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Pre Op

June 22, 2011

Last Tuesday I was in Nashville for all of my pre-op labs and appointments.  Despite the fact that the day I left for Nashville was the day from hell, my hospital experience was a fairly good one.  I was so terrified about being late that I showed up an hour early.  Before the clinic was open.  So I waited.  I had my blood pressure taken twice, an EKG, about 5 million vials of blood taken, a urine sample taken, and a lot of listening to my chest.  My surgeon even showed me exactly where each of the incisions would be.  I’m not going to lie, I’m a little excited about my new scar around my belly button where they’ll be taking the kidney out.

Today eased my mind a lot.  People kept telling me I was healthy and in good shape, which makes me think the surgery should go smoothly (I’m not superstitious, so I have no trouble saying things like this.)  I will say that I am very happy that my fiance will be with me for the surgery.  I’m a strong, independent woman, but sometimes it’s not as much fun being alone.  Especially when your surgeon is giving you the obligatory speech about all the things that could go wrong.

One thing that entertained me was when the surgeon said before any surgeon he needs to go over the benefits and risks with the patients.  Direct quote:  “So, let’s be clear on your benefits.  There are none.”

Granted, a lot of people think I’m crazy for donating my kidney to a stranger.  But I think the surgeon was a little harsh in saying there are no benefits.  Frankly, in my opinion, giving a stranger my kidney might inspire someone else (possibly a reader of my blog?) to do the same.  Then their story might inspire someone else.  And so forth and so on.  Ultimately, if this continued, wouldn’t we all benefit because someone’s life is being saved?  I don’t know the statistics on kidney failure, but I assume most people have at least interacted with someone who has had kidney failure or connected to someone who needed a kidney.

I’m a really selfish person in most aspects of my life.  I’m 25, unmarried without children, and until I move in with my fiance in the fall, I will have lived alone for 3 years.  I’ve become very accustomed to things being done my way.  I like my downtime.  I like spending my money the way I want to.  I like eating junk instead of cooking a meal for myself.  I like having cats because I can leave them alone for days and not worry about them.  But this surgery is an opportunity for me to stop thinking entirely about myself.  I won’t lie, I am stressed out about how quickly it will take me to get back to work, how much money I will miss out on, not being able to train for the 3day or run when I want to.  I also think about how nice it will be to relax for a couple weeks while I’m recovering.  This is definitely NOT a totally selfless act.  But I’m glad that I could test my character in this way.  I’m glad God could present this opportunity to me and I could actually ignore how it would affect my life and focus on who it would help.

It’s not some great act of generosity.  I feel like a fraud when people say I’m “giving the gift of life” or how selfless I am.  It’s just right.  It’s just what we’re supposed to do for each other.  No more, no less.

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13 comments

  1. I’m not sure we are ALL “called” to donate vital organs to total strangers… but the fact that you feel that nudging in your heart and are being obedient to it, that is a truly beautiful thing! I believe you totally when you say that you feel, “it’s just right. It’s what (you’re) supposed to do…” But to the rest of us, it IS a great act of generosity! I cannot say whether or not you are a selfless person (only because I don’t know you that well). The reasons you cite, frankly, don’t convince me that you are a selfISH person… only that you are an independent, confident woman with a sense of who she is. But this IS a selfless act that you are committing… for all the reasons you have yourself outlined. Aside from the physical bodily sacrifice you are making, you are making many sacrifices in your life as well… that is selfless. I don’t believe you are selfishly doing this just for the thrill of a scar and a few weeks rest. 🙂 I also don’t believe you are selfishly doing this for acknowledgment and praise. But it also makes me kind of sad to hear you say you feel like a fraud when you hear someone say that you are giving the gift of life! The truth is, you could very well be saving someone’s life! Your surgeon was wrong!… THAT would certainly be a benefit for you, it seems to me…. a very selfless benefit. 🙂 In any case, I know God is going to bless you richly. You’re an awesome woman! I’ll be praying for you. I’m so glad you wont be alone.


  2. You are still amazing, in whatever aspect in live you want to stash this! I’m so glad I got to know you for the short time you will be in our lives in Slidell! ML


  3. Courtney, you may not think it is selfless, but I think it is very brave. I pray for you every day and I know everything will go well. Plus, you’ve got Philip! He will take very good care of you.


  4. Selfish isn’t a word I’d use to describe someone like you. Not at all.

    Thank you for doing what you’ve done.


  5. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. The world needs people like you! I wish you all the best in your recovery!! (and many blessings to you in your marriage)


  6. You are doing something amazing and wonderful. Your surgeon was completely wrong when he said there are no benefit to you. You are helping to possibly save the life of another person, someone you don’t even know. Just knowing that you have the ability to do this has to have a positive affect on you. As a BH I thank you for doing this for a BH sister.


  7. I must tell you….what you have done is such a totally unselfish thing! Bobbette is one of my dearest friends in the world, and I, along with many others, can’t thank you enough for your generosity. As I read your blog, tears of joy and thankfulness were in my eyes. God will most certainly have a special place for you in Heaven.


  8. Courtney, I do not personally know Bobette, or Abbie or you. But I have been following the story on twitter and I am inspired beyond belief. It is great to finally hear the other side. You sound like an amazing person and very honest. Besides my closest friends I have yet to meet other BHs until this upcoming summer. But one thing I already know, and that is that everysingle one of you three have changed my perspective on life already.I have no doubt that I will continue to be inspired by wondeful people (sisters) such as yourself!
    Best wishes and hugs to a smooth road of recovery.
    Amanda cjgurl7


  9. My family has known Bobbette( your recipient) for over 25 years We met when Bobbi and my sister each had a liver transplant as infants. I love her like family, she is family. So before I go any further thank you from the deepest part of me.
    The only medications available at that time to prevent rejection of the organ were extremely toxic to the kidneys. This is also what caused my sister Candi to need a kidney transplant. Unfortunately, she was not as blessed to have someone as caring unselfish and giving as you come forward. She passed away in our arms a couple years ago. She died after a lengthy hospital stay while waiting for a donor kidney.
    Thank you, your fiancé, your sister and family for this incredible gift of life. I pray that you recover quickly and are truly blessed for this amazing gift.
    Blessings, Dawn DeShazo


  10. i just want to thank you for helping bobbette…shes my cousin and has always stuggled with her health and what u have done is amazing…


  11. I have known Bobette and Annette since the day they were born. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your act of kindness has saved a beautiful , sweet, loving, caring young lady. Because of you she will be able to continue a life the she was never suppose to live. I know God will one day tell you ‘well done My good and faithful servant.’


  12. I don’t know Bobette and I only found out about her a few months ago but what I think you’re doing is an amazing thing! I’m so happy for Bobette and this gift you are giving her is one of the greatest she will ever receive. This touches my heart so much because right now I’m waiting to get a kidney transplant. I wish you the best and I hope you recover quickly!


  13. I have known Bobbettte and her sister Annette for about 6 years now. I would like to say thank you for what you have done. You as an angel have touch the life of one of my sweetest and most caring friends. you both will have a place in heaven for sure. may you and yours be blessed for this and have a speedy recovery.



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