291) In the Media: Transplants/Paired Exchanges

October 23, 2008

El Milagro:
the Nurse and Kim the Nurse are my hooker uppers today... Jo doing the actual poking and Kim standing around behind her, adding the data to the computer and listening to the conversation. Jo is looking at buying her son a new Toyota FJ and he isn't even out of high school yet... lucky kid! And then Kim mentions her Rav4 and I limply say I buy used and want a Solara Convertable as my next car.

I give Jo my pill bottle I brought from home for the name of the new "requip"-type med I take for my RLS and she takes it away to record it and write a note to Venkatesh about me taking a higher dose cause one just ain't doing it anymore. The twitchies come earlier and stay later these days.

My agency's Board Retreat is tomorrow and Saturday down in San Antonio, so tonight I spend time catching up reading the necessary reports in preparation (an hour's worth of time) while listening to NPR ATC.

Upon finishing I tune in to the TV and catch a Natalie Cole interview on Entertainment Tonight* About her dialysis, Cole said, "
I had a lot of time to think. The first thing I knew is that I will never work the same way again. Three hours a day, three times a week [during dialysis] I just sit there and am glad that there is something to keep me going." Sound familiar? Everytime I hear about a celebrity dealing with kidney problems, I am glad, in a way, cause it publicizes 100 times over what we little people in our non-famous blogs and reports can do to spread the word about our plight and needs.

It's Thursday so, of course, I watch Survivor (not much to report here... I don't even have a favorite this time really... maybe "Sugar"... and afterwards switch over to Gray's Anatomy and find the show revolves around the story line of a 6-way kidney transplant this week.** This is GREAT advertising for kidney transplants! Within the multi-person, multi-diagnosis, multi-ethical issue, multi-doctor quagmire episode many of the concerns related to paired exchanges were played upon in this popular hospital soap opera, and for me, it was interesting to see kidney transplants played across a "hip" TV show.

So I am immersed in the show and some of he staff cruise by and I mention that the show (which interests these dialysis staff) is about transplants and paired exchanges and then add my own soap box statement about our Austin Transplant Programs' ridiculously SLOW development of a paired exchange process ("in development" now for as long as I have been on dialysis), and my efforts thru Moritz and my transplant social worker to encourage their speeding up the "development" (See Posts 104 & 197). And, in expressing my dissappointment, an un-named staff shares with me that the reason for the non-development of Austin's program is due to the Austin - San Antonio connection for transplants. According to this little birdy, Austin has many more people who donate kidneys and most of them shoot right down the freeway to San Antonio. San Antonio's influence over the Austin Transplant Program keeps the program from developing any paired exchange program because that would decrease San Antonio's use of Austin kidneys. I don't understand the birdy's explanation... and, they add, "It was a political decision Jack... and there will not be an Austin Paired Exchange program unless Austin pulls away from their "agreement" with SA!"

If this has any basis in reality it is time for someone to begin to find a resource for bringing this story to the people thru the news media. I intend to look into it a bit and begin to write letters to the Statesman and my legislators if there is anything to the information from the little birdie. It is time for Social Action!

So it goes on a Thursday nite in dialyland.

Notes: In at 76.8 and out at 75 kgs.
* Singer Natalie Cole may need a kidney transplant, retrieved online from
** Gray's Anatomy, Season 5: Episode 505 ~ "There's no I in team".
Retrieved online from

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