Today I spoke with my assigned social worker. This part of the exercise is intended to make sure that you aren't donating for the wrong reasons. It was supposed to be a 30 minute talk that ended up being an hour, mainly because I am a chatty Kathy sometimes.
OK maybe all the time.
Thing is, I shouldn't like to talk about myself so much and it surprises most people when I say that I don't. It's just that SO much has happened to me in my life.
What made you think to donate a kidney? I went ahead and recounted the answer that you, dear reader, can find in installment one of this saga. (See how I don't make you suffer?). Next came the questions about the risk. I do know the risk but the social worker felt compelled to point them out again. There's a risk of infection and there's a risk of death. These numbers are astronomically low, but still it is surgery after all. I feel like I take much more of a chance with my life getting behind the wheel everyday and driving to work.
Am I ok with the possibility that my kidney might get transplanted, fail and it would have all been futile? Yes, absolutely. All you we can do is try.
Would I like to meet the recipient? Not particularly. I'm not doing it for any kind of applause, but I understand that the recipient may want to meet me for some sort of closure. I'm happy simply knowing that I have helped save a life.
If there's one thing I have learned it's the futility of pondering the infinite number of variables associated with this.
If it doesn't work am I really going to know anyway? Probably not. I'm just going to assume that it will.
Do I have a history of arrests? No
Illegal drug use? No
Now onto medical history. Any surgeries? No.
How about vaccinations?
Since I travel so much I have had vaccinations for practically everything. Name it, I've had it. Yellow fever, rabies, mumps, rubella, the list goes on and on. The only thing I haven't been vaccinated against has been Japanese encephalitis. Thankfully my vaccination history was just a curiosity.
I was informed that as a non directed donor that my kidney would most likely be used in a chain. The idea behind a chain is that couple A (person A1 and person A2) come in and one of the two needs a kidney. Person A2's kidney doesn't work with A1 but mine does. So my kidney goes to A1 and A2's kidney goes off to be matched with a compatible donor. It's a pretty cool idea.
Overall it was an uneventful interrogation, although if I say that I wasn't nervous going into it I would be lying. Next step should be the beginning tests.