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.

Denny 

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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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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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The greatest gift and Pre-admission to Hospital

23rd July 2017: Pre-admission + the kidney chain + surprise throat infections I packed my bags, some books and a whole bunch of crap that I basically never touched anxiously waiting to get this whole thing on the road. So the real question was and will always be= who donated their kidney to me? The answer= I have no clue. It was actually a type of chain..   It involved 4 people, 2 kidneys, 2 planes and the longest day of my life (intrigued yet?!). So here is what was about […]

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Day Four: Counting down my days on dialysis

So currently sitting on a couch (that’s me ^), on what could possibly be the second to last dialysis session I have before next week’s ‘big event’. So I’ve decided that before I go any further I have to tell you all a little bit about my dialysis machine. Apologies if this sounds like a lesson in biology and chemistry, I’ve made it as simple as I can. WHY DO I NEED DIALYSIS? A dialysis machine in simple terms replacing SOME of the functions of our kidneys for people […]

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DAY ONE: A second chance at life.

So I am back, charged up and it’s time for some BIG NEWS, and BIG CHANGES. But first a short story: Initially, I started this blog with no purpose, I was forced by friends to go public and attempt blogging properly considering the numerous times I tried and failed with other blogs. Given my lack of purpose, I never spent much time working on posts, or editing photos let alone regularly posting. But someone told me once that I was in a position where I needed something from the […]

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Day trip #1: Awhitu Lighthouse, Auckland

  If money is currently an issue and time is of value, don’t be scared to explore your backyard instead of sitting around complaining about your friends that are headed Thailand or USA. Trust me, New Zealand has some exciting gems–> So my plan while I wait on a very long kidney transplant list is to see what NZ has to offer. I had heard about this lighthouse near Waiuku a while ago and after attempting to plan a trip to go there for a couple months nothing really was […]

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Leaping into the new year.. literally

  Hey its me again!    So firstly a huge apology for the fact that I ended my last post saying how much I would be posting as I attempted to get out and get more things done. My only excuse however is that I did in fact take out my bucket list and attempt some of it- which is why I have been too busy to write about it all. BUT this is all about to change as summer school has not inflicted its pain upon me which means […]

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