April is National Donate Life Month

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I’ve been an organ donor since the age of 16.  I rocked that little heart proudly the second I was able to get my drivers license.  I figured, why not?  I’m not gonna need any of this stuff on the other side of this life.  Plus, there’s just something beautiful about giving life through your own death.  Morbid…but beautiful.  I never thought for a second that I would ever be someone who may end up in need of that gift.  Until recently that is.

In December 2016, after a half dozen tests and procedures, I was slapped with the news that I had a really terrifying disease.  I was diagnosed with a chronic illness with a really long and unpleasant to pronounce name.  My Dr. told me that I had Primary Sclerosing  Cholangitis.  Or as you will hear me refer to in the future, PSC.  PSC is a biliary disease in which your self hating body decides it’s in a particular mood and will attack itself.  Specifically the biliary system.  We all know what happens to your body when it is harmed…it heals itself.  And if I learned anything from my past dating life, wounds heal but can leave scars.  So, that’s what is happening to the tiny little ducts in my liver.  The biliary ducts are being scarred  to the point that they become dilated.  In turn, your poor over worked liver is takes a good beating.  It leads to fibrosis of the liver (which is what I have now) and then eventually to full blown cirrhosis.  Can I just say how offensive it is to be looking at the crap hand that is cirrhosis but with none of the fun drinking nights leading up to it?  Besides the fact that my drinking days are officially over, there is no cure and there is no real treatment.  The only thing really to be done is to wait and see just how bad your liver gets and in too many cases, in time, you begin to enter into liver failure.  Finally! The point of this story! No, this blog didn’t originally start out as an education on PSC.  Liver transplant.  So here I am, almost 20 years after first deciding to be an organ donor, facing a life that may in fact result in my own need of an organ donor.

So, if you aren’t a donor, consider it.  At this point, I am beginning to imagine what it would mean for a family to receive such an amazing gift.  For a Mom, Dad, husband, wife, best friend or child’s life to be spared because someone made a simple yet profound decision that in their death, they would give life.  To those who have chosen to donate, Thank you.

 

Happy Donating!