“Is Vernon eligible for a kidney transplant?” This is how Joe greeted me yesterday.
“I think so. I’ve been told he should be…down the line. Once and if he is stable enough. But yeah, I think so…maybe.”
“Why can’t I donate?”
“I don’t know, Joe. I guess you have to be a match, but I don’t even know what that means. It involves all sorts of testing, but I haven’t really looked into it yet.”
“Isn’t a kidney just a kidney?”
“I guess its more simple than say…a bone marrow match. But it may be a blood type thing. I don’t really know. Do you want me to look into it?”
“Yeah. We can ask Dr. Dan. He’ll know about our blood types.”
“Ok…but are you serious? Giving a kidney is an awfully big deal…and they don’t always work out even after a transplant.
“Well, you only need one, right?,” said Joe. “Anyway, I’d get to spend some resting time at Hoag, and we both know how much nicer it is there.”
“That’s true. Not to mention how good looking all the nurses are over there.”
“There is that. There is that indeed.”
Like I said to Joe, I really don’t know anything about all this yet. There have been times I’ve considered the idea of Vernon eventually becoming well enough to be have his name on a donor list. But it’s like looking into the far away future: how can I even start planning for that now? I often haven’t had the confidence he will make it through the end of the year, let alone start looking at such pipe dreams as living life without dialysis.
The fact that I have been looking up kidney transplant information all day is not because Vernon is ready for one. He may not make it long enough to even need one. I have no idea. But I do know we are enjoying his newfound ease and clarity. He is communicating better with us…as well as those who have been sitting dialysis with him. (What a HUGE relief that has been…and that they have signed up, possibly expecting the worst!) The fact we are even discussing kidney transplant now mean we have more hope for him. What a privilege that we are even able to start googling it. Isn’t this a sign of progress?
This is not a post to update any real news. Its a post to update a dream. Even if we only have a small window before Vernon reverts again (as seems to be the cycle so far, almost to a science) I love that we are feeling free enough to dream a little. Obviously some space for that has been cracked open. If nothing else, this is a luxurious side-effect of progress. It’s different and its good. And as always, a little scary too.
PS Joe is looking for a bread maker…hoping to draw a crowd to the community room in the mornings with the smell of fresh baked bread. The coffee isn’t enough. If anyone has one they aren’t using anymore, please consider making a nursing home donation.