I have a giant effing spider bite front and center on my forehead. It’s not the aesthetic that’s of grave concern, though even high end make-up cannot cover it, so titanic is its height and breadth. No, it’s that a spider crawled and spent time on my face while I slept, and I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW IT. A spider was on my face, and you hear stories about how people eat spiders and don’t even know it or spiders make nests in people’s ears or hair, and now I need to know if they make special sanitizing chambers to eradicate pests from your innards. And my thumb is also tingly now, so I’m pretty sure that spider venom has coursed through my veins, and now I’m slowly dying. At the very least I’m being paralyzed, digit by digit by some contemptible arachnid. Who was ON MY FACE WHILE I SLEPT. I feel violated.
I have a friend whose husband is ill. He has been ill as long as I’ve been acquainted with this individual, and he’s been ill longer than I’ve known her. He has been on kidney dialysis for many years, and yesterday she posted on FB that he was set to undergo tests to determine whether he was a candidate for a kidney transplant. Within minutes of her posting, three speech-language pathologist colleagues of ours offered their kidneys, or at least offered to undergo tests to see if they may be viable donors.
I thought about it for a minute, honestly it was no more than that; I’m no hero. I pondered what it was that made a person immediately open themselves to this possibility. Because I wanted to write, “me too.” I even began to type a response, and then I thought, “Holy shit, what if I could be a match? Probably should talk to my husband first as this is kind of a big deal” and felt elation and terror at once. I want to be that kind of humanitarian. As you know, dear readers, I often find inspiration under the shower head, and as I bathed this morning (because hello?? sweet Jaysus, I had a spider take up residence on my face), I began my mental pathway to and away from kidney donation. There’s a man whose life may be improved by it, and felt like a real a-hole for not taking skipsies to the front of the line for him.
- It’s surgery, and I could die.
- Sure, they say you can live with one, so why did I get two?
- I have to be this kind of hero for my children.
- I’m probably not a match anyway.
- People say they’d do magnanimous acts such as these, but really, who does?
- Do they?
- Do I?
- I’m a decent person; why am I not throwing one of my kidneys in the ring?
- Oooooh, I’m not a decent person.
- If surgery resulted in death or incapacity, who would care for my children?
I mean, yes, my husband, their father would be around to care for them, but they’d never get to the pediatrician, field trip permission slips would go signed, laundry would be spotty (literally and figuratively) at best. They’d live in squalor, I guess worse squalor–is worse the correct adjective here?–than they do now because I’m no housekeeper, but my hubby’s even less well acquainted with the dustmop. They’d not get to piano lessons, and they’d eat more fast food and pizza than is considered environmentally responsible. I counted the myriad things I do to keep house and keep a home, and envisioned our little estate without me. And then I really got weirded out. No one is indispensable, not even the mom. What if they did it better without me? What if they were happier and life was less stressful without my time-conscious OCD? Dads do it differently, that’s all. Their dad is the best–they’d be fine.
I’m a helper, but I guess I am not that kind of helper. I’ve asked for support for muscular dystrophy here, and I’ve received it. Lots of it. I’ve asked, and you’ve given. No, I haven’t asked for organ donation, but that doesn’t mean I never will. I mean, of course I hope I never, ever have to, but you never, ever think your kid’s going to have MD, but then, BOOM, fucking MD is staring down the barrel at you. So you don’t know. You can’t know. I’m conflicted, but I know I’m needed right here, right now, full time with and for my children. It’s summer, and I don’t work full time in summer, and frankly, I don’t know how I do all the shit I do the other 10 months of the year when I am working full time. I’m amazing! *smirk*
If it were my kid, I’d want me to step up.
My point. There are inhabitants of our earth who have offered parts of their bodies for someone they don’t know well or at all, and I have the good fortune to know some of them. Three SLPs I know threw their hats in the ring for consideration. Three public school employees who, a mere five years ago, were vilified for being union thugs. Thugs, they called us. The worst society has to offer, bleeding the government dry. Lazy, do-nothing, good-for-nothing thugs who without a second thought offered their kidneys for donation. Not bad for a bunch of thugs, huh?