Tonight I talked to my brother about the surgery and how differently we're approaching it. He seems rather mystified by my alternating positivism and anxiety while I can't grasp his comparing the experience to finding a good auto mechanic.
He's had over 20 surgeries in his life.
I've had none.
He lost his first kidney at 9 months.
I'm giving one away 3 months before my 47th birthday.
He's known all his life he'd need a new kidney.
I never imagined volunteering to be put under and sliced open.
And there, I think, is the difference.
He has no choice.
I do. And I'm choosing this. I'm choosing to give away a piece of me. To have anesthesia for the first time. This will be my first major scar, my first planned hospital stay. I've given blood and pee, I've been tested over and over. I've been questioned and challenged in more ways than I could have imagined.
I am confronting a list of what ifs that a healthy person shouldn't have to face.
He and I are coming to this shared experience from such different places.
It is what it is. And I have to be ok with that.