Let’s Do This Thing
So, I’ve been thinking about the whole living donor thing – envisioning a thousand possible versions of disaster, calamity and doom. It’s been keeping me up at night (along with all my other demons). It didn’t help that last night I found a web site called “my living liver donor disaster” or something similar. I thought, “Oh good Lord.” Jim told me to stop reading it. He was right. It was just one person’s awful story.
It reminded me of when I was pregnant with Emily and I went online to do research about cleft lip and palate. The only thing I found was information on hospital web sites, birth defect web sites and one guy’s rambling page about his own experience being born with a cleft lip and palate. He said his palate was basically screwed together with metal and little else, and that he’d just had to have an errant tooth removed through his cheek. There was a photo of him smiling and standing on the prow of a boat – he looked happy, but underneath the photo he’d written an entire paragraph about how he wished he’d never been born.
I read this when I was about 24 weeks pregnant with Emily and I thought, “Holy crap. Holy crap. Holy crap.” It was this site that inspired me to launch a site about our journey with Emily called cleftstories. I wanted other desperate parents to find Emily’s web site and see a baby who was loved, and happy and beautiful. I didn’t want them to think their baby’s cleft was a one way ticket to a life of misery because it’s not! Emily is proof of that and so are the many other happy, healthy, gorgeous babies and kids with clefts we’ve met along the way. This page was ONE guy’s story and it was very unfortunate for me, during my hour of need, that it ranked high up in Google’s search results for “cleft lip.”
But I’m digressing. Fast forward to yesterday and I pretty much encountered the same exact thing for living liver donors. I know it’s important to ask the right questions, and I realize that this woman was trying to warn any potential living donor out there that it’s important to be vigilant and communicate with your care team, but geez – why didn’t “livingdonorsuccess.com” come up at the top?
So I went to bed feeling very anxious about the whole living donor thing, but at some point early this morning I felt something akin to an epiphany. Here’s my epiphany…
It’s Ana! I AM going to do this thing if I am a match for her and I’m NOT going to worry about it. There really is no question, here, when you look at it like that. Donating half my liver is something tangible I can do to help make Ana better.
Yes, things may go wrong. Yes, I won’t be at her bedside after her transplant. Yes, I will have to relinquish control and trust entirely over to Jim and our support system and that KILLS the control freak side of me (which is the dominant side). But, I just can’t control everything. I can only hope. I can only pray to…someone or something…that we are cared for and protected and carried through this process to the other side whole, somewhat scarred, but healed.
Have I found faith? I don’t know. I don’t know anything anymore. Isn’t that great? I’ve figured out that it’s okay not to know everything. It’s impossible to know everything. At some point after all my questions are answered, and after I’ve done everything I can to try and control an entirely uncontrollable situation, I have to hold my breath and take the leap.