For seven seeks, absolutely nothing.
After receiving three calls in one week in February to head to UPMC Montefiore possibly for the much anticipated kidney-pancreas transplants — without success to date — I returned home to await the call, with expectations it would happen soon.
I've been told I'm first on the UPMC list for my blood type — O-positive — for a K-P transplant, as they call it. When I get the call, it will the ninth time, but this time it hopefully will result in quality organs that will allow the transplants to happen.
But haunting silence.
Days flying by without word from UPMC.
I continue to be patient.
I know these things depend on human circumstance, human tragedy that requires the donor's age, general organ health at time of death and other physical factors to coordinate with my blood type and situation. You can't wish for this to happen considering someone must die first.
It isn't something that can be scheduled, anticipated or even hoped for.
I've understood that concept for my 16 months on the list.
But without any word on my status, my family thinks I've been forgotten, or my paperwork was shuffled or lost or accidently put in the Out rather than IN box.
Did someone wrongly indicate that I received a transplant when in fact I hadn't?
Conspiracies reign in my household. Even the dogs are wondering why I'm still hanging around. I tell everyone, dogs included: Be ready, but be patient.
But now the family conspiracies have begun playing Scrabble with my brain.
It's a waiting game with no guarantees.
So I continue awaiting that phone call to summon me to the hospital to be cured of two major diseases: kidney disease and type 1 diabetes..
I fully understand the routine.
Still, I must admit, I called my transplant coordinator yesterday to ask that silly question she's heard so many times from impatient patients:
Let me know, am I still ... on the list?