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Friday, June 17, 2011

I Miss My Blog

This blog will be posted some time after it was written due to an outside directive to not talk about my living donor experience until after I have donated.  If you are reading this, it is because I have completed the donation process.
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March 3, 2011

I miss my blog. Plain and simple, end of story. Sure I've been "writing as I go" and just not publishing but its not the same. I don't write as often.  I'm not taking time to tell it as it happens the same way I did before.  After I was told to stop blogging, I sometimes put it off, partially because it reminded me how angry (not punch a way angry, more exhausted angry) the situation made me, and how disappointed I was in the decision that was asked of me to make. But mostly what I miss is the support I had, that is gone.

The program coordinator asked me probably a month ago if I was still able to keep in contact with people in Ontario, if I still had support despite having to end all "electronic communication". I heard myself tell her yes. But it's not the same. It really isn't. It's a sliver of a fraction of what I had before. Yes, my decision has been supported by my family, friends and extended family in Ontario, in other provinces and in the States. And if I asked any of them for help, I know they'd do what they could to deliver.With the blog though, not only could I have the "therapy" of writing about my experiences and my emotions, but I knew people were reading.  They'd give me feedback, they'd ask questions, they'd cheer me on. I could tell my Google Analytics who was reading where, when and how often they were coming back. I had friends I haven't talked to in a few years approach me to offer me words of support and encouragement which helped remind me I was on the path to something with all the tests, all the doubts.This blog allowed me to put myself out there in what for me is my best and most comfortable way of communicating-writing.

I also had the support of "strangers". I know the "stranger" factor was probably the scariest risk in the minds of people who asked me to end the blog. Someone might ask for my kidney! Someone might track me down and do bad things. I might be pressured. Valid concerns?  Maybe.  But it didn't happen, not to me at least. You know what makes the support of strangers nice? They aren't worried about me the same way my best friend, aunt or cousin is. They come at the situation with a different kind of advice and feedback (good and bad) I'd never get from people in my immediate universe. It's really about them and their experience-not me. I received a story from a mother with three children who have required transplants (one of them twice already). I heard from other donors, who like me were crazy enough to want to do this for a stranger. I heard from wonderful volunteers and employees in our local "kidney community" who saw what I could bring by generating awareness for the need to donation. I heard from a lovely lady who received a kidney last year who urged me along and helped me understand how her life had changed. I miss that momentum and I know that even though I can publish all these down the road, its not the same. The support will not be required the way it has been, people will care less as the end of the story in a lot of ways will be known and its not going to do the same in terms of educating and generating awareness. That makes me sad all around.

With this blog (when it was active) I kind of felt like those old Verizon commercials where the callers are going about their lives but they had a whole network following them, making sure everything was okay. Now I feel like that team of people have all been forced to leave.  I have a handful of people I try to keep updated via private email (illegal according to the policy but whatever...its 2011 people-get over it). It's not the same.  I think when you send an email you really think about who wants to read it, whose time you want to ask for and who NEEDS to know what you are saying (aka my mother). At least with the blog I could write it and if they had time to read it they could-I wasn't making them feel obligated. I write this a lot differently than I do my email updates as well so the process and feelings around it are so much different.

Anyway, I miss my blog and what it gave me. And that's all there is to it.

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