I’m alive, and fine, and nothing went wrong. I am going to be recuperating at home for a couple weeks and I’m going to try to stay off the internet for a little while I get some work done (it would be the height of boneheadedness not to take advantage of this opportunity, I know; on the other hand, the oxycodone is messing up my typing a little bit). Some notes:
1. I decided partway through the process of determining if I was eligible to donate a kidney that, even if it turned out my dad didn’t need one, or for some reason couldn’t take mine, I’d want to donate anyway. This is because the number of available living donors in the US plateaued some years ago, and even though need has increased, the number of available kidneys has not.
Some shitlords, like John Stossl, think the problem is that in the US you can’t be recompensed for an organ — no one is allowed to pay you for it, which is why people don’t do it. John Stossl thinks that you should be able to buy anything if you’re rich, and that the laws in America, if they ever prevent a rich person from getting what they want, should be changed. The privilege of being rich is that you aren’t responsible to other people and can get whatever you want, whenever you want.
It’s KIND OF true that this is a problem, but the problem is much more closely related to the way we treat health insurance and medical and family leave in the US. In my case, my dad’s health insurance covered the entire operation, but what if he’d had shitty health insurance? What if he’d had no health insurance at all? We’d have been fucked; this was a million dollar operation. For every person like my dad, who’s got a very good, upper-middle-class job, there are hundreds of thousands of people that are just fucked. Even if they manage to get an operation like this done (and no, you can’t get it done in the emergency room, not if you want any chance of getting an organ from a living donor and not if you want to avoid risking death or a lifetime on dialysis), they’d end up in medical debt for the rest of their lives.
Similarly, I’m very lucky because the job I have lets me borrow against anticipated sick leave, gives me an extra week of emergency medical leave, and is generally very generous about how I apply leave to the mandatory FMLA leave that they’re required by law to give me. (FMLA leave is non-paid leave; whoever thought that requiring employers to give you unpaid leave for an emergency absence of thirty days would somehow be sufficient at times of medical emergency is a fucking idiot. I’m sorry, but what in the actual fuck is wrong with you, you moron? People don’t work at jobs because we love working at jobs, we work at jobs because we need money. It’s the money that’s the fucking important part you numbskull.) Anyway, I’m going to come out of this okay, because I have a good job, and the reason I have a good job is because I have a union. Hands down, period. If you think unions are bullshit, well, I suggest trying to donate a kidney to your sick father and seeing how far your employer’s loyalty to you (edit: lol) takes you.
If you think it’s unfair that I work a job that isn’t harder than your job, but I get better pay and better benefits than you because I have a union and you don’t, don’t try and fuck up my job, asshole, just form your own union. This isn’t rocket surgery, it’s kidney surgery, and my dad’s actual life depended on it. I will seriously kick your head into the dirt before I acknowledge this petulance about everyone should have to have an equally shitty job so that life is fair. Life isn’t fair; you secure fairness for yourself. Form a union, get some fairness.
2. I know that oxycodone is one of the most abused drugs in the US, and I actually don’t get it’s appeal. If you’re not in chronic pain, all it does is make you sleepy and have weird dreams. (For example, I had a dream that Vern, of Outlaw Vern, was telling me about the existence of a transvestite LL Cool J impersonator who was also a famous anarchist, and in the dream I already knew about that.) Are most Americans in chronic pain? If not, what is the point of this? Just buy some fucking Nyquil if you want weird dreams.
3. I want to talk briefly about the nurse in my post-op surgical unit. First of all, I want to say that everyone in this unit looked very young, like in their late twenties, which was a little weird, since now I’m in my mid thirties and “late-twenties” looks young, not contemporary. Second of all, she was very pretty in the way that people on TV shows are pretty, where even when you want just a regular-looking person for a two-minute walk on part they look like they could be a model. Not necessarily a supermodel, or something, but at least a JC Penny’s model. She also wore fitted scrubs, and I assume that this was because she likes the way she looks in them, which is why I am not embarrassed to say that her fitted scrubs were very flattering.
THIRD of all, and I’m sure this is in large part because her job as a nurse in a post-surgical unit is probably pretty boring, since mostly she talks to a lot of people who are cranky, in pain, and high on morphine, she seemed super-fascinated by many ordinary occurrences.
Like, she sees my wife knitting and is amazed. “What is THAT?” “Oh, I’m…I’m just knitting…” “Oh my god that’s amazing! That’s different from crocheting?” “Yeah, for crocheting you need a hook.” “WOW.”
She sees my copy of The Baffler. “What is THIS? Is this a book?” “Well, it’s a…it’s a quarterly magazine…” “REALLY! What’s it about?” “You know, uh, culture writing, stuff like that.” “That’s SO COOL.”
I’m not trying to disparage her; for whatever the reason that she did this, it certainly did make me feel better to have someone be happy and excited and interested in things in the post-surgical unit, please don’t mistake me for a critic on this score. Please also don’t mistake me for overlooking her compentency as a nurse, which I assume was very high (I don’t actually know what nurses are supposed to do, so technically I can’t really say, but she definitely did things like remove my catheter and inject me with heperin efficiently and with aplomb).
What I am saying is that it did make me feel like I’d briefly become a secondary character on a CW TV show about a space alien who comes to earth and then becomes a nurse so that she can learn about what it’s like to be human.
4. Isn’t that a good idea for a TV show, though? Especially if the space alien had lots of access to technology and alien powers to heal people, but she wasn’t allowed to use them, so she had to sometimes watch people suffer and die and just try to be empathetic to them.
5. ANOTHER good idea for a TV show would be like a half-hour comedy in which the two main characters spent two or three episodes as side characters in other TV shows. Like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, only weekly, and with television.