Fabamy's Blog

Crazy life of a CenPho comedian & socialite

Meeting the woman who’s getting my kidney February 15, 2011

Filed under: The kidney donation — fabamy @ 2:27 am

I met Kirti on Twitter about a year ago.  We have a lot of the same friends, so it was natural to follow each other and see what’s up.  We went out to dinner this past summer to FnB, a really great restaurant in Scottsdale.  I don’t go to Scottsdale, but it was a great evening with my other friends Lara and Joel, who I know through Yelp.  When people mock me for my involvement in social media, I let them know that the greatest people in my life are the ones I’ve met through Twitter & Yelp.  Social media also saves lives…

Kirti started talking about how sick her mother was with kidney failure.  She made a Facebook page to keep people updated on her mother’s condition.  She also posted that her mother was put onto a wait list to receive a donated kidney.   I didn’t hesitate and blurted out, on Twitter “I’ll do it.  what do I have to do?”  I don’t have much of a filter.  It seemed like the right thing to do.  I couldn’t help my father when he was dying, but I could do whatever I could to improve the quality of life for Kirti’s mom.

This past weekend, I finally got to meet her mother, Anu.  I had to initiate the process of meeting, as the recipient is not allowed to do so.  I guess it’s kind of like adoption: the child can search for their birth mom, but not the other way around.

Channel 10 was supposed to be there, too.  I didn’t want our first meeting to be filmed, so I arrived about an hour ahead of time.  I was anticipating a cry-fest and brought my makeup with me.  I can’t be on camera looking a mess!  I didn’t need it.   The instant I met Anu, I got the biggest hug from the littlest person!  I felt an instant connection to her.  What got me most was her sense of humor.  Both she and her husband have great senses of humor and I laughed a lot.  Her father asked “Is your blood white, too?”  Oh, they’re Indian.  Dot, not feather.  From India.  (Hahaha).  Hindu, too.  I knew the question of my religion would come up sometime and her father asked “You are Christian, no?”  “Uh, no.  I’m just Amy.”  It seemed an ok answer, because he didn’t bring it up again.

We talked about yoga a lot.  I’ve been doing it for over 10 years.  I was humbled with some history of its origins.  Then, we started eating.  Anu made me traditional Indian food, which is my favorite.  The film crew showed up (a cameraman.  No newscaster, just the guy behind the camera.) and filmed us eating, sharing recipes and interviewing each of us about the donation.  It was really nice.

As lunch wound down, we all sat and drank Chai.  I honestly feel I should have either: a. been born in the early 1900s so I could be at a ripe age to be a flapper and enjoy it or b. been Indian.  There was a very spiritual connection that day and it exhausted and exhilarated me at the same time.

I don’t look at what I am doing as saving a life.  What I’m doing is giving someone QUALITY of life.  Because, honestly, I can’t see this tough little woman as being beat by ANYTHING.

As I left, I said out my car window “Thanks for lunch!”  Anu’s response?  “Thank you for the kidney!”

AHHAHAHAHA!!!

 

First day of testing to donate my kidney.

Filed under: The kidney donation — fabamy @ 2:10 am

Today was my first day of testing to be approved as a donor.  The Mayo Clinic is one of the best hospitals in the country and I had been there before to visit a friend’s mom after her knee surgery.

The organization there is incredible.  I had an itinerary that mapped out my whole day.  For each appointment, whether for my social worker, the advocate, blood tests, piss tests and CT scan, I had to check in on whichever floor the test was being held on and wait for my name to be called.  Never was it more than 10 minutes for me to wait. I was prepared with my laptop and phone, juuuuuuust in case.

I have to take sick days at work for the tests, and I explained to the woman who does the scheduling that I can’t do it all in one week.  I’d love it if I could, but no way was I going to be there on Wednesday, as originally scheduled.  It’s my 40th birthday and I don’t want to be poked and prodded that day.

I got there at 8:15 this morning and got in with the advocate right away.  I learned a ton of stuff, like my rehab, my rights as a patient, etc.  I also learned that there will always be someone for me to call while I recuperate.  She even gave me some advice on FMLA to secure my job, insurance stuff and things like that.  (I am utterly exhausted but I have to write this now or I will forget how I am feeling.)  There is a likelihood, after all these tests, that I will not be approved to donate my kidney.  Something about how many veins/arteries go in and out of my kidneys, if they’re healthy enough even to donate.  I still have a psych test to go through, too, but I am not worried about that part.  The questions the advocate and social worker asked were very thorough and personal, but that was the easy part.  My last appointment was supposed to be at 4pm, which was just lab stuff.  As I went to check in, I got handed a new itinerary, which now included, for today, a CT scan.  Well, it’s Valentine’s Day, but I don’t have a Valentine, so I just agreed to it.  It also meant that I would have shorter visits and hopefully cut them down a day.

I’m not scared of much, but they put the insert for the IV into my arm.  It burned.  I couldn’t bend my arm all the way.  It was the last thing for me to do today and I was completely exhausted, physically and emotionally.  The past several days have been a whirlwind of publicity, getting things in order, paperwork and working things out at work.  I was taken into the CT scan room and told to lie down on the table.  They were going to put iodine into the IV and then LASIKS, which flushes everything out of my system.  I was put through the CT scanner a couple times before any of the fluids were added to my body.  I was on the table, in a gown and pants, alone and that’s when I started to freak out a little.  My eyes welled-up with tears and I just kept thinking that I need to get this fucking thing out of my arm and it burned and it was sterile in there.  And then I thought of Anu and what she is going through.  All day the thought that she hasn’t been able to eat pizza in ten years kept popping into my brain.  It calmed me down, because, after meeting her, I just knew I could be strong.  It was just a stupid IV and people go through it every freaking hour of every day all over the world.  I can handle it.

The iodine was weird.  It rushed through my body very quickly and it was HOT.  I felt like I was going to piss the bed.  In an instant, though, those sensations were gone.

I have never been so relieved for a day to be over!  As soon as I got home a little while ago, I put on my comfy clothes.  I’m going to eat dinner and pass the fuck out.

My next tests aren’t until next Monday at 1:30pm.  I’ll be meeting with the urologist and the kidney doctor.  I haven’t read over anything yet about next week.

Oh, and the LASIKS they gave me to flush my system?  Makes me piss every 15 minutes.  I am a peeing machine.

 

 
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