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Saturday, May 1, 2010

My First Time.

Some say, when you have your first time, it can be really scary. You don't know what to expect, how to act or react. Or even what to feel at that very moment in time.

There are many firsts in our lives. First boyfriend or girlfriend. First dates and kisses. First time having sex. And then there is another first. One that thousands in the United States, and millions world wide get to have. Believe me, it is a first that no one wants to experience.

The loss of someone that for some people, they don't really even know on a "personal" level. But the shock, hurt, fear, and pain is still the same. Because in my exclusive club, when one hurts, we all hurt. When one rejoices, we all rejoice.

Sadly, there is no rejoicing for us in the Transplant Community in our Facebook tight-knit group, TEC. For one of our own is watching his wife dying before his very eyes. And there is NOTHING now that can be done for her.

She was in the process of testing to receive a Liver Transplant. She was even transferred to another hospital to start rehabilitation. But no sooner they got her there, she had to go back to her regular hospital and be placed in ICU. Sadly, she is now in Liver and Renal Failure. Her Kidneys have also basically shut down. Now, this vibrant, "young" woman is on full life support and around-the-clock dialysis.

Her family is coming in to say their good-bye's and at this point she is comfortable. By Monday, she will be taken off of life support and let nature take it's course, unless her heart stops before then.

This is a first for me. It is a stark, let alone grim reality of being in the Transplant World. None of us, be it Live Donors, Donor Families, or Recipients, I think honestly "get it" until something like this happens. We are in a "La La Land" of sorts. We all know that some get the call and are lucky. Some sadly don't. But until it REALLY "hits home" and happens to one of your own (so to speak), you can't honestly get a grasp on the severity of the realities of being in this (be it unwanted) exclusive club, where ALL ages are welcome, nor are they turned away. Transplantation has no age limits. Nor does Organ Failure.

Today, I await word on a friend's wife. He held out so much hope, gave her SO much love and devotion and was there for her from beginning to end, never wavering. He was giving positivity and hope to fellow new caregivers, even as he has had been getting his own heart shattering through seeing that there was nothing he could do but support and be there for the love of his life. And he is at this moment, by her side. Showing her his undying love, giving all the support he can as her soul-mate and just waiting for the end to sadly come.

We, his friends, have been loving them, supporting them and have hoped for the best. But sadly, the best came too late in the game. And for one woman, her journey through the Transplant Experience is almost over. Help was coming too late.

This "first" is something I will carry with me for years to come. And it's a "first" I knew would come along in my life. I just didn't think I would be blind sided with it this soon after becoming a Recipient myself. But I thank it for coming like it did. Why? Because now I can see the TRUE realities of the Transplant Community/World. It's not all a bed of sunshine, puppies and rainbows.

There is also darkness, heart break, sadness and death. In  this "club", lives are at stake. We have to depend on another person, be it that they are alive or have died, to keep US alive, seeing and going on with our own lives. And to be here for our loved ones. That's a hard pill to have to swallow.

Some one had to DIE to give me my sight back. Some people depended on someone's death to be their second chance for a new heart or a new set of lungs. It's not easy knowing this fact. In some ways, some of us (myself included) felt like we "took" or "stolen" from our donors, in a selfish manner. But that is NOT the case.

Our donors gave of themselves to help those that are in need of a second chance at living their lives and being with their loved ones. Without them, we either would not be able to see, walk or even be alive ourselves.

There is so much more of a Demand, than there is a Supply for people in need of a Transplant. Be it a heart, a kidney, lungs, cornea, skin, and many other organs, tissues and even blood. Please, if you have yet to do so, SIGN UP to be an Organ/Eye/Tissue Donor. Be a HERO and pay it forward. You never know when YOU may depend on someone else for a second chance for the Gift of Life.

2 comments:

singedwingangel said...

YOu know I ma registered in my state. I am so sorry that your friend is going through that, my heart and prayers to them and you hun

Wayne said...

That is definitely a tough situation... I may not be part of the transplant community, but, I can feel the pain here. I made the decision a few years back to pull the plug on my dad... Hardest thing I ever had to do in my life was to watch him lay there and go away... I feel so bad for your friends. Please convey my condolences...

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