That Time I (Hopefully) Gave Away A Kidney – Part 5 (The Initial Paperwork Is A-Okay)

June 22, 2014

paperwork for living kidney donation
Just some of the paperwork I had to sign during one of my visits

Time for another installment of this Wednesday/Sunday night series!

Picking up from last time

So, I watched the DVD I’d been sent and read the pages. I filled out my medical questionnaire and sent it in – along with my records from Mass Gen.

(You may remember from another multi-part story that I’d been reviewing my medical records – it was for this.)

I was tempted to fudge some small things on the questionnaire, ’cause you know, I want to seem like the picture of health (which I pretty much totally am, of course). So, maybe let’s sweep that ulcer or blood clot under the rug? Let’s just maybe clean up that mess a little?

But, I didn’t sweep anything under the rug.

1) It would’ve been a stupid idea to fudge anything. My medical records are readily available to the hospital staff. (Not to mention, I have a blog (which is of course public) that details everything from an ulcer, to a blood clot, to multiple procedures and surgeries. I don’t know why I’d imagine I could hide anything.)

2) Even if I could hide something, that wouldn’t be a good idea. Doctors are my friends. They’re there to look out for me and take care of me. If they know I had a blog clot once, it might not keep me from donating, but they might know to keep an extra eye on that sort of thing.

3) Sure, I want to donate. But if something in my past makes that impossible, it’s better to leave this dream for someone else and go find another way to (try to) do some good in the world.

So, boom. Completely honest questionnaire and medical records sent.

I couldn’t wait to get the phone call to see if my history meant I wasn’t going to be able to give… Finally, while I was on an unforgettable vacation with my dad, I got the call.

I was approved to start the process. Now, the process is sort of long and involved. So, just being approved to start shouldn’t necessarily be all that super exciting.

But for me, I assumed that my biggest hurdle would be them saying I was a suitable donor after all that heart stuff. After all, what could go wrong after that? (Foreshadowing, much?)

At this point, once the ball was rolling, I couldn’t hold in all of my excitement. So, I started telling an inner circle of friends. Just a couple of people reacted mostly positively. (Not one reacted 100% positively in the initial phone call. Every person had at least one “but what about this…!” or “don’t do that – you’re making me nervous!”) But a couple of them came around incredibly quickly (like, within minutes)… However, I’d say the majority of people (I told more as time went on) didn’t react quite the way I thought.

I’ll talk more about that on Wednesday.

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?