I donated my left kidney to a stranger. AMA
On January 14th I donated my left kidney to someone I never met. This started a chain reaction that allowed three people receive life-saving kidneys.
Wall of text optional.
HOW IT WORKED
To start the process I just called up OSU transplant office and said I’d like to do a non-directed kidney donation. They sent me a booklet then we arranged a day to meet the donor coordinator, surgeon, donor’s advocate, and a social worker who was there to make sure I was emotionally and financially ready for this. Then there were the blood tests, and the 24 hour urine collection, and a 24 hour blood pressure monitor, and more urine samples, and a CT scan and an EKG. Once all the results came back with green lights we setup up a convenient date.
I spent the night before surgery in the hospital getting fluids. The actual surgery took two hours. It was a hand-assisted laparoscopic procedure designed to speed recovery time. I hear that people usually underestimate the pain of the surgery, but with the help of my morphine button it was miserable, but bearable. They had me walking down the halls the next day and I was back in my apartment the day after that. The pain meds made me nauseous and constipated. The CO2 bubbles left in me made it hard to be comfortable and seep through the night. It was thoroughly miserable, but at no point did I wish I hadn’t done it. Now a week later I’m recovered but not quite ready to spend long stretches on my feet so I’m working from home.
Humans only need one kidney and my life after recovery will be exactly the same as it would be otherwise with no increased risk of anything and the same life expectancy. The only change is that I can’t take any pain pill that says ‘NSAID’ on it and that I shouldn’t take up boxing or any activity that has a high risk of kidney injury.
Now my new goal is to get my friends to donate their kidneys. Before I list the reasons you should do this, let me set the mood with two short stories.
There was a man who planned a vacation that would cost him $4000. Before he was about to leave his boss said that he was needed in the office last minute and that a $6000 bonus would be offered for him to cancel his vacation and stay at work. Assuming he could get his plane tickets and hotel refunded, how much does the vacation now really cost him if he chooses to go?
There were 2 elderly men in nursing home beds. The first was positioned so that he could see out the only window. He would spend the day telling the second man what was happening outside the building to entertain him. So the two sat for days with images of children flying kites and dogs playing fetch. Soon the second man became jealous of the first’s privileged position. One night the first man started seizing. The second man grabbed the button to call the nurse, but decided not to press it. The first man died that night and was removed from the nursing home. Then second man asked to be moved across the room so that he can see out the window. Looking out for the first time he finds that it faces only a brick wall. This man did not kill anyone. He only allowed someone to die when he could’ve saved them.
REASONS TO DONATE YOUR KIDNEY:
If you don’t, someone will have to live a short miserable life on dialysis. It’s not that big of a deal. I think that the reason we have 100,000 people waiting for a kidney in this country that has roughly twice as many kidneys as it needs is that people think that donating a kidney is a big deal. But to put it in perspective: If you are willing give birth you’re ok with this level of risk. If you are willing to drink till you’re really hung over you’re ok with the nausea. If you are willing to donate blood you’re ok with giving away your tissue to strangers. If you’ve ever broken a bone and then are willing to try playing that sport again then you’re ok with the pain. If you can take 2 weeks off work you’re ok with the time commitment. And for the Christians on reddit: Jesus got himself crucified on your account. He then said to love others “as I have loved you”. Post-op is not as bad as crucifixion. You owe him. "If you have two cloaks, give to the man who has none" Luke 3:11 "That which you do for the least of these you do for me" Matthew 25:40 I could list more verses, but I’m fairly convinced that absolutely any gospel passage could be used to prove my point so it would really be easier to just link you to the whole thing: http://bit.ly/LUmD6u. More altruistic kidney donation stories: http://dailym.ai/1hjtQ9Y http://bit.ly/1hjtTTs http://bit.ly/1inqh6s
Feel free to ask questions Proof http://imgur.com/CHtY39q
EDIT It was noted in several comments that I made too light of the fact that I couldn't take NSAIDs. NSAIDs are very common class of painkiller that includes most OTC painkillers that aren't Tylenol based. For someone who uses these meds or is at risk of using them this is a huge drawback. I myself have a family history of Arthritis and was duly warned that most arthritis meds are NSAIDs.