Hey, I'm Jason. I'm a chronically-ill-super-freedom-loving-medical-self-journalist.
Timing is everything. Last week, after tests and prods and a couple of nights at Cedars-Sinai hospital, it seems the ride is nearly over – my transplant is failing and I’m headed back to dialysis.
For four years, pretty much through thick and thin, I have pushed myself away from this day. And it’s paid off, man – it has been one hell of a ride. In the past four years, I turned my life around. I fought for and with Rebecca for a love we both knew needed to endure. I created a new job for myself, one where the limit to my success was, finally, only me. I learned how to raise a beautiful young girl. And (with some help) I’ve created a child who is, as evidenced by the elbows protruding underneath the skin of her belly home, attempting to bang her way out of mom, to meet us all. This seemingly failed transplant sure did create a tremendous life.
It probably doesn’t need to be pointed out – the timing of the final days of my kidney transplant is utterly, completely … ironic. What should have been a short time with a kidney that tried to reject became four years of freedom from dialysis. I beat the odds and baffled doctors, “I’m surprised your kidney has lasted this long …” So, after all of that, to be bouncing around hospitals late at night for the past 6 days just as my new daughter is about to be born seems to be, well, taken from literary volumes of drama, mystery and catharsis.
The aftermath of my hospital stays revealed a kidney that just won’t do it anymore. My body has had it with this kidney and is going to win this battle, once and for all, a rejection. My numbers now teeter on the extreme edge of complete meltdown.
A month, maybe. That’s all that’s left. I’m going to rock this month just as I have the other 48 months. I’m going to work and push and live, and hold my family. And after that? Same deal. I’ll continue to doggedly pursue stories about transplants, I’ll push and scrape and make noise about kidney failure. I’ll share with you what dialysis looks like and express my hope for the next kidney.
And I will be reminding you, more often than not: I need a kidney.