Monday, June 14, 2010

Playing on the shore of karma

Much news from here.  I haven't blogged since last Tuesday - too much to be coherent.  On Wednesday I was stunned when a good friend told me she, too, would like to donate a kidney to me.  So if it doesn't work out with Laurie, she's there.

Saturday I picked up my latest blood tests.  Uh-oh.  I have dropped from 8% to 7%.  Even having this prospect of the golden plum, a real transplant, the drop scared me.  I remember a kidney doctor telling me, "When you're at 5% you'll beg for dialysis."  On the other hand, the drop in function could be what they call "a laboratory variable," not really meaningful.  

I didn't worry about it as much as I would have a month ago.  My friend's offer has slowly reformatted my brain once again. My sense of the universe - it's a sort of image off in the right brain - was that a solid foundation is there now, like a floor where there had been no floor until then.  I knew Laurie's gift could easily go wrong at so many points.  And indeed, when I talked to her on Sunday, she was concerned.  The nurse had told her that because she had many blood transfusions many years ago, her blood might be full of antibodies, and that might interfere with the transplant.

Sigh.  Home we went, Tom and I, and to our computers.  We both tooled around on some of the same reputable web sites, like Johns Hopkins, and became convinced that this is an issue that applies only to the recipient.  If the recipient has had transfusions, she might have antibodies that will want to reject the kidney.  But suddenly it had become clear that anything can happen, that even two donors might not be enough.

Last night I walked 1/2 mile!  The Chinese doctor had gently suggested that I needed to get in shape for the transplant.  It is calming to walk in the evening, not trying to be aerobic, just build muscle, but the least little rise makes me short of breath, I guess that's what they mean by "aerobic".  I was asleep when Tom came to bed, and slept 11 hours.

I woke up okay with it all, realizing once again that karma is a huge force.  Not implacable or unstoppable.  What is the adjective?  A little research shows me that there are the usual dualing isms - firm/yielding, like that.  Well, the great river of cause and effect, this sea, so many causes back there have led to the causes of today, the things producing this moment in Laurie's health and mine and in what's going on in this arena of transplant, who's who in the transplant center . . . There is not much use in me focusing a lot of Want! on it, though that's not hard to do.  My favorite thing to imagine is that this poor, sludgy brain will be rinsed clean, and I will once again write, write! only better than before, much better for having gone through these hard, slow years in which I mostly studied writing rather than actually doing the hard work.

Or I can imagine the trip.  Tom and I missed out on the traveling many people do when they first retire.  But now, with me doing better, having the energy to plan, we could drive that great circle tour of our country.  With a good working kidney, it might seem possible.  You just need to have the fallback plan, what you will do in case it goes into rejection, where the good tx centers are.

Dream on.  It's so much easier to deal with the life we've got right here.  At 1:00 we are going grocery shopping together.  I had a shower today.  First, I swept the bathroom floor, and the worst part of the kitchen floor.  If I get a kidney, when I get a kidney, that will be nothing, it will be easy to sweep a floor and take a shower on my way to having a life.
p.s. Coming across this post a year later, I must comment, How wrong I was.  A whole new raft of health problems arising from the immunosuppressants themselves and an old body in which only one organ was replaced, not the muscles and bones. Just to set the record straight.

No comments:

Post a Comment