Chicago, Illinois, US
October 15
I enjoy riding my bike around Chicago in my free time, perusing art and gardens, enjoying good beer, and musing on the wackiness of life.


APRIL 11, 2012 11:07PM

a small miracle

Rate: 8 Flag

A few weeks ago, I heard something from a friend that was one of the best gifts I could get: the news that he's getting a kidney transplant.  Paul has been one of my best friends for years.  He's also suffered a lot of health issues during that time.  For years, he had a lot of odd symptoms that defied a thorough diagnosis.

Two years ago, he was feeling bad enough to make an appointment with his doctor, who promptly sent him to the ER.  To make it worse, this was just after he'd been laid off from his job.  He was admitted to the hospital and had many medical tests over the course of a few days.   Diagnosis: kidney failure.  The problem runs in his family. 

His first dialysis treatments made him feel better than he'd been in a few years.  Unfortunately, between the dialysis schedule and still feeling less than 100%, getting and keeping a regular full-time job was not a viable option.  He was able to get disability status  and has done some independent part-time work since then.

A mutual friend, Gretchen, got tested and was found to be a compatible donor.  She is of German heritage.  Paul jokes about learning German and eating sauerkraut to show his appreciation for his new lifeline.

They've both been through a few rounds of pre-op tests, and the big day is set for this Friday.   Whatever healing thoughts and prayers you can offer are welcome.

I'd also like to send a big THANK YOU to our friend Gretchen and others like her who choose to be living donors and give others a chance at a longer healthier life.

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Several months ago, another friend flew here from Seattle to give a similar gift of life. Last year he and his sister came here for testing to see if either was a compatible donor for their cousin, who was also in kidney failure and on dialysis. He was compatible. They got the surgery scheduled.

He spent a day in the hospital and a few days resting before flying home. His cousin spent a few more days in the hospital and is now having a healthier year than she's had in a while.
Gads. I'm sorry about the kidney failure.
Yes . . . Gift of life . . . Surgery is trauma.
I always recall a Proverb that's not easy.
Enjoy your bedridden`ness. But it's true.
What else can one do when we're healing.
It's a time to calm down and reflect. Life.
Your Bio?
Use ref bikes & saddle irritation from rides.
'Bag Balm'
It's a terrific salve. Bikers recommend 'Bag Balm'
You caused me to remember 'Biotta' Health Juices.
For Digestion etc., the Swiss Company make Juices.
Sauerkraut Juice.
It's worth a Google?
Organic. Since 1957.
'Bag Balm' since 1899.
Take care. Yes. Health.
It's no fun being ill. Bless.
Excellent news and post Bike...

If you can give the gift of a longer life to someone....
Then do so...
My best wishes to your friend. Sounds like he deserves a good dose of good fortune right now.
Thanks Gretchen!! sending prayers and good thoughts- will think of them both tomorrow
Good luck Paul. You are one of the easiest people to be in a room with that I've ever met. I wish you the best of everything.
Best wishes to Paul and Gretchen. Living donors are a special breed.
Brave and selfless people, it renews faith in the world. I am constantly amazed by the wonder of good people I see everyday in the hospital.
Thanks for sharing this story BPB
Wonderful! Here's to small miracles that really matter!!!!
Thanks for the positive thoughts. Less than 24 hours to go. Paul is nervous as hell. I'm looking forward to visiting both of them in the hospital tomorrow night.
Will be thinking of Paul and Gretchen tomorrow! Tell Paul to wait on the sauerkraut until he's all healed up :)
Carol - Thanks. I don't think he'll be eating any sauerkraut right away.

I just gave him a call to wish him luck. He had his last dialysis treatment today. 7 a.m. - surgery.
This warms my heart. Thanks for sharing their story with us~r
He's at the hospital now. In a few hours, I'll be headed downtown to run some errands before going to visit.
I was able to visit with both Paul and Gretchen this evening after they came out of recovery. I also chatted with both of their mothers and other visitors. In this case, Friday the 13th has been a lucky day.
Paul and Gretchen are both out of the hospital and recovering at home now.