It saddens me that people think I donated my kidney for attention. It’s been over two weeks since the transplant surgery, yet I still see it being said. Wait. This doesn’t sadden me. It hurts. It hurts really badly that anyone could think this. It also makes me extremely angry that anyone could say such a thing. Obviously, they are people that don’t know me (or Kirti) at ALL. Yeah, we’re shameless in promoting our cause. But that shame has already found a kidney for someone else…that we don’t even know. We’ve had so many people asking us both questions about the surgery, and that is what makes it all worthwhile.
For publicity???? Let’s get something straight here: I donated my kidney to a friend’s mom because there was a need that ANYONE could fulfill. Guess what? I’m not the type of person to stand by and not at least TRY to do something. I would have been CRUSHED if I hadn’t been a match and had to sit by waiting for someone else to step forward. Yeah, I guess I’m a gutsy broad but I’m also a nice, gutsy broad who would do ANYTHING for the people in my life who mean so much to me.
For publicity???? For 4 months I have physically and emotionally suffered through all of this. Actually, almost 5 months. I have been poked for blood over a dozen times. Though I have to have a yearly blood test anyway, the feel of a needle going into my arm every 3 hours was NOT pleasant. Could you do it? I’d gone through 8 weeks of testing (I could have done it all in 3 days, but I was afraid to lose time from work. See where THAT thinking got me???) that I did ALONE. I was terrified during the CT scan. I had never had health issues in my life and here I was, having iodine shot into my body. But as I lay there, all I kept thinking was “TinyMom hasn’t had pizza in 10 years. I can do this.” I went in for what I thought was a simple blood test one Saturday and was checked into a hospital room, because it was a 3-hour test. I had no idea it was going to take that long. I broke down in front of the nurse and told her “Just get it over with. I need this done for TinyMom.” Those were my exact words. And I cried. Alone. In a hospital room. For 3 hours on the day of my birthday dinner and FnB fundraiser. I couldn’t really enjoy either celebration because I was still in pain from the testing that day.
My testing wasn’t even done yet when I lost my job. There are several reasons surrounding that, but the testing was so stressful and time-consuming, I couldn’t concentrate at work. I am 40 years old and I was unemployed. Not only that, but I had to go on-camera for a few news stations and talk about it. I had to hold in my emotions, even though I wanted to break down and scream and kick and cry, to get the word out AGAIN about kidney disease. I do not like the publicity which everyone seems to think is the driving factor in all this. I may be a performer, but once there’s no mic in my hand, I am an introvert. I have to recharge by being alone at home quite often. Every time we were on the news, I watched. And cringed. The attention wasn’t always welcome. My phone, Twitter and Facebook blew up and I couldn’t keep up with it. I wasn’t taking care of myself in order to answer everyone else. I didn’t sleep or eat or shower or leave the house for 2 days after I was fired. Does that sound like I did all of this for publicity???? (By the way, the “publicity” got me an awesome job, doing what I love, because of someone following me on Twitter.)
For publicity????? For 5 days after my surgery, I didn’t shit. That’s right. I didn’t take a shit because of the pain killers I had been on. My stomach was bloated as if I were 3 months pregnant. I couldn’t stand up straight and it hurt to sit down. I also got my period, after it had JUST ended 5 days prior. So, as I am bloated, swollen and in pain from not shitting, I got to attempt to change my tampons. Once I finally got my body going (I mean ONCE I TOOK A SHIT), the pain started to subside. I had to take two stool softeners a day, drink Miralax AND shove a suppository up my ass. I did THAT for publicity, mind you.
I have a 4-inch scar that is still healing, in my PUBES. That means I can’t shave “down there” for quite awhile. I have 4 laproscopy scars on my stomach, with scabs the size of nickles and dimes. That itch. That hurt when I bend over. The incision below is still swollen and I have just now begun to wear underwear because it’s been too swollen & uncomfortable. I am finally weening myself off the Vicodin, which I hate taking. I can’t wear any of my normal clothes yet because of the swelling.
I get really tired still, which is normal because my remaining kidney is growing. I can only go out in public for about an hour at a time and need a nap right after. This means I’m missing out on a LOT of comedy (which has been my life for 8 years), birthday parties, going-away parties and social functions. I am lucky to have the friends that I do and I get visitors, but it’s not the same as being surrounded by people.
My sleep patterns are completely fucked-up. Because I have to nap a couple times a day, I rarely get to sleep at night before 3am.I have a job to do. I have an Ignite presentation to do. I have Dexter to take care of. I have laundry to do. I HAVE to make myself get up, often after only a few hours of sleep, because life goes on.
The word “altruism” has been shoved around a lot the past few months, in regards to me donating my kidney. Here is the definition of altruism, from dictionary.com:
I read your story on how you did not donate your kidney for publicity, i so much agree with you. my story is different because i donated to my boss of 20 years and i worked with an office full of VERY JEALOUS IMMATURE WOMEN. Only one person besides me in the office offered to be tested. You would think they would be grateful because his life was saved but instead i was treated very differently after the donation and always had to listen to ignorant comments directed to me. i think that’s why sometimes i get mad because i did not get to tell my story. To donate and then to be ignored or treated poorly by all coworkers is a feeling i could never describe. I should have felt great but instead they made me feel put down every day. I never had a chance to tell my boss that. I donated january 9th 2009.
I got ZERO support from anyone higher than me in the company. My co-workers asked a lot of questions, but none of my supervisors asked me how I was doing. I was incredibly hurt by that. When I was fired and shit hit the fan in the media, my friends who worked there weren’t allowed to talk to me at all. They were told not to respond to me, too.
Once the story hit the media that I had been fired, the President of the company left me a voicemail. I called him back, but he never responded to the voicemail I left him.