I'm not nearly as giving as you. I'm selfish and I want to keep my stuff! My fear would be that I'd need it someday, and as Anna said, you can't undo something like that.

Nik said...

It's great that you're thinking about doing this. However, I think you should take some more time and do a LOT of research. My cousin donated one of his kidneys and there were certain things about his life that he had to change as a result. It affects his everyday life and will for the rest of his life. Talk to people who've done it, talk to someone who will give you the negatives of doing this (cuz let's face it, you already know the positives of this), just find out everything you can before you make the decision. Renee and Anna are totally right, you can't undo it, once it's done. Your heart is definately in the right place and I admire your compassion.

Having said that, flat-out answer is, become an organ donor. There are still going to be thousands of people who will need your kidneys (and any other body parts you wish to donate) when you're done with them. And think about this one-- you'll be able to donate them both, then!

Anna said...

Really good point Nik! You can donate Both your kidneys and All your organs as an organ donor after you die. There will still be plenty of people who need your kidneys and stuff then.

You'll just have to wait a while. It's delayed gratification instead of immediate. That's really the only difference.

Jen said...

Anna: not to the guy who would get it NOW. =-)

Renee said...

Yeah, but if you do it now, the guy who needs it 50 years from now won't get it, either. Could go both ways.

Anna said...

Tru dat, Renee!

Jen said...

Shawn is firmly in the anti-donation camp as well. In fact he actually looked at me all sincere and said "Please don't, Jen." It's the most serious I've ever seen him. He also said I could donate when I die. I don't know, I'm surprised more people aren't for this idea. Yes, there's the "what if," but WHAT IF I'll be just fine with one and someone's husband or father or sister dies because I don't do it?

Renee said...

To me, the "what if" is just too big. Yeah, someone MAY die if you don't. Someone could have died last year because you didn't. Not that anyone's life is trivial, but it's only ONE person that you can save. There are a million people who need organs. Saving one, WHILE risking your own health just seems outrageous to me. I know, I know-- you're gonna say it's not outgrageous to that one person who would get it. It's different if a family member suddenly needs one and you're a match. OOH! And here's a good point: WHAT IF you give one away and then one of your family members needs one and you could have been a donor but you gave yours to a stranger?

You're STILL going to save someone when you die and donate your organs. Why do you feel you have to save someone NOW? I just can't see putting your body through that. You know you would take twice the average time to recover because SOMETHING would go awry. That's how you roll, babe.

*~Lynda~* said...

I think its awesome that you are thinking of doing this but you really need to consider the negatives as well like Nik said. Yeah you can help one person right now but did you know that just by being an organ donor you can save the lives of eight people and enhance the lives of 50 to 100! If it wasn't for an organ donor I would not be able to see. I am an organ donor. Hell, I even told Shawn to shave my head an donate my hair to Locks of Love if they can use it. You should do some more research before committing to anything. Maybe even after you know all the facts sit on it for a year before following through just to be on the safe side.

Renee said...

Lynda, you rock. Those are some incredible stats!