The Wait Can Be Worth It, Certainly The Donation Can Be Life-Saving

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organ transplants

Two years ago wasn't such a good year for me.The show I was writing and producing got cancelled, my oldest child got a wonderful job and moved out and oh, one other thing -- I was told that I had fatty liver disease (called nonalcoholic steatohepatisis). The projected outcome was death. So I was put on a liver transplant list while being sized for a proper fitting toe-tag. But being the newest addition to the list, and with a chance to last a year at the most, my call number was way down --or as they say, you can't even hear the band from back here. A population of donors the size of Phoenix would have to all die and donate their healthy organs for me to survive. Even with John McCain and Sheriff Joe Arpaio running things in that area, there wasn't much chance of that.

In the meantime, my doctors didn't give up. I was submitted for and got accepted into a test group, half of us given a placebo and the other half given an experimental medication. We didn't know who was in which group, but there was some guarded hope. But the waiting was "killing" us... in at least half the cases, literally.

But somehow I adjusted -- I say adjusted guardedly because I didn't tell my family so I was kind of living a lie. I didn't want to worry them but they eventually found out as my health deteriorated and I was hospitalized. The ingrown toenail excuse could only run so long.

I waited and awaited, and at best I seemed to stay the same, then I would check the donation list and still find my name inching up the list, but I was still at least a Hollywood sized population away.

Fortunately for me, last year was a great year. I wasn't on the placebo list -- but on the actual experimental medication list -- and the concoction reversed much of my liver issues. I ultimately improved to the point I was no longer on the list but on the mend. Today I feel great.

But I was one of the lucky ones. And not everyone is so fortunate. One of the first things I did was fill out an organ donor card. Hell, if I was saved from this sod box ending, why shouldn't I give the life of sight, or hearing, or a heart, or kidneys or something else to those who're going through what I went through? If you think waiting for your drive-through window food order is stressful, try waiting to live.

If it's against your religion to make an organ donation, I understand. But if you're just lazy, not so much. Take the two seconds to check off the organ donation box on your next driver's license application. AND MAKE SURE YOU LET YOUR FAMILY KNOW. You can't imagine the miracle gift you can provide for those you leave behind. You have  no idea what that waiting is like and hopefully never will.

Here's a little video to put into pictures what those who are waiting go through. You won't feel a thing, but you'll know you've done something great. And it won't cost you anything you're going to have any use for, anyway.

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  • David G

    Believe me I know what you're going through. Hang in there. We're all gonna do what we can to promote people giving the gift of life. But you're not makes it especially rewarding. DG

  • differentdrummer

    Waiting for a kidney. Thank you for this.