101) Someone Got a Kidney!

February 13, 2007

El Milagro:
While I was getting my regular oil change, there was commotion in the center today. Everyone was looking for and calling for and trying to find Mr. Vasquez (or whatever his name is) because they had a kidney for him and the transplant people couldn’t find him. I imagine a freshly cut out cadaver kidney laying there on a steel table, glistening in the sterile hospital light and the attendants and doctors rushing about using their walky-talkies, cell phones, and land lines trying to find the human who will receive this organ gift.

So old Mr. Vasquez walks into the center expecting to get his dialysis and everyone swoops down on him and excitedly says, “Hey! You gotta call these guys RIGHT NOW cause they got a kidney for you!”. And poor, surprised Mr. Vasques picks up the already dialed phone in order to find out where to go and all of a sudden his plans for the next month or so are completely different than they were a few minutes ago. He has this somewhat bewildered look on his weathered face and before I know it he’s gone on to his next encounter with the medical world. Before he fully recovers from his new disorientation they’ll have him undressing in a small room and slipping into the drafty blue paper gown that’ll be his uniform for the surgery. I hope he has family and friends to support him in this unexpected turn of events.

Actually, we waiters for organs all expect these surprise surgeries to come, but the length of the wait transforms what was originally an expected act into an unexpected surprise. I was telling someone that carrying a beeper (which the transplant center gives everyone who is awaiting a transplant) becomes harder and harder to keep track of since it never beeps. After months of no beep the beeper looses its importance and it drifts into the periphery of the person’s necessary accoutrements, like in a pocket of the jacket in the closet, or in a brief case under the desk at work, or in my case to the clutter in the console of my truck. (I do pick it outa there every few days and check it) The transplant people should beep us waiters once in awhile to check on us, thereby making the beep like a variable interval reinforcer rather than the fixed ratio reinforcer based on only one beep. How long will we wait expectedly for that one beep when the average wait is 4 years?

I hope Mr. Vasques has a successful transplant and is able to escape the regimen of dialysis to the less intrusive regimen of ongoing medications to keep his transplant steadily working for him.

Notes: In at 75.3 and out at 72.6 Kgs.
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