Cut from the same cloth: sitting in the waiting room

I never really paid much attention to any of the other patients previously, instead of focusing on their stories I was too busy writing my own.

I have to say since the day I was diagnosed (I was 14years old) I was in denial about most of what was going on with me. I was invited to kidneykidsnz – an organisation that helps and supports families and children with kidney disease and failure- and I didn’t attend anything. I was scared to meet people like myself mostly because I didn’t believe I had anything wrong with me to begin with- so why would I bother. I shyed away from “make a wish foundation” and any other thing the hospital threw at me to “help me” because those who don’t believe they need help…  obviously wouldn’t accept it. I can honestly say this past month going to hospital everyday and sitting in a waiting room filled with transplant patients has changed everything about how I view not only myself but every person I see around me. 

Once someone recieves a transplant, they are sent home but with a list of conditionals. One of those is to come to Auckland City Hosp (30 min away) every morning by 7am for a routine blood test, followed by waiting in a line to see one of the renound kidney transplant doctors. They would access the results of the day, highlighting particular markers that indicate rejection and if all is well send you home to begin another day of rest and recovery.

Ever since this transplant I’ve felt completely connected to not just every patient but every person I seem to come in contact with- as if a part of me is trapped within them and whatever story they have hidden and I the great explorer needs to go find it.

I suddenly have the urge the desire to know more about them, what’s their life story where do they come from where are they planning on going?

Maybe it’s the steroids, in fact, no it must be the steroids..  I spend every night obsessing at 3am about the girl sitting next to me in the waiting room or the mother saying bye to her son in the pre op room. These images just cannot get out of my mind and I feel as though their worries, fears and happiness is mine as well. 

Everyone is somehow connected because imagine someone out there gave up a part of themselves so that I could keep on keeping on. What would ever spark someone to do such a thing, I think I will forever be confused and at a loss for words on that topic- but it’s made me realise that at the end of the day maybe we are all just one. One species trying to exist, one being making their way to the end all in the same game next to the other. 

We all are gonna die- it’s the only certainty we have. How or why or when is merely just questions we can choose to waste time focusing on or like some, chose to never ask.

It struck me that since getting this kidney I feel I owe something to someone else but it’s confusing when I have no clue how to pay that person back nor do I have any idea who they actually are.

I think previously and even to this day I have always been very self-involved, I can tell you honestly not a part of me would have ever thought of giving my own organs to someone else. Till you get to a stage where you’re depending on others to survive day to day – you literally only ever think about yourself. And me ? I’m that person just as much as everyone else, the norm is to think about yourself and to only want to pursue your own goals.

I needed this kidney to do what exactly?! Pursue my OWN goals.

I needed someone else to think completely of me and sacrifice themselves purely for me… so that I could achieve my own goals. 

What kind of fucked up selfish bitch am I? How wrong does that whole sentence sound?

It’s not guilt that’s trapping me- don’t get me wrong – it’s a revelation that I … like you are connected to each and every person in the world whether we choose to accept that or deny it. Maybe we only exist for the sake of other people?


Have u ever just stopped in your tracks and people watched? But not just watched their movements but tried to understand/guess their stories ?? 

Maybe that girl was late because she was just dumped by her bf.?

Maybe that lady didn’t see your car in front because her mind was thinking about the last time she was in a car with her dead son.

Okay, that was dramatic, obviously, not everyone’s story is so sad,  but I can say without this blog there is a lot of people that would never guess what has been going on in my life. In fact, I can tell you of a couple people I just recently met since I’ve changed my worldly attitude from all about “me” to all about “them”.

I’ve started to talk to the people around me, ask questions to my nurses, see them as people and grow a relationship with them- and if you meet me recently you would know that I am not as snobbish as before. I run to meet new people and become not just thier friend but their best friend, I want to know whats going on with them and allow them to feel that if they ever needed anything I was there. 

I walked into the waiting room thinking I was special, my transplant and my blog my life story. I sat down and an old frail man dressed in rugged baggy clothes exuberating a stench coupled with a smile turned to me when I removed that face I usually wear I smiled back and he told me about how he had been waiting 28 years for a transplant. He was a corporate business man who took pride in his dressing and wore nothing but suits and today he sits in this waiting room comfortable and rich – he had saved for 28 years and was finally about to travel his country, smoke weed, breathe and he wanted nothing more than for me to feel the happiness he has been waiting for. He hugged me that day as he was finally cleared to leave the hospital outpatients and invited me to come visit whenever I wanted wherever he was.


More amazing stories about some people I have met to come soon.


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With great “power” comes great “responsibility”

The day that I left Auckland hospital things began to immediately feel very different. I was given strict instructions: Drink roughly 3 litres of fluid (mostly water) everyday Be at Auckland Hospital everyday at 7am for daily visits to the kidney outpatient clinic Complete daily blood tests (roughly 10 tubes at the start) Become familiar with the smorgasbord of immunosuppressant tablets- that are to be taken at specific times (never missed) The day that I was discharged came at a shock to me. Like this entire process my body has […]

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DAY THREE/FOUR: This Kidney does not & will not belong to me

  Day Three: 27th July 2017 They took away the pain pump. What the actual fuck. Later on… Ive been introduced to Oxycodon. We are back… I remember this day probably more than the others only because it was discovered that during the first day of surgery a vein of mine had blown so the line they were using to put in pain relief was working but couldn’t be used anymore and it was the pain team’s decision to see how I could manage without it. Funnily enough, I […]

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Transplant Recipient: My first four days of freedom

 I got a taste of freedom, it tasted like a lot of morphine, viles of fentanyl and a whole lot of energy. Guess it is my turn to tell you a little about my amazingly short four days in hospital walking in with two peanut shaped dead kidneys and walking away with three kidneys.  I won’t lie, Leah writes better than me and has a far better recollection of what happened. I’ve been hiding from writing because I’m still in disbelief any of this really happened. My name is Denny, and […]

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“Vulnerability is the bridge that connects us”

    There’s a high chance I won’t share this, mostly it’s just for me to get it out before it eats at me slowly but surely. I think it’s tough when you have spent years living a type of nightmare but it’s become so real you have convinced yourself this is how normal people dream- then all of a sudden you experience a real dream and you are unsure how to react. Maybe it’s just a natural thing to have something positive happen to you or around you […]

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“Not Your Average Law Student”

Hey friends! A few weeks ago, to celebrate the end of the year, I was asked to write an article in our University of Auckland Law School’s student magazine. I struggled to put together a short piece about myself which same time would help gear students for their upcoming exams. I’ve never found writing anything this difficult – because the truth is, I may pretend to know what I am doing – but mostly I stumble from one day, one hospital bed, one lecture or one event to the […]

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A donor’s story: Continued…

Day Two – Three:  I drifted in and out of consciousness… After buzzing the nurses over and over again about my pain, I finally found out that there had been some kind of mix up and someone didn’t give me the pain pump I was supposed to come out of surgery with. That explained the pain. After hours of waiting they eventually brought me the pump but I didn’t find it did anything for me. I think I had gone too long without it. The rest of the night […]

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A Donors Story: “Today I donated my kidney”

To celebrate three months post surgery I have put together a special series of posts. Ready to hear what it’s like to donate a kidney? Our author is Leah,  the amazing girl who donated her kidney to a stranger- so that I would receive a kidney from someone else. Have a read of her first days in hospital.  Stay tuned for the rest of her story then FOLLOWING is my four days post-surgery. Thanks for sharing your ‘donor story’ Leah! – Denny    PART ONE: The First Two days […]

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One Month and Three Kidneys Later…

Waking up in ICU The lights were quite dim and I could only hear slight voices in the far distance, something about lungs. lungs… right lung…? slow…? collapsed…? While I sat there racking my brain, didn’t I have a kidney transplant?  What lungs, whats going on? eyes closed. Pain. More pain. I was drifting in and out of consciousness up in the highest room of the hospital, the ICU (intensive care unit) which is where all transplant patients are sent to spend their first few hours bonding with their […]

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Day of surgery: See you on the other side

24th July 2017: Flying Kidneys + My big break  So the day had finally come, nearly 10 years of dialysis, over 50 surgeries later and I was finally ready for the biggest day of my life.The entire night before I couldn’t sleep, I kept waking up and forgetting where I was and then panicking and trying to sleep some more.Saying goodbye to my old life and hello to freedom  The First Operations: 6.30am – So first my friend, Leah (my angel donor) woke up at 6.30am, and got prepped and […]

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