Sunday, August 26, 2007

So cool,2933,294607,00.html reported that an 8 month old boy received a FIVE organ transplant of the gastrointestinal tract. The organs did come from a single donor.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A side note

One of the web sites I visit frequently had this article.
It is about a photographer that documented the last days of a womans life very close and "inside". He talks about being inside versus outside regarding the subject.

When I asked a photographer from a local paper to document my journey as a liver donor, it was this access I was trying to provide. Not many times do they get that kind of an opportunity.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Current numbers

Waiting list candidates 96,884 as of today 5:15pm
Data from

It's amazing how fast the numbers are rising. We will have 100,000 people waiting for an organ probably in less than a year (by my estimate nothing to substantiate those numbers). I can only assume that the number of people that die every day will rise accordingly. Right now, I believe that number is about 17 people die every day waiting for an organ.

CORE has updated is Facts and Statistics page. It's an interesting read.

Concerning issues

Apparently I have pushed someones buttons. I got this anonymous comment:
Ok, after reading the latest on your website, I really must say that you have your self up on a high pedestal, and it is not only Brad and I that think you are truly an ass.

That being said, the only reason we read it, is so we can see how much you think of your self and see how big your head has gotten for the day.

I emailed the above this question:
Would you be willing to share exactly what has gotten so many people on a tear? (that's TEAR as in RIP, not tear as in crying).

Then got this anonymous comment:
You are an ass.

Never did get a response to my question. So, apparently my whole blog has been all about me. Well, yes, IT IS MY BLOG. From my point of view and my life. I guess it will be a bit biased. I still try to be pretty fair in my representation of the facts of life and the goings on.

So, when someone reads my blog only to see how big my head has gotten and it makes them so upset. Stop reading. Pretty simple.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Back in (limited) action

I just returned from my 20 year high school reunion this morning. I can say with enthusiasm that it was the highlight of the year. Possibly the best week(end) in the past 5 years.

I had so much fun it was pretty difficult to return to reality. But alas, I am back here in the Pitt and dealing with dirty floors, a backed up sewer, boxes and boxes of stuff and of course the humidity.

"Yeah but it's a dry heat" was never so right. The arid southeast corner of the Great State of WA was hitting highs of 90-100+ degrees and it felt so damn good. Hot, yes it's hot. But at under 30% humidity (purely speculatory, I really don't know), who cares. In western PA, we have more like 40, 60 and 80%. IT SUCKS. I took a shower last night and had to lay on a towel in bed because I couldn't dry off.

While I was gone It appears that someone got very upset about a sentence or paragraph in one of my blog posts.

Well, the story I got was that PERSON_A read my blog. Then PERSON_A (or their spouse) called the recipients spouse. The recipients spouse got all upset and freaked out on my wife. My wife then called me.

I was reading all my posts to see what was so inflammatory. Of course the areas I thought would have put someone on the ropes were not even close to what was being referenced. I am still not 100% sure about the specific posts that caused such a ruckus.

So.....the moral of this story.


I have already made a few concessions in my web activities. I am not using names here on the blog to protect the innocent (or the stupid). I use carefully selected pseudonyms. To most, it's not hard to add everything up. To many, no one cares. I also don't blog about everything, like over at Dooce. I could, but that would open another can of worms that I won't go into. Although putting in names and a full accounting of events might be more fun.

Although, I could be like others in this world and not care, that wouldn't be me. I do care. I care enough to actually post here to let everyone know what the hell is happening. I care enough that I offered my own damn liver to help the recipient out. I cared enough that when my wife asked, I had already gone through the thought process to be able to say "yes, I will donate". I even said yes to consolidating houses to help the recipient and his spouse since they are not able to sustain individual living on their own. Along those lines I clean the house (sometimes) I drive them to some appointments. I cook and have a few conversations every day. I deal with the nuances of their personalities. I even hold my tongue on occasion (rarely). We even go to dinner together when I can drag the recipients spouse off the couch. Does it sound like fun? Well, for the past 4 years, 3 months and several days, every time I speak to one of my family members I field the questions and answer session of when will we be moving back.

I DON'T KNOW. If it were up to me, I would relocate to 99336 tomorrow. But my wife and the recipients spouse have more say than the kids, myself and the recipient. Their arguments are valid. I understand. But I don't have to like it. So, here were are and here we will stay until death do us part.

Employment has also kept us here, but that too is another LONG potentially volatile discussion.

To compare that to some of the other family members, I have done a lot for the recipient and spouse. I know that my wife and I are in a unique situation.

But everyone else is too, so don't go there.

We took this on (taking care of them) many many years ago because of another situation that we were in. I will also not forget that the recipient and spouse have done a LOT for my wife and I. It doesn't go unnoticed. I also have my own sets of parents to think about. This is probably a precursor for what the rest of my life will be about.

For those that question me, walk a mile in my shoes.

So hows that for pissing in your cheerios.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Back in action

Okay, wow, like, it's been a while.
I still have a few hangers on. I appreciate it. Really, I do.

Now that I have a real job, (taking care of my kids) I don't have time for the frivolous stuff like blogging. (tongue in cheek) Sort of.

So, here's a nutshell update.

Moved out (you already know that)
No regular paycheck (you already know that too)
Trying to get a photography studio off the ground.
Looking for a corporate type gig (otherwise know as a "job")
Trying to adjust to living in a box with 5 other people......moving in with the recipient and the recipient's spouse is a HUGE adjustment. My kids are not as enthusiastic about it anymore either. I am sure it goes both ways though.

Next week I get to go "home" for a few days. My 20 year class reunion is Aug 10/11. Almost didn't get to go. I would have been truly bummed if that had happened. Truly.

For three weeks, I have been hanging out with our summer visitor.....She is legally a niece. But because of my superior way of being specifically ambiguous, I will call her....OldestD. It has been fun, and trying. From OldestD's perspective, I am the "entertainment". Since I don't have a day job, it's up to me to keep the kids entertained. Swimming, food, shopping, trips ANYWHERE out of the house. You know. Everything I have waited to do since I was a young teenager. Being a DAD is nothing short of great. Wish OldestD could stay forever. Wish she could have been with us these past years....

Other things happening are:
The recipient has been taken off some more medications. He is doing very well since the transplant. Even in the past three weeks, things are better. He was really tired for quite some time. Early to bed. Late to rise. Mid day nap for a few hours, then back to bed early at night. Now, the nap is essentially gone. Strength is still low and a few other issues exist like the lost feeling in fingers of the left hand. Still there.

I have been monitoring the numbers, but obviously haven't posted any. Here they are:
Waiting list candidates: 96,940 as of today 11:22am (8/5/07)
It won't be long until the list tops 97 THOUSAND people waiting for an organ. I guess I should do my part.

A little FYI. Over the summer, there was an ad campaign on TV about teen drivers. While I am not a teen driver, I have one that is of age, and two that are becoming aware of driving. They ask the speed limit. Recognize red lights (and green ones too). The stats from SADD (culled from the NTSB) say in 2005, 43,200 died in traffic accidents. That same year, 3,467 15- to 20-year-old drivers were killed in accidents. (Not in additions to, but as a part of).

Looking on the CORE web site. I found some interesting bits of information. First, one:

If I die of a heart attack, can I be an organ donor?

No. For traditional organ donation, a person needs to be in a hospital and on a ventilator at the time of death. If someone dies of a heart attack, that person may donate tissue, but not organs.

Another one that is a big bummer, but understandable (source here) :

Donation Facts

-Under a program called "Routine Referral"

...However, when an individual dies outside the hospital setting, the individual may be able to donate tissue or corneas, but not organs.

Those two items have been the most troubling for me. The death outside a hospital was surprising. But my limited knowledge of anatomy, I will assume that when the heart stops beating, the organs begin to deteriorate. Thus, in a car accident, it can be several minutes (tens of minutes) before a crew could extricate a decedent. By that time the organs are in pretty bad shape. Not exactly something to put into another person huh.

With those two items, I can begin to understand how important it is to have more and more people to be organ donors. Right now, so many people die in car accidents, they are probably the bulk of organ donors. If the death occurs in the car, then they cannot donate.

Kind of a strange irony.