I guess the title sets it out what is happening. Everyone I work with and my close family already know about it, but I felt like something needed to be said to the “cyber world” out there, whether this be to Yammer folks, or Twitter people, or distant friends on Facebook, or just folks that I haven’t seen in a long time.
My eldest son Will was born with a whole host of medical problems, primarily kidney and bladder issues. He was born with only one kidney, and that one never worked particularly well. About a year ago we were told it was showing signs of failing and that a transplant would likely be necessary. Sort of shocking, sort of what we’ve been expecting for years.
And that’s where I came into it. For a variety of reasons it became clear that I was the best match for Will. We started the cross-match process about six months ago, in which I went for a variety of tests and scans, and also got told I should lose some weight — which I promptly did! Well, over six months that is, and I have dropped about 10kg, which I constantly get told is very noticeable!
So as it stands now, we’re doing the transplant this Thursday, November 8. The date has been fixed for a month or two now, and now it’s just a bit over 24 hours away. Despite occasionally feeling the jitters, I’m okay with the whole situation — not worried really, and quite confident with how things have progressed. Being seen by good people, just like Will is.
Of course, the nerves are more for my son and his position. He’s been in and out of hospitals for his whole life, and is pretty well across the issues he has and the procedures he needs to have. It’s only an 8 year olds’ knowledge, but it’s there, and to his credit he doesn’t show worry much either. It’s not even his first big operation this year, let alone ever…
I’m down in Sydney now with my wife, Sallie, and Will (and baby Ben, he’s just here for the company!) They’ve been here since August, since Will went on to dialysis — an unfortunate necessity. He’s never minded of course, it just meant our family was split up for quite some time (our other two boys are back home with their grandmother). He had a previous big operation in June that made sure we had to wait months more for this one, but here we are now.
So really, I keep telling myself it’s no big deal, that I’ll be in and out inside a week at the most, that it won’t be too bad in terms of discomfort. Nothing I can’t handle. And while that’s basically true, of course I know it is a pretty big thing to do for my son. I think it’s something any parent would do of course, but fortunately most don’t need to. But now I do — and I can do it.
I’ve kept wondering if there was something I could say about organ-donation in general. I read sometimes about altruistic kidney donors, mostly in the UK. Could I have done that? Honestly, I have to admit, probably not. That’s a tough one, and all credit to the people who do it. As for the other kind of organ donation — well, everyone should sign the consent form on their licence. If you don’t need it any more, why not? And if I lost a family member I’d consider it some small comfort to know they could help others live. What’s the down side? What’s the reason to say no, at any stage?
But that’s not what this is about. This is about me helping my son because I can. As I’m sure anyone would. It’s not without risk, but really, anything worth doing has some of that. Should be in hospital until about next Monday or Tuesday, won’t do much for a few weeks, won’t be home until December at least, maybe not until Christmas. Might not go back to work until next year, but I don’t have to decide yet. Not really a problem, and everyone at work has been so supportive — Coonabarabran High School, great place, great people.
So I have one more day before it goes down, but I wait with excitement. Better things to come when it’s done 🙂
I could use this pic endlessly… three of the four boys: Alex, Lachie and Will (l-r).