Are you nervous about donating your kidney? Not really

By Michelle Rogers
Kidney donor

I’ve been asked by nearly everyone I encounter whether I am nervous about the surgery donating my kidney. My answer — to their surprise — has been, “Not really.”

For whatever reason, I am just not sweating it. I think it’s my personality type — possibly my astrological sign (Virgo) or blood type (O). And I am not sure whether it’s a good thing or not.

I tend to look forward and envision the future, and not live in the moment (or the past). My friend Trena Erskine would say this is a personality flaw. She reminds me to enjoy the process and live in the moment. And I should probably listen to her.

I am not nervous about the surgery. It will be a vacay!
I am not nervous about the surgery. It will be a vacay!

When I am on vacation, for instance, I am always looking at our itinerary and thinking about what’s next, getting there on time, what to wear and what we will be doing, while I am supposed to be experiencing the joy of today.

But in this case, I think it’s serving me well. I am not worried or nervous about the surgery because I don’t even picture myself in the operating room or recovering in a hospital bed. I already see myself resting in the comfort of my own bed — encased in my down-filled comforter and in my pajamas, with a drink on my nightstand table, a drawer full of snacks and a bell that I can ring to call my boyfriend/caregiver when I am ready to be served breakfast, lunch and dinner — and, of course, foot rubs.

I envision a vacation at home, where I get to catch up on my reading — assigned as part of a new reading group at work — and watch all of my favorite TV shows. I can surf the Internet, read all of the Steve Buttry and Thunderdome blog posts I’ve saved in email and play with digital media tools (but not actually work, because I am on medical leave).

Maybe I am in denial or too optimistic, or maybe I am just excited for the next step forward in my life. Whatever the case, I am not nervous. I am ready for my vacation.


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