Monday, October 28, 2013

Waiting for a Kidney

It's been two years now on the transplant "list," leaving my phone on 24/7, waiting for "the call."  Early on, I had nearly 50 friends and family members get screened for a "live" kidney donation, yet all were denied for one reason or another.  I'd get a call that "so-in-so" is a "match!"  Eureka, I'll get a kidney! Only to discover, upon further testing, that there's a problem here and there.  The "highs" and "lows" of that game nearly did me in.  Finally, I told the hospital, "do not call me unless there's a kidney ready to be transplanted to me."  There's been no call.  But I've retained my sanity!

I'm listed in Houston and San Antonio, having been through two complete evaluations and having been "listed" by two major kidney transplant areas.   One day, I know I'll get one . . . but the waiting game is dreadful.  My earliest mentor used to say, "do what you fear most and you control fear."  Well, my greatest fear is dialysis.  Now you know, there it is.  I know many people who've lived great lives on dialysis for many years!  Most are miserable.  I decided -- if that comes -- to control my misery, to turn that lemon into lemonade.  And so I'm machine.

I also struggled with "what happens to my business if something goes wrong with a kidney transplant or dialysis?"  And so, I began one of the greatest accomplishments of my near 39-year real estate career  -- turning my "job" as a Realtor into a "business" that can run without me.  I did not want to leave my daughter with the unthinkable task of scrapping my team business that I've worked so hard to build. And I looked for ways to make the business manageable without me.  I even created a position for myself in case I was only incapacitated, and had to remain at home for an extended period of time.  This is another blessing.  I wonder how many Realtors' businesses would be sustainable if they had to check out for an extended period?  I don't know many whose would be.  And so, I've begun studying what to do with a successful real estate practice when it's time to retire . . . and found that most clientele are left to fend for themselves!  And you know what?  It doesn't have to be like that!

I remodeled my house and built a "man-cave," hidden from the primary parts of the house, where I could work at a computer, look at the lake, and hook up to any machine necessary without others having to dole out pity upon my poor old rendered carcass (at least not in plain sight).

And so I've planned my post-kidney transplant goals -- to help other Realtors create, grow, and develop their businesses into future sustainable profit centers for the generations that follow them.  As David Scott, one of my current mentors, says, "people have lived before you."  (Which implies that they will live after you, too.)

And now, I've moved up the list.  I expect next year some time . . . I just pray it's before a machine becomes a necessity.  So far, so good.

And one last thing:  become an organ donor -- live or otherwise.  Get online at NOW.  Sign up.  Register.  If you'd like to be considered as a kidney donor in Houston, visit my blog, for details.  Thank you for doing the right thing.

(PS:  I've been signed up as an organ donor since I was 17 years old.  Who knew that I'd later be a recipient on a list?)