197) Passage of The Living Kidney Organ Donation Clarification Act

December 20, 2007

Last night I was surfing the PKD list of blogs and catching up with other PKD folks' adventures. I found several items of interest that I want to add to my blog. First, The Living Kidney Organ Donation Clarification Act passed the House and Senate and supposedly President Bush will sign it. This legislation makes possible what we call paired donation; the ability for family members and close friends of people needing kidney transplants to sign up for paired donations. As the Alliance for Paired Donations explains it: “Kidney paired donation matches one incompatible donor / recipient pair to another pair with a complementary incompatibility, so that the donor of the first pair gives to the recipient of the second, and vice versa.”*

I picked up this bit of news from Team Teddy Bear’s blog** December 12th post, in which Bob describes how the bill with effect he and his wife, Jeanne. Liz and I too will be impacted, since we are just waiting for our Social Worker, David, to let us know that the paper streams and forms here in our catchment area are finalized so Liz can complete the necessary paperwork.

El Milagro: I walk in, weigh myself, and stroll into the big room saying “Hi” to various patients I’ve become friendlier with since putting out the newsletter, and run into Sherry the Social Worker and she asks if I’ve gotten her last emails about my Dallas trip and I thank her for all the rigamarole of getting a chair in a place.

My chair is still filled with a human body, so I return to the weighting room and eavesdrop on a telephone conversation about how a relative has been systematically ripping off the caller and how the family caught her and is getting her kids X-mas presents cause she is too self-absorbed, etc. etc…. and I think about how various and complicated everyone’s family stories are.

At some point, Rosie the Tech calls me in for my chair, and Carol the Tech is rushing around warning me not to sit down cause the chair is still wet from disinfecting… and she is like a hyper-mad woman, veritably flying thru the procedures and entering computer data with fingers-a-blur. “Carol… what’s the rush? Chill out.
I just don’t want you to be late like the other day. This time we are behind so I want to get you hooked up asap.” She bustles off and Rosie comes over and gets ready to hit me up while Dr. Rowder and his crew come by to do their weekly doctor’s ‘drive-by’. Jennifer the Dietician reports on my latest blood work and they all agree things are hunky-dory… my albumin is slightly down and Jennifer has some rationale for that. My potassium is slightly high and that’s okay too. I ask Rosie and Monica the Nurse to explain to the doc my recent BP crashing experiences and they all agree to raise my dry weight again and I quip, “for the holidays”. So, it is decreed across the land that Jack’s dry weight is now 74 Kgs (that’s 162.8 lbs, folks). The tribunal moves on down the row, and Rosie finishes sticking me and adjusting the machine to take off about 2 kgs.

My session tonight is spent reading Motivational Interviewing***, watching ABC News, The Simpsons, CSI Las Vegas, and Gray’s Anatomy. It's TV-city... There you have it, gang.

Oh; and BTW: The Walk for PKD raised 3 Million buckaroos for PKD research this year, according to an email I got today! That's a lotta money.

Notes: In at 76.2 and out at 74.9 kgs.

*The Alliance for Paired Donations online at http://www.paireddonation.org/
** Team Teddy Bear’s Blog on blogger at
*** Web-media-wire online at http://www.webmediawire.com/news/20071211130145.html
**** Miller, W.R. & Rollnick, S. (2002) Motivational interviewing: Preparing people for change, 2nd Ed. New York:Guilford
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Dave said...

The generosity of live organ donors is wonderful. It's a shame we need so many live organ donors. Americans bury or cremate 20,000 transplantable organs every year.

There is another good way to put a big dent in the organ shortage -- if you don't agree to donate your organs when you die, then you go to the back of the waiting list if you ever need an organ to live.

Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. About 50% of the organs transplanted in the United States go to people who haven't agreed to donate their own organs when they die.

Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a non-profit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. Membership is free at www.lifesharers.org or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88. There is no age limit, parents can enroll their minor children, and no one is excluded due to any pre-existing medical condition.

Anonymous said...

Jack, I'm just dropping by to say "hi!".....just to let you know I have read your last three blogs after being "away" for awhile. I like the way your mind works.....see you Tuesday at Michele's? Your Cheryl