Every time the phone rings, I look at the caller ID to see if it's a call from Dr. Bugbee's office advising me that they found a donor for my bone and cartilage transplantation. I've been doing this for 7 weeks now, but who's counting?
End of last week I got THE CALL! Dr. Bugbee's assistant called with the words which were magic to my ears "We got a donor offer" She then proceeded to give me the surgery date, pre-op instructions etc. The call ended with a disclaimer: There's a chance we may not be able to use the graft. It has to pass rigorous testing. I already knew this as I've researched this procedure extensively. Thankfully, the graft is put through a gazillion tests to make sure it's free of transmittable diseases.
I woke up the next morning happy, full of energy, enthusiasm and passion for life. I got on my mountain bike and had an amazingly invigorating ride on the trails overlooking green hills and majestic ocean views. I knew the ride would cause pain to my knee, heck, every workout does these days, but I didn't care. I was getting my new knee! I stopped at one point on a particularly expansive viewpoint to say a prayer of thanks to the donor who gave up his/her life so that I could benefit from their healthy body.
24 hours later I got a call from Dr. Bugbee's office. The graft did not pass testing. Back to the wait list.
So, I ask you this: What really changed in those 24 hours? Absolutely nothing except for my feelings. My body is the same, my address is the same, my family and friends are the same, my knee certainly is the same, well, maybe the weather changed a little.
This experience is teaching me big time how to be patient, and how little control we have over things in our lives. There is nothing I can do about the donor situation other than wait.
Who we really are is not determined by the circumstances around us. Who we really are inside needs do nothing. Remember that next you're in line at the DMV. And while you're at it, next time you're at the DMV, mark "yes" for donating your body to medical purposes. All you healthy ultra runners and athletes out there, we need you. Dead or alive!