The Transplant Call

It happens when you least expect it. The call. The magical call in the middle of the night, where a voice says, "We have a match."

Oh, not to me. I'm still waiting. But it's magical, nonetheless. Two of my people have received the call in the last couple of weeks. By "my people" I mean, my dialysis roommates. We are regulars, meeting at the same hour in the still-dark morning, greeting each other like we're at a party. One of them calls it "the pool." As in, I'm laying around at "the pool." (I am at the mini-spa thinking that someday one of the techs will finally do my nails.)

I've come to really enjoy my companions. We have a LOT in common. Dialysis is a firm constant in our lives, and with it comes all the variables. Each day brings new adventures that our friends and family don't really hear about because it is utterly boring. Did we gain too much weight; carry too much fluid; will our blood pressure crash; will the needles "take" (and if they don't, THAT is another problem); is the flow too low; too high; will we be able to hold off the sites afterwards for just ten minutes; or will we not be able to clot and have to hold off even more (like I do frequently); aud nauseum. (Boring boring boring)

We are very fond of each other and we relate on so many levels. Yet, if one of us ends up in the hospital, we are the last to know - if ever. HIPAA laws prohibit the staff from telling us anything about the others. Yet, we talk to each other all the time and know intimate details about our families, our friends, our bodies. So, when "the call" comes to one of us, that person simply disappears. One day you are breezing in to your "chair" and saying hi to the guy sitting by his imaginary pool, and the next time, he's not there. You ask where he is - and the answer is "I have no idea."

I got that answer a couple weeks ago - and no amount of squinty-eyed looks would break the tech. Four techs in a room full of 20 people (well, now 19), and she doesn't have a clue. Give me a break.

It was only later, when I was leaving with one of my other cohorts, when he told me that the pool lounger got "the call."

Now - why does THAT information have to be so top secret?

I suppose the center is trying to "spare our feelings." Hearing the news that someone received a new kidney has mixed responses. You are happy for them. And immediately sad for yourself. And then you feel guilty about feeling sorry for yourself. And then you close your eyes so nobody can see the sudden tear that slips out. It's a conundrum.

And then some new person arrives and sits in Pool Man's chair. Scared out of their mind. Until you say hi, welcome to my mini-spa.


1 comment:

Tumblewords: said...

Oh, I wish you so much luck and wellness! This post is written with such wonderful compassion for fellow travelers. It would be terrific if you found a place to share this with a forum dedicated to the 'wait'. imo