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