There was nothing more to do…

There was nothing more to do…

In keeping with my intention to “stage my house for living“, I’ve been reviewing my email subscriptions, and I came across this one where Minimalist Joshua Fields Millburn ticked the organ donor box on his driver’s licence.

As you know, I was the happy recipient of a kidney transplant in 2011. At that time, I had been so sick for so long that I was considering stopping treatment all together, and just allowing the end to come. There was nothing more to do…

And then to have a transplant was utterly amazing!  My life was suddenly so full of potential that I did not know what to do, and my head was so full of noise that I could barely concentrate on anything – even for as long as a three-year-old. I had so much energy that I could hardly sleep. It felt like Mr Bean painting his house (this will open a new window and start playing with sound immediately).

So for my donor, Joshua, and all the other cadaver donors out there, who will never know the difference that they make, on behalf of myself and all the other recipients, thank you.

Dear Donor,

I am so sorry that my good fortune comes at the cost of your life. I hope it comforts you to know that I am very grateful for your generosity, and that your loss has given me (and possibly others) my life back.

Your kidney has been working perfectly since the transplant. It was working so well that initially I found it quite difficult to keep up with it. After seven years on dialysis, I was only allowed to drink about 700ml per day (about three small lattes), and having to drink two to two and a half litres has been quite a stretch. I have been enjoying previously forbidden pleasures like ice cream, jelly, yoghurt, orange juice and coca-cola. And very large drinks too. Even water tastes so much better now. What I can eat is so much less restricted – baked beans, sausages, chocolate, potatoes, tomatoes and hot chips with salt and vinegar.

Not food related forbidden pleasures I am looking forward to indulging in include bubble baths and swimming in the ocean again. Not so forbidden pleasures include a bit of home renovation and getting a job (I had to quit my job because I was so sick). I would like to take an actual holiday first though – due to my treatment schedule (and the possibility of a transplant), I have not been able to travel very far from home, or go away for very long.

My life is suddenly so full of promise that I hardly know what to make of it. I find it amazing that overnight my prospects changed so dramatically – from endless dialysis coupled with tiredness, sickness, and consequent limitations…

to good health and practically limitless horizons.

Not to mention losing the 5kg of excess fluid that has been dogging me for the last few years.

After only a few short weeks, I already feel so much more energetic, and my mind is so full of thoughts and plans. I feel superhuman. I have started what you might call a Spring Clean that has delayed by several years. I suppose I feel a need to have a clean sweep to go with my new life – to discard all the things and thoughts that I do not need any more. It is certainly very freeing, and I feel as though my tiredness and worldly cares are going out the door with all the junk I do not need anymore.

I very much appreciate the second chance you have given me. My new life resolution is to live this new life to the full – to go out and do things, to try new things and to be the best me that I can be. And in everything I do, and everywhere I go, I will carry you with me and I will always know that none of this would have been possible without you.

Thank you, and wishing you peace and comfort wherever you find yourself now.


photo “the list” by Karol Franks, on Flickr

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