Guilty As Charged
One thing about writing a blog is that the writer has to decide (if writing a personal blog) how open they want to be. I decided to write a blog to educate people about what it’s like to live with a chronic illness, mine being kidney disease. And since my kidney disease required me to go on dialysis, I also write about that so that people who don’t know what dialysis involves, gets a small understanding of it and also, so that other people on dialysis know that they aren’t alone in what they go through.
Opening up and writing about personal issues can be hard. For me, I worry about people feeling sorry for me. I don’t want that because I don’t feel sorry for myself. I actually feel fortunate that a treatment like dialysis exists…it keeps me alive and I have a lot to live for – my family and friends are some of the most incredible people and they are that way, naturally. It’s who they are. I could list something about each one of them that would describe what makes them so wonderful but instead I’ll just say, they love me. Plain and simple.
Anyway, I sat down to write a completely different blog, which I’ll post later but I started chatting with my friend Anne and if you haven’t read her blog yet, you need to check it out: http://anne315.wordpress.com
While we were chatting she began to tell me about some of the information that she had recently received from someone at U of M hospital involved with the transplant process. At that time I didn’t really want to hear about it. Anne, being my friend for over 30+ years and knowing just how weird I really am, told me that if I wanted to find out about it, I could read her blog.
Although I didn’t feel like it last night, I did. I was glad I did. She’s so good at writing about the process that she’s going through to donate a kidney. Her blog truly is educational and fun. I went to bed with a smile on my face.
When I woke up this morning I thought about something Anne had written in her first blog post; she said that she thought I had “donee guilt.” I realized that she is right. For those of you who don’t know the term, “donee guilt,” it’s feeling guilty about having a person donate an organ to you.
Please understand I do want a kidney. I have dreams of having a kidney and living a longer, healthier life. And I know that to get a “live donor kidney” is so much better than getting a cadaver kidney. So what’s my problem?
I have some (a lot) of concerns, most of them irrational, LOL. I’ve read the data about organ transplants and Anne is a reference librarian, so she’s educated me too. I know it’s a safe surgery for her. I know she’s healthy and I know people live healthy with one kidney. Logically, I know that the both of us will be fine.
Emotionally, I feel responsible for her. She’s been my friend forever. We’ve gone through so much with each other,” the good, the bad and the ugly”. We hold each other’s secrets, most of them shared over dinners at Red Lobster. We’ve cried on each other’s shoulders,’ usually over Chinese food. She’s more than a friend to me, she’s part of my family and I love her.
So now she’s preparing to give me the biggest, most important gift that anyone can give another person (except for my husband giving me my son) and if I took her to Red Lobster and out for Chinese food everyday for the rest of my life, I could never repay her. Of course I’m joking…kind of. I know she expects no repayment. I know that she just wants me to live, which is the point of all of this.
But I do feel responsible for her and I do feel guilt. I know that I have to get over it and I am working on that because the day of the transplant, I just want to have a relaxed and positive attitude, ready to enjoy the next phase of my life, guilt free.