Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Organ donation in the news

Today, on our local channel 4 there was a story about organ donation.
Story (with video) here:
It's too bad the reporters facts are a little skewed. He states that there are 100,000 people waiting for organs. Yes, ALMOST. But I think being accurate might have been better. As of today, OPTN shows 95,225 (11:57 pm EST). In the article and video it states "As Ingram tags along, he said he was reminded that someone must die so that someone else can live." This is an unfortunate statement. Kidneys, livers for sure. And I have heard that partial lung transplants can be performed from live donors.

Maybe I need to check my facts too?

On MSNBC, there was a story about a kidney donation too.

When will this day end

I am sitting here on the bathroom floor. My son has been throwing up for about 4 hours now. He is curled up in fetal position on a small rectangular lilac shag carpet between the bathtub and toilet. He won't leave the bathroom because he doesn't have the strength to walk to the toilet to throw up. He doesn't want to use our "puke bucket" either. ((The 'bucket' is an old plastic bin from some trip to the hospital a few years ago)). It's pretty tough to see your kids sick like this. Of course when you are holding their head up so they don't bounce their teeth off the porcelain altar, it's very up close and personal.

I told him one time it would make a great picture. Her peered through his arms as they held up his head and peered at me with a thousand yard stare.

""he whispered.

Another round of dry heaves go by. It looks like we will be sequestered in the bathroom for the night. He has wrapped himself with three towels for blankets and a rolled up towel for a pillow.

Is that a twinge in my own stomach, or is it just the day catching up with me?

This day started with a big fat "F"

I am pretty sure the stresses of the month are building. No, I am absolutely sure they have been built and are threatening to fall the hell over crushing me under it's weight. Yesterday, actually last night, my wife took the kids to the hospital. You can read those accounts on last nights post. She had some late work to attend to so I waited at Barnes and Nobel to get the kids from her. I wandered around, actually enjoying the 45 minutes or so that I had to myself. I got the call and met the wife and kids out in the parking lot. They had been driving my wife crazy. You know, being kids. We decided to forgo dinner for a bit and head back into the bookstore to see what was on sale. Eventually settling on a couple of art and history books. Then it was off to dinner.

Last night, really good. This morning, not so much.

I got up a little late. Last night our dryer wasn't working very efficiently so I had to baby sit the damn thing. It heats up, but doesn't dry. I checked the lint trap and hose, they are clear. There is hot air but the clothes don't seem to dry. It took FOUR hours to get half way through a load. But I could smell a burning/hot scent so I turned off the dryer and went to bed at nearly 1:00am. Now we have a dead dryer (or at least wounded) with a half wet load of clothes and a washer with a very wet load of clothes.

Once I finally got up, I had to motivate my sleepy head child to hit the shower ASAP. Not an easy task. I then headed down to make breakfast where my youngest was already eating and reading my blog. Which was pretty cool, I must say.

I hurried to make breakfast for the other one then went up and showered and dressed my self. After I made it down stairs, I had to sign a grade report that was very, VERY disappointing. But I couldn't dwell on it, nor could I fix it then or there.

I then realized we were about 10 minutes late and tried to rush the kids and myself to the car. I saw that there was lunch making materials EVERYWHERE! My youngest was making lunch for himself and possibly getting stuff ready for his sister since he didn't think she would want to buy lunch today.

"F*** !"I screamed!

Everything STOPPED.......

"We gotta GO!"...."NOW!!!!"

It was deadly silent by the time we all made it to car. As I looked back to my kids, I saw tears in the eyes of one and uncertain fear in the other.

Seeing this, I said "I want to make it crystal clear. As clear as a clear blue sky. I am NOT mad any either of you." "Neither of you have done anything wrong this morning." I added.

I went on to say, "As your dad, it is my responsibility to get you up, make you breakfast and get your lunches ready for the day." "I failed to do that today."

My words had little bearing on them. The damage had already been done. They took it upon themselves as the creators of this situation and nothing I could say would change that.

My day went from okay, to bad to worse to F***ed up in just a few minutes.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Not happy news

Today's report from UPMC is not so great. Apparently, the recipient isn't getting the necessary care. Today, after being in the hospital for a week, he has a decent sized bed sore. It's not abscessed or anything. Yet. But with a wound of that type, infections are very possible.

I have mentioned before that hospitals aren't exactly the cleanest facilities around.

Since he is taking medications for organ rejection, AND he is borderline diabetic it puts him in a precarious position. Not to mention the hospital staff isn't always following proper hand cleaning procedures. Today, they came in, rubbed the anti biotic germ killer lotion on, gloved up and putzed around with the bed. The dirty, rarely gets cleaned, germ infested bed and controls. THEN, they used the same gloved hands and started to mess around with the recipient and his bedding and such. HELLO, that's what gets people sick!

Another report today was that yesterday, the doctors removed an abdominal drain tube. Which seems a little premature to me (to us). This morning, he was wet with leakage and blood from the area where the tube was removed.

I wonder what the insides look like?

The recipient isn't one to complain, but today, he was point blank asked if he is getting the care he needs. He said "no". That's got to be pretty bad when he says that.

Sunday afternoon, there was a patient alarm that was ringing for roughly an hour. One of our family members went to the front desk to see if there was something WE could do to help the patient. The staff effectively passed it off and never did go attend to the patient.

It seems that the 12th floor, South has issues at UPMC.

To finish things off, or at least start things going, a ruckus was made today. Two people that you would want on your side, made noise. Pretty soon, there were doctors, several of them and a bit of yelling and possibly some finger wagging. Things changed but only time will tell if it's for the better. Better care that is.

Our family has had it's times in various situations in hospitals. If there is one thing you can take from this blog. NEVER leave someone alone for a length of time in a hospital if you can help it. TAKE NOTES. Dates, times and activities. Usually, that is my job. No one else will do it. But when you have a document, the staff notices and subconsciously or even consciously, it makes for better care.

Over the next few days, we will be paying closer attention to the care the recipient gets. He isn't the only one there and we know it. But he's our charge too.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Quote Of The Day

"LIFE'S JOURNEY is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "Holy shit, what a ride!" - Mavis Leyrer

Making progress

Well, from all accounts, things went quite well today. The recipient was able to sit up. Move and walk. Pretty dang good on day 6. He also got some grub! I don't remember everything he ate but I think it was substantial. Perhaps I can get more, better (LOL) recollection tomorrow when I head into the hospital after work.

Cool stuff

The alarm clock that runs away and hides when you don't wake up. Clocky gives you one chance to get up. But if you snooze, Clocky will jump off of your nightstand and wheel around your room looking for a place to hide. Clocky is kind of like a misbehaving pet, only he will get up at the right time.

I wonder if Clocky and Roomba would chase each other around? What would their offspring look like?

HUGE stresses

Well, Monday's suck, but when I received confirmation that I will be traveling out of town for the next THREE weeks, it just really sucked.

In many cases, I may only be gone for three days, but the three trips coming up are four or five day trips. Since my wife works from 3:30am to noon, it makes it a bit difficult to find a babysitter that will work at 3:00 in the morning. Actually we have one, but he's in the hospital.

.near tears, VERY high levels of stress now!!!!.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

A bond

Taking a clean white washcloth, running it under the warm water and wringing it out, she washes his face with great care. careful to not press too hard. Removing a few days worth of sweat, drool and I am sure perhaps a few hidden tears. I see this happening just a few feet from me. Yet I am perplexed at what my heart tells me. I think I am seeing her as a hero right now. She has taken care of him for many years. A decision we have both taken a part in, but she has the lead. Her piety is amazing. You can look into her eyes and see the fear. When we embrace, I can feel the trepidation. Her fear of what the future holds has taken hold in her mind. She feels the pain. His pain. But it is another pain. A different kind of discomfort.

There is nothing like a bond between a mother and a child. A man will never understand nor achieve that level of a bond.

Yet the relationship of a father and his daughter is something that stories should be told. Movies could be made and songs have been written. I can relate to that bond. I can understand from the point of a father. I can only hope, that we have placed into our children, the desire and the ability to care for another human being with the level of love, care and compassion that I have been witnessing in these past several days.

There is an unfortunate contradiction that has my emotions in a struggle between my heart and my mind where logic is the casualty. I believe I am jealous. There are pangs of hurt seeing her care for another man like this. Regardless of the man. Yet, I was ready to offer my own liver to save his life. It appears that I wanted to be the hero in the eyes of my bride. Yet, now, I have slid off to the shadows. My role no less significant. But not quite front least within the recesses of my emotions.

I have now been able to actually perform the role that I have desired so much. To take care of my children on a daily basis. I put them to bed, and get them up, prepare their breakfast and get them off to school. At night, we discuss their day and ensure they know that I care about their future.

Not much different than my wife and her own.......father.

On the road again

The recipient had a BIG day today. He was given some yummy beef broth. Something that smelled decent, but looked like it was scooped up form a Louisiana bayou. It looked pretty brown. It was beef broth, and I suppose after five days of no food it will pass as food or something resembling a food product. He also got some crackers and a little Sprite/7UP/Sierra Mist to boot. Early this evening he was moved from ICU to a bed and rolled on down the road on up to another floor. He only stayed in ICU for four days. We were expecting to see him in there for about two weeks. There could be a couple of factors at play. One, would be insurance. Get him to a cheaper room. Or two, his progress. He has seen his (or "a") doctor a few times each day. Well, he remembers seeing one but it could be the hallucinations from the really "good stuff" he's getting for the pain. The good doc says things are going well. I guess that' waht we want to hear, right.

Anyway, he was on the move Saturday evening.

Once he made it up to hi s new diggs, we broke out the Lysol disinfectant wipes and wiped down all the surfaces we thought he might be able to touch and what ever we might be able to touch.

Hospitals aren't exactly the cleanest environments. We tried to do our part.

Before he departed the ICU, I found out that his nurse was from the beautiful Pacific Northwest. More inland than where I came from. But a NWer nonetheless. Once we learned that, i was asked to see if I had any pictures from one of our trips to the Great State of WA. Surely enough, I did. She was pretty excited to see those. So I offered to see what I had at home and put together a CD of pictures from WA, OR and ID. DONE!

The recipient made it up to his new room and we shortly followed after. It's pretty nice. A single bed so we don't have to deal with other visitors in the same room. I am sure as time goes on, he might end up in a double room. But for now, it will be nice. We were limited to two people in ICU.

He was pretty pooped out. We could see it on his face. He wasn't as talkative either. One of the main issues is his pain medication. A full dose will render him pretty loopy for about 12-15 hours. He can wake up but he isn't too aware. But a few hours after the meds wear off I think he has his best hours. Where he can hold a conversation and is aware. Another issue is he has double vision. He can't really read and watching TV (he has one now) might not be all that comfortable. He can hear, so it's at least something. his pinky, ring and middle finger of his left hand are numb and don't bend all the way into a fist. It's something the nurses have been made aware of but no one seems to think it's an issue. Except us of course.

My wife is sleeping in the room tonight. She wasn't convinced he is doing well enough to be in a new room without full supervision. The ICU rooms are wide doors and a nurse within eyesight. These are actual rooms and you can't see the patients unless you are actually IN the rooms. Hopefully, things go well tonight. The nursing staff is in for a treat, that's for sure. Wait until the other daughter is well enough to head to the floor. Whoo, wheeee.

Actually, to digress a little. My wife put don a few "orders" for the "new" nursing staff. She asked that everyone that enters the room, use the disinfectant gel that is at every door. The nurse in charge looked at her like it was out of the question. But yet, there are signs EVERYWHERE to have hospital staff wash when entering AND leaving. I'll leave it there, because you don't have enough time to go over the cleanliness of the rooms. This new one looked a little better. But really. It's not somewhere you can call CLEAN. No hospital is.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Scheduled for a move

It appears that things are going well. The recipient is supposed to be moved to a regular room today. They had him sitting up in bed and he was drinking broth or had been given the ability to drink broth if he was ready for it. Both are milestones on the road to recovery.

But, we have one sick person in the group. She decided to stay home (well, her home while she is here) and he partner in crime stayed home too. Hopefully the rest will do good for them.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Quote Of The Day

"Don't you find it funny that all these tough-guy boxers are fighting over a purse?" - George Carlin

Back in the game

I took my daughter in to the doctors office today to have her eye checked out. We want to make sure nothing gets to the point of an infection. Obviously, since we are around someone with little or no immune system.
She doesn't have anything bad, but we do have some eye drops to clear what ever it is, up.

While I was there, I chatted with one of the nurses I will call "S". Another nurse there is a neighbor of the recipient so "S" already knew what was going on. So I told her my side of the story and that I was doing an organ donation awareness project with pictures. Of course, I asked if she was an organ donor, and of course, she was, and has been for quite some time.

"S" was a lot of fun to talk to. Unfortunately, she was a busy woman. You can see her portrait here.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I Can Feel It

Through the dry cracked lips and harsh raspy voice, he said he feels better. Even through the constant pain, he knows the liver and himself are getting better.

Those words weren't what I expected to hear. But again, I really didn't expect to hear anything. Or much about nothing. But he said he can feel it. We talked about small things. He was pretty alert but drifted off every so often. The more we talked the more coherent he was. They took out the intubation tube late last night or early this morning. You can tell it bothers him still. But as always, he won't let you know it.

I shot some pictures of various family members that were here. Two more came in today. The two that show the most support are now here (three in total). These two have also visited the most in our four years here. So their presence truly is no surprise. We're glad to have them.

I looked through the pictures tonight and it was shocking to see how yellow his skin was. I have never really noticed it. But under the fluorescent lights and against another person as they were holding hands, I could see how bad he had gotten. I have also been told that his color is coming back. So at this point, I will trust those that can see the difference. I am almost ashamed to say I could not, or did not, see it.

He's a fighter

Well, we warned them.

He woke up early this morning (or late last night) and said something to the effect that "I don't want this liver" wiggled his hands loose (or they weren't restrained) then pulled his abdominal drain tube out.

Ouch, that'll leave a mark.

They left it out, but I don't know if they sedated him again, or if they were able to get him restrained again. It's a little fuzzy at that point.

I should get a call later this morning to see what else has happened. I plan on heading down there this afternoons to check in on things.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Numbers for the week

Waiting list candidates as of today 8:16pm
All 95,142
Kidney 70,160
Pancreas 1,747
Kidney/Pancreas 2,388
Liver 16,976
Intestine 234
Heart 2,824
Lung 2,825
Heart/Lung 132
All candidates will be less than the sum due to candidates waiting for multiple organs

Transplants performed January - November 2006
Total 26,691
Deceased Donor 20,493
Living Donor 6,198
Based on OPTN data as of 02/16/2007

Donors recovered January - November 2006
Total 13,582
Deceased Donor 7,386
Living Donor 6,196
Based on OPTN data as of 02/16/2007

Quote Of The Day

"I know why many families with tragedies end up in divorce. One of them is a pain in the ass." ~unknown

Wednesday Update

Sometime today (I am not being updated very well by those present at the hospital) They brought him out of sedation but he's unaware and combative. Which that means he has to be restrained. We already knew of the possibility of restraints so it's no surprise to us. The recipient is probably surprised but it's for his own safety. Hopefully tomorrow they can take the respirator off/out and then he can communicate. Right now, all he wants to do is pull all the tubes off and out.

Sorry about the "summary" update. I don't have much to work with.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Afternoon Update

Earlier today, while I posted about the pain and suffering of another party, I failed to update the status of the recipient.

He is doing well.

Let's summarize (according to my recollection and second or third hand accounts).
Mon 2/19/07 (mid/late morning) The recipient received a call from UPMC saying they might have a liver.
Mon 2/19/07 (early afternoon) They received another call stating that the liver may still be available and that you should think about coming to the hospital, but there is no rush.
Mon 2/19/07 (less than an hour after the second call) A bit more frantic, the transplant coordinator wanted to know why they weren't at the hospital yet.
Mon 2/19/07 (2:30pm) The recipient the wife and the daughter all head to the hospital. Not sure if this is the real deal or not. They check into UPMC and begin the battery of tests necessary in order to determine if he is viable and capable of receiving an organ.
Mon 2/19/07 (late afternoon/early evening) Other family members arrive as he is in the ambulatory area waiting to be assigned to a room. Early indicators are still in line with actually receiving a liver. Documents are signed and verbally discussed. But no doctor, nurse or otherwise has discussed how the procedure will actually progress nor what the expectations are to be for the evenings events. The initial time frame is 9/9:30 pm for either a word or an actual start time for the transplant.
Mon 2/19/07 (8:00pm) The recipient is wheeled up to a room with a view. At least for those not lying on the gurney. A duo of nurses come in to go over meds and the current days activities. The 9/9:30 time is still being floated.
Mon 2/19/07 (9:/9:30pm) A new time has been tentatively assigned and it is 12/12:30am. We inquire about the donor and no information will be given nor confirmed. Let me guess, HIPAA.
Tue 2/20/07 (2:30am) Time to head into pre-op.
Tue 2/20/07 (4:00am) Surgery begins.
Tue 2/20/07 (7:00am) The sick liver has been removed. Only issue and it's a non issue, is that the small portion of the liver that still sort of works has enlarged and it was tough to remove.
Tue 2/20/07 (7:00am) The new (to him) liver is being transplanted.
Tue 2/20/07 (10/11:00am) He has come out of surgery and is doing well. There are all sorts of tubes, IV's, and the like in, on and around him. He is still under anesthesia (type that three time fast) and will remain so for a couple of days. We have been told that he will be in intensive care for a couple of weeks. Of course it all depends on how well he does. AND of course if the liver is accepted or rejected. These first few days are critical.
Tue 2/20/07 (11:15am) A family member arrives at the airport. It's been a long 13 hours and the Atlanta Delta Airlines crews are on a shit list that isn't all too pleasant to be on. Good luck to them.
Tue 2/20/07 (3:30pm) We see him for the last time today and head home. Everyone is going to try and get some much needed rest.

Bed 14

They arrived in a storm of sorrow. All four of them came through the doors with tears and sobbing.

Someone had died.

I don't know if it was their relative or a friend. It could have been a parent a brother or a sister. I will most likely never know. They are here in the ICU area with us. They might be here because of the results of an accident or a trauma. We are here for a transplant. The ICU, I think, is for those that need the closest of care.

They sat on both sides of the aisle. The hospital is normally a little dark. The offwhite walls are scarred by black scuff marks of guerney's and brown smudges from a long history of family and friends leaning on the walls. I exited out the waiting room as two women were embracing......comforting.....I couldn't stop. It would have been uncomfortable. Standing wanting to pass by them. I turned sideways and slowly made my way by them. Her hand was on the back of the other and I reached out.......touching her to offer some sort of support.

There wasn't any eye contect but I saw her hand. I hoped it helped. I wanted to help.

I walked down the hallway into an admissions area to inquire about validating our parking. It seemed so insignificant. I knew someone feet away has passed. On the other side of hte glass brick walls are people that have no idea about the event that have just recently transpired.

I know death happens every day. Few of us are privy to the events. But seeing the pain on their faces and knowing the sadness they are enduring was difficult. I returned to the waiting area and had to walk through this small group again. One woman was slumped down on the wall in near complete despair. He face was wracked with misery. Her eyes were red, her face was tear stained. Her eyes darted back and forth never completely looking above the two or so feet that she was at while slumped in a ball at the corner of the hallway.

She was, litterally and an intersection in her life.

A Long Journey Begins

After making it into pre-op at around 2:00 am, he was wheeled into surgery around 4:00 am. His bad liver was removed by 7:00 am or so and his new (new to him) liver is being put in now (it's 8:14am).
It sounds like there are still several hours to go and he could be done just before noon today.

Of course once he comes out it will be straight into ICU for about a week. We don't know what the daily routine will be while in ICU. I don't expect it to be a lazy day at the ranch though. When I was going through the process to be a donor, they told me I would be up and walking by the second day or so. That's as a donor.

As a liver recipient, the process is so much more invasive. He will go through a significantly bigger process. I won't even pretend to know what will be happening. But I will post updates as the process goes along and as I learn of them.

If you want to sort of see what happens in surgery, head over to a real liver donor blog. Mike's blog (he has pictures). Some of his pictures are graphic ACTUAL surgery pictures. Lucky him. Our hospital freaked out claiming HIPAA laws. I wish they actually knew what HIPAA was about but that is their boiler plate response to anything. 'No you can't do that, HIPAA'....'Sorry, HIPAA'. Then again, maybe I don't knoew the datails about HIPAA..... but that's for another blog post.


I talked to my sister in law about 30 minutes ago. She's in Atlanta on her way here. She sounded like she has bee run through the ringer. No sleep. Nervous and having to deal with a so called red eye flight cross country.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Time Has Come

Our first time slice was between 9 and 10 pm. Just under an hour ago we were pushed to between midnight and 12:30am.

We don't have 100% confirmation, but it was understood that the donor has passed away.

I should get a call from my wife in an hour or so as to whether or not the surgery is a go. Even then, it could be several more hours before the first cut. And then again, once they are inside, things can be stopped. I will post once I get any more news.

Playing the waiting game

It's 5:00 pm now and he is undergoing medical tests.

There is no other word except that.

We don't know the status of the donor either.

We aren't sure if it's a go ahead or if it's a stop.
Hopefully, we will know in a few hours, but since the process started late this morning, we may not know anything until late tonight or tomorrow. I really just don't know what the timeframe is with this type of situation. Nor do I know what to expect.

It sucks not knowing anything.

Ball of emotions a call.

"My" former recipient...has been called by the hospital. They might have a liver available.......

Right now, there is a possible donor. It's not a live donor, so to speak. But as of now he hasn't passed away either. Well at least as of a few hours ago when we first got the call.

It is actually really very difficult to think about. Someone is dying, and someone might have their life extended. It is really very emotionally troubling.

I just got another call, the hospital wants him there NOW.

The reality is, that once he gets there things can slow, stop or reverse. But it's still a step to move forward.

On pins and needles

I hope to have some news for you in a few hours. But until then.....I can't tell you what's happening. Either way, it will be interesting.

Valentines Day is National Donor Day

I found out this weekend that Valentines Day isn't just for Hallmark anymore. It is also National Organ Donor Day in the US. It's on Valentines day for a reason.

"National Donor Day was started in 1998 by the Saturn Corporation and its United Auto Workers partners with the support of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and many nonprofit health organizations. "

I am actually quite disappointed for a couple of reasons. First is that I didn't know it was National Donor Day. Second, was that no one else knew it was National Donor Day. Third, that no one told me it was National Donor Day (see #2).

I actually found out by reading Becky's blog then I also read Joshes blog. Josh knew, but Becky found out after the fact. Now, here I am, almost a week late.


Friday, February 16, 2007

Quote of the day

"The gene pool could use a little chlorine."

Where is my compass

Normally, I try to plan things out so as to cover anything that might arise. Of course, I don't get it all right all the time. Heck, I probably don't get it right even part of the time. It's probably more that I think I am in control, yet nothing is controllable.

When I was starting on the journey of being a liver donor I know I was going to document the process in some fashion. I thought about keeping notes, then a book, then the blog now it's the blog that will be a book. I wanted to keep it on the blog rather than a thing. I thought having the blog would be a better way of keeping things simple. Then when the newspaper thing never materialized, I decided to photo document it myself. That's where the flickr site came into play. Honestly, I didn't want the photos on the blog for some reason. Again, it might have been simplicity. I wanted the flickr site to be photos only and the blog to be words only. When I put together the business cards I only put the flickr site on the card. Of course, from there, you can see the link to this blog.

Lately, I think in my attempt to be simple, I have seriously undermined that attempt and harmed my desire to be legitimate as well. Now I know the blog is fine, but by separating them into two very different objects, I think it has caused a serious division and of course, has ceased to be simple. I now have two sites to update (technically three when you add in the wordpress mirror of the blog).


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I get to live my dream

I was telling my daughter good night and she asked for a hug.
While we were hugging, she asked if we could do this all day.

What winter brings in

There is about two or three inches of snow on the ground. It started late last night as a trickle. or more like a flurry. It was very light almost like winter fire flies as the snow flakes were lit from the street lights.

This morning, it appears that few of the roads have been taken care of. The area has been expecting this snow storm to come in for a few days now. So I guess they are all waiting for the now to be real deep then they will put out the plows and the salt. Oh well.

Since the it was so slow in going. I decided to pit stop to see if I could get my hair cut. Lo and behold, they were open.

I gave my name and the stylist said it would be a minute.

It was chilly in the salon. I don't get cold much, but I noticed it soon after I walked in the door.

It was my turn. I sat down and the stylist turned my collar down to put the nifty white paper necker on me and asked how I wanted my hair cut. "3" please. "Are you sure?", "it's pretty short". Well, I am pretty sure. I rarely get my hair cut and i know it's more of a summer cut, so let's go with a 3.

She again offered to start with something longer just in case. But heck, it's only hair and it will grow back. Besides, I ALWAYS wear a hat.

She snapped on the #3 and I heard the buzz of the clippers. She pushed the clippers to my head and in one fell swoosh, I was flashing back to my first military hair cut. But back then, I was the smart ass of the group. I asked if they could just take a little off the top. To my surprise, he did only take a little off the top. He just didn't stop until it was nothing but stubble and skin.

Back to the present. I can feel a cool breeze on my head as my hair is getting shorn off in large clumps. Hmmm, perhaps I should have started with a longer cut. Oh well, too late now! She continued to cut away all of my hair around the base of my head. Boy, that looks short. I think the last time I had it cut was mid summer or early fall so it's about time anyway.

As she was busily working on my locks, I jumped right in and asked if she was an organ donor. "Yes I am" she replied. We talked about her family being very giving. Being an organ donor was something she definitely believed in. Her mom....not so much. She thought that if you are in a coma, the doctors wouldn't save you so they could get the organs.

I went on to say that while it is possible, after all, the systems is being run by humans and we are NOT perfect, it's not real probable. There are just too many risks and other moral and professional issues that doctors face when in that situation. But boy I hear it so often.

My cut was done and I was paying. I handed her my card and asked if I would be able to take her picture for my project. She was just as enthusiastic as when we first started to talk.

Of course, you can see the portrait of "S" on the flickr page here. She has incredible brown eyes and great lips. As we talked, she mentions that she changes her hair color often. I was able to see the brown with highlights. But she has done other colors like blue and red.

As always, I am grateful for the time people spend with me. She was fun to talk with and I can only assume she has many stories to tell, from a stylist point of view.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The payback

I was leaving work about 9:30 tonight wondering where or how I could get to talk to a person about organ donation. It's late, a winter storm watch is in effect. (It was downgraded from a warning). So I thought I should stop and top off the gas tank. You know, you should drive on the top half rather than the bottom half.

I pulled into the local corner gas station/convenience store and swiped my card. Selected the cheapest octane fuel to put into my beater. I can't really call it a car, but it is my current mode of transportation. The speakers were blaring out Abba and the Bee Gee's. I even looked at them in a bit of disbelief to hear the sounds of the 70's.

I gripped the cold metal handle and noticed it felt slippery. No, more like there was a film or substance on the lever. It was probably the salt spray from the various cars that pull in. Or it could have been the windshield washer fluid that they use to clean the windows. Either way, I squeezed as much life out of the hose to fill my steed.

While the fuel was flowing, I looked around. There was a white car across from me as I was facing. The guy had a leather jacket on, but was not interested in anything but his eventual destination. Next to me in the same lane was another car, but no occupants. They must be inside. They could be getting anything from donuts, to hoagies to motor oil. Beyond my neighbor was a yellow cab. The cabbie was dutilly cleaning the interior glass. I thought that was nice that he took the time to clean and squeegee the inside windows.

Ker clunk! My tank was full and I was pulled from my observations abruptly.

I too sought out a squeegee and took to my own windows in an attempt to rid the beast of it's salty film.

As I made it around the car and finished my own windows. Everyone else had filled and went their own ways. But the yellow cab was still there. Cleaning. Taking care. I started up the engine and looked for a spot to pull into so I could approach the cab and it's driver. As I was parking, a man walked out wearing a kilt. He would have been a great person to talk to. But I wasn't fast enough to get out. He was in his own car on on his way.

I grabbed a card and walked back to the fuel aisle to talk to the cabbie. He wasn't a big buy, but he was bigger than me. I noticed he was wearing green shirt and dark outer coat. But what I thought was the stand out was his short dreadlocks. Or at least what I identified as dreads.

I approached him as he was cleaning the passenger side, rear windows. He didn't even slow down. I passed my card and asked if he knew anything about organ donation. He didn't then I asked if he had some time to talk about organ donation.

I didn't hear his first response. The 70's were ringing in my ear. But I leaned in and he did say it was against his beliefs. I appreciated his candor and it piqued my curiosity. He went on to say that the body should depart whole. But he did add that he donated blood that was able to save his daughters life.

Blood is a renewable resource. It was therefore acceptable. I was really enjoying my conversation at this point. I again expressed his honesty and I reiterated that I was there to talk about donation and not change minds. Hopefully he can talk about it and his own reasons with his fares or his family. We walked around the cab. Cleaning then wiping up. Probably as much for him as for his fares. He wasn't so meticulous that it hurt to watch, but he wiped the excess off the black vinyl so it didn't look messy.

I tried to stay close, since I couldn't hear him too well. But still trying to stay out of his way. He went on to say he was an entertainer. He and his friends have done some musical creations for a few large companies in the area that I recognized. I could see that portion of his life brought him great joy. He smiled big when he spoke of his daughter and his music.

As we were each departing on our own directions, we reached out to shake hands. "J", it was a pleasure to talk to you.

Perhaps he will drop me a line for a portrait some day.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Quote of the day

"I see grade-school-age children say goodbye to their fathers who are dying because no donor hearts are available." - Brooks S. Edwards, M.D.

Some fears have realistic issues

I posted earlier that one of the most common fears people have when deciding on becoming an organ donor is if they are in an accident, that they will be allowed to die so that their organs can be harvested. Here is an article from the Cleveland Herald-Dispatch that sort of addresses that issue.

A few more numbers

I was on the CDC website and found these numbers on deaths from all causes (the link is a PDF file). I pulled out a few that most would recognize. These are TOTAL deaths as reported and gathered by the CDC.

The OPTN data (from UNOS) that I cite often on this blog is specifically based on organ donations and those that are on the transplant list. As you can see, with the 6,000 deaths OPTN data) I have reported in the past, there are actually over 26,000 (CDC data) that die just from liver disease. The 6,000 (estimated 17 every day) are those that are waiting for an organ.

Disease 2004 Deaths
Heart disease: 654,092
Cancer: 550,270
Diabetes: 72,815
Influenza/Pneumonia: 61,472
Motor vehicle accidents: 43,947
Liver disease: 26,549
Homicides: 16,611
HIV: 12,995

It is not humanly possible to save every life. Nor can every life be extended. I bring up the numbers more to aggregate the law of averages. Eventually, you will experience one of the above issues. Either in you, your family or a close friend.

Organ donation will not help many of the above health issues, but some of them it will directly affect. PLEASE, be an organ donor and talk to your family about your wishes.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Glacial speed ahead

I made it out of Columbus Wednesday night. The roads were fine but I could see on the median where some cars had crossed into the grass either from a driver deciding that they wanted to go a different direction from accidents or emergency vehicles. Regardless, there were a lot of tracks in the median on the roughly, three hour drive home.

I wasn't able to talk to many people, except for the waitress at Red Robin. Then there was so much work piled up for me, I didn't even really take lunch when I got back to the office. It's been eleven days since I have been able to get a portrait for the One-A-Day-2007 project. That doesn't bode well for my ratio of portraits days to non portrait days. But I have been able to talk to a few people. There was the couple at the book store cafe, the girl at Red Robin and I was able to talk to a couple of donut makers today. One was not an organ donor. She doesn't even have a drivers license yet. The other was an organ donor. I asked why and how she came to the decision of being an organ donor. She said that it was the right thing. When she dies, she can't use the organs so they might as well go to some good for someone else. I wanted to talk to her more, but she went to attend to paying customers.

The non donor, was still available so I chatted with her about a few things. One was that when she does get her license, and if she decides to be a donor, she must discuss it with her family. She did go on to say that she had heard hat if you are in an accident and end up in a coma, the doctors will not save you so they can take your organs. I replied to the contrary but with a caution. I am sure it could have happened and it can happen. My reality of it is that even a doctor doesn't know if any organs are viable to transfer so the risk of letting someone die with the possibility of a transfer is way too risky.

The fear of doctors letting you die to take your organs is a common theme I hear so many times. Like everything, if something is repeated often enough, it "becomes truth". I hope and trust that the information I repeat is true and factual. It's very important to me that there is some integrity to my project.

Since I have reduced altered my focus of the One-A-Day-2007 project. I am concentrating on the message of organ donation with the hope I can get a photo. But it's not the primary goal now. I did pick up a digital voice recorder so that if I get the opportunity to do an interview, I can record it to get better stories and ensure I can quote people accurately.

Again, accuracy and integrity is paramount.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Bright and beautiful

For a few weeks, I have been wondering if my desire for approaching people for portraits has waned. Well, I know it has. I was using the excuse of organ donation to get up the nerve to get street portraits. A guise that I knew would come to bother me like a sliver of fiberglass in the palm of your hand.

I am combining two in to one. I am passionate about photography. I have been for well over twenty years. I am a heartfelt crusader for organ donation. I know that regardless of the number of people I talk to, we will always have tens of thousands of people waiting for organs and there will thousands that will never get them.

As a photographer. I will probably never become a true professional. One that can actually pay a mortgage and a car payment with my photography. I enjoy it too much. If it weren't for the good senses of my wife, I would be a starving artist.

While in Columbus, I have not had much of an opportunity to discuss organ donation. Last night I was able to eat dinner via the drive through of White Castle. I won't return.

Today, I was suppose to return home but the Alberta Clipper brought several inches of snow with her.

We sat in the conference room, watching the sky turn from light, to gray, to dark gray. Then the flurries blew in. Lightly at first, then as the clock ticked by the snow accumulated more and more. The flakes got big and crunchy when the temperature dropped and as they piled up, inch, by inch, by inch.

When I was able to venture outside. The ground was covered with about 4 inches of large pristine ice crystals. It was almost a disappointment to have to walk through the beautiful pearl carpet of snow. I stepped solemnly through the parking lot. Hearing the snow crunch and compress under my shoes.

Swoosh, crunch. Swoosh, crunch. Everything else was silent.

After I cleaned off my car, I drove off into the night watching the snow flakes streak towards me like stars in warp drive. The streets were still busy with drivers crawling slowly through the mush.

Since it was only 9:00 I decided to try for a better destination than last night. Restaurant after restaurant was closed. Dairy Queen, Panda Express and Smokey Bones were all dark void of cars or signs of night life. I decided on an all time favorite. RED ROBIN. Oh yeah!

I pulled around the lot and saw that there were only a few cars in the parking lot. I am sure they were mostly employees. I went in anyway, HOPING they would still be serving. I was in luck. There was a family in a booth and two guys at the bar. The two at teh bar appeared to be travelers like myself, but they were engaged in conversation of various topics from drilling in the arctic to sports scores. I wasn't able to see or hear much of anything from the family since they were behind me. The hostess did inquire about their unexpected long weekend resulting from cold weather canceling schools in the area. I think I probably heard them say they were happy about it, but perhaps that was my own kids answering the question.

Shortly after, she arrived to tend to me and inquired about my drink of choice. "Sprite please" and a "Whisky River BBQ, no pink, no onion straws" I replied back.

Off she went to fulfill my order. "I heard her say "One burger, no pink" to the cook. It's amazing what you hear when the ground is covered with snow, late at night.

I had a new issue of RangeFinder magazine that had an article about street photography. I thought I should read it to see if there is anything I was doing wrong. or to confirm what I am doing right and if the results are what's expected.

Being a visual person by nature, I paid attention to the only other person that was paying attention to me. She was slender and perky with a very nice attitude. She had short dark hair in a bob style cut. Her eyes are hard to explain. They didn't glow, nor did they pierce. Perhaps they were simply understated by her great lips, her jawline and cheekbones and her smile. That smile just seemed to come naturally. Her facial features just exuded a classical look. Sort of like a portrait Clarence Bull took of Audrey Hepburn. She had "that look".
Well, in my mind any way.

When "J" brought my burger and bottomless steak fries I eagerly dove in. Later, after she brought my second Sprite, she asked if there was anything she could get for me.

Well......"I could use a subject for a portrait."

Of course, that isn't what anyone expects to hear. So she stopped long enough to let me give her a card and explain my organ donation awareness project. She volunteered that she is a donor in which I inquired as to why she decided that route. "It's the right thing to do" "J" replied. Over our course of conversation, I learned she is also a plasma donor. She also believes that if we can't use them after we are dead, then we should leave something behind to help others.

We discussed about making sure family members are aware that it's our desire to be an organ donor. Something that many people still don't realize. you must discuss it with the people that can stop your wishes from being carried out. Another subject was the potential for abuse in a near end of life situation. In aspect of a person being in a near death situation being neglected so that the organs can be harvested.

It's a common fear. While I cannot say for a 100% certainty that it hasn't happened. Nor can I say that it won't happen. The decisions to save a life or stop care for a life are made by humans that are not perfect. But if it were me and my life was that close to the end, do I really want to be brought back to life to continue to be in a questionable physical state? I am not sure I would want to. Again, I have to trust that the doctors and my next of kin will be able to make the right decisions in that situation.

After all, "J" too declined my request for a portrait. I did bring it up again as I was leaving, but she appeared pretty concerned. I understand.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Eeny, meeny, miney

After our budget meeting, I was sitting there looking around.

To our left, in the main part of the cafe, was an attractive couple in their early 20's. She had curly blond hair that reminded me of Meg Ryan in Top Gun. He was facing slightly away from me and I wasn't able to see much of his face. It appeared that he had a thick shadow or thin beard. They both wore long coats. It was after all about 5 degrees outside (in the negative if you factor in the wind chill). Brrrrr. Neither of them pulled away from their books long enough to talk to each other much less for me to approach them.

Behind the 20 somethings was an older woman. There was a heavy white coffee mug next to her. A napkin on top. She was thumbing through a magazine that didn't appear to grab her attention for very long. Her companion came to the table after a few minutes and they left shortly after that.

Closer to us, next to a black waist high fence that divided the large from the small area of the cafe, was what appeared to be a father and son. They both had pretty thick books. It was neat to see them share something in common.

At the small table next to us, were two women that arrived after we sat down. The first brought the heavy smell of cigarette smoke. It wasn't all consuming, but after smelling it, I was sure that I wouldn't approach her with the conversation of organ donation. While I can't be for sure if smokers can donate, I would assume that it all depends on their over all health of their organs. Lungs, I doubt it. But kidneys, pancreas, skin, corneas and intestines could probably be viable.

To our right, was another small table with a man and woman. They were reading what appeared to be fact books. I wasn't able to see the titles, but a few times as I was looking around, I notice the woman smirking, almost a giggle.

No one I saw was immediately marked as approachable. Everyone was reading or engaged in a conversation with another. I turned back to the couple on my right and they had closed up their books and appeared to be readying to leave. I grabbed two cards and decided to take the few steps to their table and talk to them about organ donation.

I walked up to the table and as I put down the cards, one of them fluttered to the ground. I knelt down to pick it up and decided to stay kneeling down. First to be more eye to eye. But also to not be so overbearing to them. It already felt like they were threatened by my presence. The man was eying the cards and suspicious. Little said and even less facial reaction. I tended to talk to the woman more, since she was more engaging and appeared to be less suspicious.

I mentioned my organ donation project and the reason why I am doing it. I knew they were on their way out, so instead of trying to engage in a long term conversation, I cut right to the chase and asked if they were donors. They both replied with a yes. I asked why they choose to be donors. She said it was because it's the right thing to do and alluded to the issue that once we are dead, there isn't much we can do with the organs. I also asked about a possible photo. Both declined in tandem.

Since I knew I wasn't getting a portrait of with of them I mentioned the milestone of 95,000 people on the organ list right now. Then both my kids came over and I decided to share with them about my kids both being donors. They appeared to be intrigued about that. I suppose not many adults actually meet with children that are organ donors. At least not one on one.

I thanked them for their time and asked that they check out the flickr site as well as come to the blog and to share the links to both sites with friends and family.

We parted ways and headed back out to the sub zero sunny day.

Budget time

The kids and I ended up at the coffee shop at a bookstore this afternoon. Our number one priority was to get their 2007 budget set. We went month by month and estimated what the expenditures would be.
S0 far, it's only birthdays that are set. We haven't put down vacations or the weekly trips to the mall. They both have a large purchase they want so it is yet to be determined if they will pay 100% for the item or if I will kick some in. I have to say, they are pretty excited about being responsible for their own money. It can help me out too by helping them, it will help me. We will both realize the amount of money we spend on items and hopefully, help plus save more and spend more wisely.

Once the initial budget was done, we decided to adjourn our "meeting".

Friday, February 02, 2007

Content but left empty

I left work at 5:00 pm sharp. Hoping to miss some of the Friday rush and be able to work with the traffic as the snow blows in and around.

I stopped by the gas station to fill up before the weekend. At least the damage isn't as bad as it had been in the past. But the oil companies are still getting massive profits. I guess I am a bit jealous. As I pulled into the lane, I slid in front of a car already filling up. I slid out of the warm car and swiped my cards and began to fill up. The older guy in line behind me was intent on looking at the incrementing of the dollars and cents or the gallons as the gas rushed into his tank. His wife, was peering out the passenger window, focused on the other cars as their owners each took their turns filing their respective tanks.

The wind blew lightly. But it was enough to cause a chill when snow crystals touched my cheeks.

Neither one averted their eyes enough for me to make eye contact. Or even offer me a glimpse of an opportunity to approach them.

My nozzle clanked harshly and brought me back to my own task at hand. Right around $25 to fill up. I can accept that.

I slid back into my beater of a car and headed back to the road. I slowed at the stop sign and headed away from the main road back towards the parking lot. And the building that brought us here. My wife was at work. But this time of day would be very busy. I paused realizing we had not spent much time together in the past few months. But again pointed the car towards the road. Casually speaking in public isn't exactly quality time. I will try to stay up long enough to see her when she gets home after work tonight.

Driving up the hill, and back towards the highway, decided to head over to Panera Bread and grab a bagel.

Now I don't normally eat bagel's. But I wanted to see if I could find someone for a portrait tonight. It's been long dry spell.

I pulled into a parking spot and grabbed my camera bag and laptop from the back seat. It didn't look very busy, so I wasn't sure what my opportunities would be like. Sauntering up to the counter, I ordered a small drink and a plain bagel with cream cheese then found one of the overstuffed leather chairs to drop into.

Tearing it up a bit and putting on the cream cheese, I listened to conversation of the three people at the table in front of me. I couldn't hear much of what they were saying so I opened my laptop up to surf the Internet a little.

I put my drink on a side table so I had to turn my head and see the patrons to take a drink. This allowed me to see if anyone might be an interesting subject as well as be aware of my surroundings.

When I was empty, I headed back over to the drink fountain to re fill. As I walked in front of the order register between the people waiting for their pannini's and drinks, I saw a girl at the end with a knit hat on. She stood out for her fashion more than for her looks. I looked a her but passed on an opportunity since she looked quite disinterested even in her being there.

As I went back to my seat I glanced back to her and THOUGHT I made eye contact. But one can really never tell from 40 feet away. I thought about it a minute and decided to head back with a business card in hand. I knew I would only have a few seconds to work with. She appeared to be a 20 something girl with little or no patience for anyone that wasn't a football star or 6' 2" financial advisor with a BMW in his parking space.

As I got closer I she watched me beeline towards her. Her weight shifted and she immediately went into defensive mode.

From this distance, I could now see she was cute. So she has probably had her share of creeps approach her. Now, to her, I was just another creep. Great. Nice way to start a weekend.

I knew in an instant I was lost on anything I had. I put my hand out with a card. It was all I had to offer at this point. She was very hesitant. I tried to explain I was doing a project about organ donation but she probably only heard "I want to take your nude picture" or something equally offensive.

I insisted she take the card and if she could to stop by and talk to me about the project I would appreciate her time.

I walked away knowing the card would end up in the trash.

As I sit here about 20 minutes later. Knowing she will never see the flickr page or this blog. I write to be fair, but I am unsure (and insecure) in her thoughts about me.

The snow flurries are drifting from the unseen clouds in the dark gray sky above. People are coming and going out appearing happy. Content. Full.

,I too leave this place. My bagel was nice and fresh but yet I leave empty.

A milestone has been reached

I don't know exactly when, but the United States now has reached the number of 95,000 people waiting for an organ.

Waiting list candidates as of today 2:10pm
All 95,001
Kidney 69,915
Pancreas 1,747
Kidney/Pancreas 2,391
Liver 16,986
Intestine 235
Heart 2,858
Lung 2,866
Heart/Lung 135
All candidates will be less than the sum due to candidates waiting for multiple organs

Transplants performed January - October 2006
Total 24,445
Deceased Donor 18,793
Living Donor 5,652
Based on OPTN data as of 01/26/2007

Donors recovered January - October 2006
Total 12,401
Deceased Donor 6,750
Living Donor 5,651
Based on OPTN data as of 01/26/2007

Caution: Attitude on the loose and it's all over the place

On the iPod: Blues Traveler, Violent Femmes, Whitecross, Kenny G, The Beatles, Blink 182, Oukast, Direct Current, Phil Keaggy, Avril Lavigne,

I took a few days to do a little digging. Not for dirt. Or even for anything organ donor related. I was actually just looking into other web sites for what ever I could find. It's my way to clear my mind and refocus. Some places I visited were photo related. I also hit a few financial sites and of course the requisite new (random) web sites and blogs. I even made it back to the Barnes & Noble a few miles from home. The last time I inquired about JPG Magazine. I was told by the "clerk" said they don't carry the JPG magazine. Well, wouldn't you know it. They had a dozen or so issues on the shelf. They were right where they were two months ago too. I had a cursory look through the mag last night. I wasn't as impressed with this issue as I was the first one I bought. But that's not to say I am disappointed. Some of the images that were chosen just didn't have that GRAB or the pull to say "look at me", "remember me". Perhaps it was the themes chosen for the issue. Of the images submitted online some of those had impact. I should have added them as favorites some of them. Oh well.

.next time.

I didn't carry my camera in to B&N this time. I did look several people square in the eye. Boy does that make people nervous. I really wanted to just start talking to someone. But I was really short on time this trip through town.

I also headed over to Circuit City to pick up a thingy and software to calibrate my monitor. So my crappy pictures won't look too crappy. To be honest. The original settings looked nicer than what the Huey (from Pantone) made the monitor look. I also calibrated my laptop and it's external monitor. Both of them looked better before the calibration than after I used the Huey calibration on them.

To be fair (if it's possible) I have a tendency to add a little yellow to some of my pictures so when my monitor looks like it had a little more yellow than I am used to, it should all balance out. ((I like my monitors on the cool side, more blue and green)).

We went sledding last night for about thirty minutes. It was a pleasant 30 degrees and no wind. I could have stayed out for HOURS, as could the kids. But thy had been nippy/edgy towards each other all day from the moment they got off the bus. I was hoping the cold air and exercise would have slowed them down but it didn't.

My son was skirting the line of being too aggressive towards his sister and I almost stepped in. But
I literally stopped mid step to see how it would pan out. As he ran across the yard with the sleds, she threw snow at him and he dropped both sleds and she picked them up. He stopped being a peckerwood when she had the sleds. HIS sled. A little later there was the requisite jumping on each other as they slid by and that almost brought about a few other brawls. I stayed in the shadows and let it happen. Throughout the short time we were sledding, they never crossed "the line" and I didn't have to step in. I was pretty proud of them.

We headed in, slowly, and got ready for bed. This is probably my favorite time of day. We get to spend one on one time with each other. No TV, no radio no one else. When my daughter turns off her video game and ask ME to come talk, there is nothing else I could want to do. It's more than a chat. It's investing in our relationship. Setting the course when there are stresses of friends, boyfriends, school grades, sex, alcohol and drugs. Then they will know they CAN talk to me with problems.

I am also stressing that they can talk to each other. I challenge them often to work together to solve a problem, complete a task or just come up with a creative idea. It's working. I have heard them reasoning, using logic and just plain having fun with some things together. Dish washing is one. Another is deciding on a place to eat out or how to spend the day. It's what make me love being a parent.

As for sex talk. We have had it. It was one of the most difficult things to think about when they were toddlers. I knew it would come eventually. When it did, the discussions were natural. They have never been squeamish. The kids, not the discussions. But we have always been honest and accurate with each other.

It gives me hope that they will be able to make the right decision when confronted with sex the first time. Drugs and alcohol conversations have not been any easier and no less important. They see people drinking and beer/wine at restaurants and on TV. So it's a different type of conversation. There is an issue with genetics when it comes to alcohol and I make them aware that it could be deadly to them. Not to scare them. But to make them aware that there is a different issue at hand than just a few drinks with friends. It's much, much more.

So far, they have not had to directly deal with death. Only one grandpa has passed away in their cognitive lives. They have had two great, great grandmothers pass away, but they don't have much of a memory of them. Someday, hopefully a ling time away, we will deal with that issue.