Adventures of a Kidney Donor

May 8, 2010

Psychology of Donor and Recipient

The psychology of being a kidney donor and kidney recipient is more complex than I anticipated.  I really have a strong premonition that everything will be fine and the evidence in articles backs that up.   The statistics are overwhelming in how safe it is, but emotion has little to do with facts.

Surprisingly, one difficult thing is too much praise. Of course it’s nice to hear a few things like:  “It’s great that you are helping someone” but too much praise can be hard. I am actually acting in my own self interest because I want Jackie around. I think it must be hard for the recipient to hear a lot of praise heaped on the donor too. It isn’t the recipient’s fault that they are in the postion of having to be the “donee” vs. the “donor.”

I also feel bad that Jackie has guilt about being a recipient. I think it is MUCH more difficult to be the kidney recipient that the donor. First the recipient is ill with kidney disease and has to face all of the physical ramifications of that. Dialysis is NO picnic. Secondly there must be a lot of psychological hurdles. Why do I have to have this disease? Why do I have to be in the position of having to accept an actual body part from someone else? Why do I have to cope with my own surgery and know that the donor is having major surgery too? That can’t be easy.

Jackie is making progress with her feelings and wrote a great blog on it.

What makes me feel better is reading donor and recipient stories. In story after story the recipients get new lives and the donors recover quickly and feel great about the donation.  All will be well!

Go to List of Resources on Kidney Donation


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