So yesterday I was cruising around the internet, and saw the Twitter pic Mariah Carey posted of her husband in a hospital bed. She said he's having kidney failure. I'm not usually one to give much energy or focus to the latest haps in the disconnected celeb world, but I have thought a lot about poor lil' Nick Cannon (a lot more than I'd care to admit) since yesterday. I liked the way they seemed to stick together, and face that monster head-on and chin-up.
See, two years ago, my husband's brother's kidneys started failing. Rapidly. Almost immediately after we got that news, his sister's started failing, just as fast. The family huddled, decided who would be tested for kidney donation, and the wheels were set in motion which ended with my sister-in-law Marie donating a kidney to her brother, and my husband donating a kidney to his sister. The 2 transplant surgeries were set to take place 1 after the other, 1 week apart.
My husband had no qualms about the surgery. He took a month's leave from work, left St. Louis for Los Angeles, and spent his days shuttling between his sister's apartment and the various departments at the hospital at USC for labs and other pre-op fun stuff.
The decision to be a live donor isn't just a matter of saying "Yes, let's do this," though for both donors in this case, the answer was immediate. There are a wide range of tests, physical and psychological, that span weeks, and last years. The physical pain after surgery is pretty significant, and the risk of any surgery is nothing to sneeze at.
My husband never once complained about the hoops he jumped through to donate his kidney or the pain he endured afterward. He came home, proudly showing off the photos the surgical team took of his healthy kidney, next to his sister's dead one. And the snazzy certificate USC gave him is displayed in our house. Not for bragging rights, but as a reminder.
Any one of us could suffer health crisis. I guess the decision to be made is how to handle it: Pretend you're an ostrich and bury your head in the sand, or face that monster head-on and chin-up, saying "Let's do this."