Having my mom as my donor actually brought us together a little bit more. But I have to clean my room because it’s a deal that we made: she gave me my kidney, so I have to keep my room clean.
It affected them by the way I was feeling
It affected everybody in this house. It affected them by the way that I was feeling, and I wouldn’t talk to anybody because I would not feel well. And my mom would get scared, like, she wouldn’t sleep at night. My stepdad would wake up early in the morning when he would hear me cough. They would both get up and be like, “Is she okay?” …My dad, when I was sick, like, he wouldn’t talk to anybody. It was really sad, because when I got home he’d be like, “Sit next to me…” And I’d be like, “I’m too tired, I don’t want to watch a movie tonight…maybe in a few weeks.” Now we’ve been watching movies.
She understood me more than anybody
I think having health problems kept me and my mom close. Cause she was always the one that more always understood my health problems and me at the same time. She was always the one that was there and understood me more than anybody.
It’s really just made us closer
I’m the oldest, so I was the first baby that my parents had, and it was kind of like, wow! To have your first kid is hard, but then for your first kid to have all these health issues is crazy. My mom and I are close. She stayed with me the most in the hospital and stuff like that, so my mom and I are definitely close. And my dad and I are close too. It’s really just made us a lot closer, even my younger sister.
I was three when she was born. It was scary for her, I’m sure… But my sister, we were close too. She would come to the hospital and visit me and entertain me and push me around in the little wheelchair – she was very excited when that wheelchair came! I’d be like, “I can walk, I don’t need a wheelchair! I can walk!” but my sister would love it when I would still use that chair, because she could push me around. It was a fun game! We used to close our eyes and go anywhere in the hospital, and then we had to guess where we were. Open our eyes. That was how we passed our time. We went all around, we had lots and lots of fun with that wheelchair!
This unspoken connection
My relationship with my mom is definitely really strong because of it. We share this unspoken connection. For an example, if I am upset with her or angry, I can’t stay upset or angry with her for a very long time, because I feel like I have a better understanding for her and I grasp what she’s going through easier than my other siblings do.
My relationship with my siblings, my brother and my sister are very protective, like, make sure that nothing happens. But I think that it goes both ways, I don’t think that one side is heavier than the other: I care for them and protect them just as much.
My siblings are really supportive. I probably annoy them to death by asking, “Will you get me this?” and, “Will you get me that?” because I don’t like running up stairs and stuff. But they’re really good about it, and are always trying to help me get through stuff. There is always the tension of, “She gets this attention,” but I think that even if there weren’t the illness, there would be tension about other things. So it’s affected us, but it hasn’t ruined us.
Everyone is affected
It’s not like going through a transplant will just affect you- everyone is affected. I remember the day of the transplant my mom had to call her work, saying she was going to be absent for the day. My sister was going to have to baby-sit my brother while she was at the hospital, so a lot of plans were cancelled. For my mom it was hard, because she was by herself, and when she came to the hospital a lot of people had someone else with them, but there were times when she didn’t have family for extra comfort or someone to talk to. But she’s always been there for me.
I wish there was something I could do for my mom. I wish I could give her a vacation to someplace warm, because I feel like she’s gone through so much, not just with me but with her own- whatever problems she might be having besides me being in the hospital and worrying about how I’m going to be. I would like to tell my mom to see Florida. I would really like it for her, but I can’t really just say, “Take a vacation,” because most of the vacation days she had she had to use to come in for my doctors’ appointments.