The Third Kidney
I have three kidneys. Who has three kidneys? Apparently anyone who’s had a kidney transplant, who knew?
I let this blog go for quite a while, 7 months actually, which is sickening and shameful. But, I am redeeming myself with this entry and vowing to take the time to better document my life.
A lot has changed. In January the furthest thing from my mind was a second transplant. I was too busy thinking about how I’d received the first one, and coping with the thought that someone else’s organ was residing within me. Actually, that idea still seems pretty surreal if I think about it too long. Especially now that I have two parts from other people.
The kidney is helping me a lot, I feel even better than I did, if that is possible. It was my mom’s, which was the hardest past of the whole experience. No one should see their mom at a weak state, especially when they are in a position of believing that it is most definitely their fault their mom is in that situation. Whether or not it was a loving, generous, and caring thing that their mom decided to do because it was all that was left.
We got the news that I was in need of a kidney transplant in March, and from that moment on we were on pins and needles. My mom immediately volunteered for donation, much to my dismay. I was upset. I prayed every night that something would be wrong, a little thing, something that meant nothing more to her health than she would not be a suitable donor. I hoped against hope, even after all the tests came back with seemingly good news that she was a perfect match.
Once I accepted the fact she would be my donor, I decided to take another approach. My stubborn attitude was wielded to create position of indifference. While inside I was upset, scared, and worried about every last detail, I wouldn’t show it. I acted as if it was no big deal, that everyone was reacting inappropriately. I thought this was being stronger than everyone else, but really I have come to realize that I was the one with the most weakness when faced with the reality of what was happening.
The first time I even cried about the whole thing in front of my mom wasn’t until she was in the bed, preparing to go in the operating room first, to give up her organ for me. Yet again, I had to rely on someone to give up something for me, something huge. At least, thankfully, this time it was without the price of a life. Still, it’s hard to receive. I wished I didn’t need it, even in that moment. I wanted to stop everything and say, “No really, it’s okay. A creatinine of 3.7 isn’t that bad yet,” but no one would have agreed.
More than once I thought about not accepting it actually. About waiting it out until my kidney function was so bad that I had to undergo another transplant. How bad could it really be to be on dialysis? I wondered that a lot. It couldn’t be any worse than many other things I’d had to go through. I could last that way, I could get on a list. It would be easier to get an organ from someone I would never know. It would be easier if I wasn’t so obviously the reason they had to give this up. If I never had to look them in the eye. I was willing to feel sick so that I didn’t have to take something from someone again. I was used to feeling sick, while my mom on the other hand wasn’t at all. Guilt. That’s all I felt everyday.
I acted like a brat. I wish I could say I showed all my thankfulness from the moment she said she’d do this for me, but I most certainly didn’t. I didn’t show a drop of gratitude. I think she believes I felt entitled. That’s how I acted quite often, and I’m sorry for that. I hope she knows that I am truly thankful, for the kidney and for everything else she does for me, all the time.
Things are going really well now. Despite the fact I wish it didn’t have to end up this way, and how much I hate relying on other people to do things for me. I have been put into this position again, and it turned out, as it often does, to be okay. I have a lot of gratitude for everything that has happened in the past year and a half to build my health to where it is now. Now I can dream about my future, and not have that mean just a year down the line either. I am hopeful. I have my life back thanks to some wonderful and kind hearts that have crossed paths with mine. For that I will never be able to express everything that I feel. All I can do is say a simple “thank you”, and continue trying to make sure I give back in some way, when I can.
– by Molly Pearce, July 11, 2007
Take a Moment
Your life was put into your hands
and the first day you were so very thankful
every breath you took was in gratitude
every sight you took in was beautiful
every smell was new and sweet
the colors were bright
and your mind was clear
your body never felt so right.
That first day was the day you felt thankful
and as time went by you began to forget just how much so
not by any fault of your own you started to let the world effect you
you let the hours slip pass
the moments go by
you let the colors that were once so bright
fade into something a bit more dull and worn.
You didn’t look up to the sky and feel awe in the pit of your stomach
you didn’t smell the smell of rain and remember your loved ones with a smile
you just allowed your senses begin to fail you, let your brain take over
let it tell you there are more important things to be doing.
It’s okay you forget these things,
but just remember every once in a while
to let a deep breath into your lungs.
Remember to really look at the colors and textures around you
to really take the time to love those who you see so often
and never for a moment realize one day they will be gone.
Just remember to be thankful for what you have,
even every weakness.
You are perfect and to remember that all you have to do
is take a moment to see that life is worth so much more
than anyone gives it credit for.
– by Molly Pearce – 2006
To make a donation by check, please send to: Molly Pearce-Eaker Foundation
P.O. Box 1106
Niwot, CO 80544