Wednesday, April 13, 2011

donor slam

Yesterday I was slammed, here, by a kidney donor no less.

Anonymous 2 please meet anonymous 1. This new poster accused me not only of whining, but of being exceedingly selfish.

After spinning a response in my head for too long my brother thoughtfully pointed out that this is my blog and there's no rule stating I must post all comments. Thank you bro—I deleted the missive.

This person also alleged that I spend far too much time talking, thinking, writing, pondering, discussing, exploring my experience.

Anonymous 2: I'm a writer. This is what I do. And while you mentioned you'd glanced through a few of my recent posts and deemed to judge me from those, I thought I'd share other parts of my life for those of you who only know me from here.

One of the many hats I wear is stay-at-home mom to kids young enough to be dropped off and picked up from school, to need help with homework, to be read to at bedtime, to be reminded (countless times) to brush their teeth. Any hesitation I have, with scheduling a date for surgery, is based solely on how it will impact them.

Not me.

As a mother, my needs generally come last on the list. Years ago, I wrote a book proposal called "How Many Vacation Days Come With This Job," because I'm on duty around the clock.

Donating isn't just about me and my brother. It affects my entire family. Can I go into surgery the day both my kids will be facing state wide testing - a far too huge a deal in NYC schools? Can I leave them with no parents at home those mornings and trust that they'll be mature enough to stay focused while I'm in the hospital?

Can I be 4 days post-op and handle 2 school plays, an awards ceremony at the Met, house guests, 2 kids, and 2 puppies while my husband is out of town on a trip planned months ago that he can't miss? I can handle a lot, but I'm also realistic about what I can't.

Yes, donating a kidney is a gift of life. I am here because I want to be and have never, for a moment, wavered in my decision to donate. This is one of the single most important things I will ever do. And so is being a mother. It's not easy to prioritize when people need you. It's almost impossible at times to create a structure that works for everyone.

Sometimes whining is the way I let steam off so I don't blow.

All I can do is do my best. And hope those around me know how whole-heartedly I'm there for them.

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