It’s been several weeks without a prospect of another kidney chain. I am pretty surprised how bummed I felt that this last chain didn’t work out, I didn’t expect feelings of disappointment, but it was definitely a mood killer. I could see this web of people forming, and could visualize 9 other people getting their hopes up out there like I was. I really looked forward and daydreamed about this big chain in place that would result in so much good for so many people. But it didn’t work out, and now I picture those people feeling let down. I know it wasn’t meant to be, and I know that there IS a chain that will happen that is meant to be. These things happen.
My first world problem that I am referring to is being in a position where I am sad because this process isn’t moving as fast as I had hoped. It gave me perspective, as my journey has been so incredibly short compared to the people out there waiting for a kidney. I have nothing to complain about or be sad about here (so I am not, I am over it). There are over 100,000 people on the kidney transplant waiting list (waiting for deceased donor kidneys). The wait list for a deceased donor could be 5 years, and in some states, it is closer to 10 years. The average is 3.6 years, and can vary depending on health, compatibility, and availability of organs. There are not enough donors to satisfy the demand of people waiting for kidneys, so while people wait 3+ years, we can expect 13 people will die each day waiting because demand > supply. I really have difficulty wondering what that must feel like to just WAIT AND WAIT AND WAIT, and hope you get your lucky day before you become a statistic. Not to mention that people who need kidney transplants are likely in poor health, going to dialysis several times a week, and have a poor quality of life.
I value that my journey has allowed me to reflect on this shitty aspect of transplant and the waiting game, and that my first chain break up made me feel this way. It’s just a glimpse of what other people feel as they wait for a kidney. It allows me to understand the other side of the journey better than I could before. I don’t want to wait anymore, and I don’t want other people to have to wait for a lifesaving organ. It’s a fixable supply and demand problem!
So cheers to the people out there waiting. I am so sorry you carry that burden, and can only start to imagine what that is like, and how demoralizing it must be for you. Stay strong, and may peace and hope be in your heart.