Most of the people who read this are people I love. And it is OK if they love me but aren’t IN love with me. I still appreciate the readership.
So most of you already know that this is a pretty big night for me. This is the last night that I have 2 kidneys.
For those of you not in the know. My brother’s kidneys have been dying on him since he was in high school. About 3 years ago they failed completely and he has been in dialysis ever since.
Dialysis sucks. You spend three days of every week watching the blood completely drain from you. You go home after that exhausted. You have to watch you water intake carefully or your feet become puffy. You can’t have cheese or tomatoes or potatoes.
You can’t have CHOCOLATE.
As a sister, I could not let this continue. Let’s introduce the players:
Brother is getting Lefty. He is a smaller kidney and they can take him out of my back through a smaller incision that will take less time to heal.
Now I know me telling you this makes it seem like I am trying to puff up my ego. Like, oh my gawd Tamara, you are such a good sister! but actually talk like that makes me kinda uncomfortable. I don’t really know what to do with it. So instead, I will distract you with tales of kidney transplant woe.
1) When they are testing your kidney for acceptable transplanty ness, they do some weird things to you. One of them is a high contrast MRI. Basically they inject radioactive shellfish DNA into your blood and then take pictures of your glowing fishy kidneys. This is how they decided Lefty was a good transplant candidate.
When they inject you, they say, “You are going to taste pennies, and then feel like you really need to pee. It’s normal just hold still.”
Then you taste pennies. And then the horrible truth comes out. You don’t feel like you have to pee. You feel like you JUST PEED. All over yourself. But you are going to stay still anyway, because maybe they won’t notice.
2) You have to pee in a cup. Often. Kidneys regulate urine, so they have to make sure yours are up to snuff. If you are female, this involves a lot of awkward spread eagle toilet sitting.
They will LOSE your pee almost as often as they take it. I don’t know how you lose a cup of pee. Especially a labeled one. You figure that they would keep track of that. That it would be a point of pride. “we don’t lose pee here” but you would be wrong. They probably figure you can just make more, so who cares?
3)Your friends will think it is HILARIOUS to give you kidney beans as a joke. They will be right.
4) Every once and a while, when you tell people what you are doing, they will say something like “My uncle did that” or “I would do that in a heartbeat for my brother” and it will make up for all the times people get weepy eyed or hero worshipy about the situation.
5) I can’t think of a five right now. There is definitely one, but I am a bit loopy because I have been doing a bowel prep all day (read: no food and lots of poop joke opportunities that I won’t take). So I am going to wash with my antimicrobial soap and go to bed.
Goodnight sweet Lefty. You go to a better place.