Something I haven’t talked about a lot online yet: I’m currently going through the evaluation process to get on the kidney transplant list. After years of not needing to be on dialysis, my kidney disease has almost reached the inevitable point of needing dialysis and, hopefully, a kidney transplant. Could be a year, could be two, but the process has begun. More info on that will come later. In preparation for that, I have been undergoing the evaluation process to determine if a transplant is feasible. We should know the results of that in a couple weeks.
This post, though, isn’t about me, it’s about the whole Kidney Transplant team at UofM hospital: they have been fabulous. Every single person I’ve dealt with, as I go through this evaluation process to determine if I can be listed on the transplant list, has been really wonderful. Helpful, patient with my questions, compassionate and personable.
I say this because I think awesomeness deserves to be recognized. This process, which has the potential to be monumentally daunting, is made more understandable and less scary by how good these people are at their jobs and how much care they take with each step. From the giant binder of information (that is SO well prepared), to the many phone calls checking in on me confirming appointments and easing any concerns, I (and I think Jeanne) have been put much more at ease by the reassuring calm and open discussions with the many staff people we’ve talked with.
It’s really energizing – seeing how much they care about getting it right, and helping each person to have every resource, every piece of information they need, and a clear path into and through this complicated and scary thing.
Today I sat through another several hours of tests, and the thing I realized is that everyone that I was working with, again, was operating with an amazing ever-present sense of empathy. How much information did I want? Or how little? Was I comfortable? Was I anxious? Was I clear on what was happening and why? What could they do to help?
As I was realizing this and watching them work, I started thinking about the season at Williamston Theatre (which is BASED around the idea of empathy this year), and how much the practices of empathy and compassion are able to change the world. We can see examples of it all around us, just as we can so clearly see the examples of people behaving without these traits.
So, this is a long way of working through this, and saying THANKS to the amazing transplant team I’ve been working with. We’ll know soon enough if the process bears fruit but, in the meantime, MY world has been made a little better by these people. And I’ve been reminded of how I want to impact the world as well.
Not bad for a cloudy Tuesday morning!
Amazing Tony. It’s a real gift to have gratitude and empathy for others during trying, personal times. You never cease to be an inspiration as an artist and as a friend.
Aw geez – Thanks Jason. I appreciate that, my friend! I forgive you for thinking Star Wars is better than Star Trek now. 🙃
Tony, forgive me for being so late in responding to this lovely post of yours… No excuses but wanted to make sure you are aware of how much we all appreciate and value your essays and glimpses of life.
Most importantly I wanted to let you know that Bill and I are sending all the good vibes and prayers we can muster that your health issues are successfully addressed. We are more than pleased to learn of how caring and supportive your medical team is… You deserve no less!! Much love!
Thank you Emily! I’m so grateful for your kind words – You and Bill are so supportive! I hope you’re both doing well ❤️