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Why Should I Be An Organ Donor?

Image Wikipedia.Org.



Our Kidneys and Why We Need Them?

Each day in the United States the National Kidney Foundation reports more than one million persons on the kidney transplant list.

A whopping 660,000 with kidney failure, 37 million with chronic kidney disease and 1 in 3 Americans are at risk for kidney disease!

Sadly many people will never get the call informing them that a donor organ is available for their use. An estimated 20 persons die each day for lack of donor organs. 

Our Kidneys and Why We Need Them?

The Human kidneys, shaped like two kidney beans lie against the back muscles of in the upper abdomen. They are located on the left and right sides of the back (flank) muscles with the right kidney ‘sitting’ a little lower than the left due the the size and shape of the liver.

Combined our kidneys contain about 1.2 million renal corpuscles that filter up to 1500 liters (400 US gallons) of blood daily. What a powerhouse!

It purifies the blood and removes toxins from the body. They control the water balance, regulates our electrolytes like, sodium and potassium and maintains homeostasis thus keep us alive.

The renal system aids in the breakdown some medications such as NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs) making it available for use by our bodies. One such example is advil. The kidneys excretes all these waste products in the form of urine.

What happens when our kidneys malfunction?

If our kidneys are not functioning at their optimum or not working at all, then the toxins from the break down of the various chemical process involved in keeping us alive will not be removed.

The toxins will remain in the body causing illness and death in a relatively short period of time.

When this happens the blood must be cleansed by artificial means.

Dialysis, using an external machine to ‘cleanse’ the blood is the next step. This process requires the creation of a ‘shunt’ which is created connecting an artery and a vein to be used for access to the circulatory system.

Image: masagepassport.wordpress.com

The process of dialysis greatly restricts a person’s activities of daily living. It’s a time consuming process that generally requires you to go to a dialysis center three days a week, up to eight hours at a time.  The toxins are removed by spending an average six to eight hours at a time.

After dialysis patients often report they felt like they had the stuffing knocked out of them. The body has been depleted and unfortunately no man-made processes will ever work as well as God’s, so it takes time to return to your norm. Then by the time you begin to feel better it’s time to repeat the process again.

Am I Too Young to donate?

Many states allow people who are younger than 18 to register as organ donors.

You are legally able to decide from the age of 18, but some final input may be required from your parent or legal guardian.

So discuss your wish to become an organ donor with your family, and ask for their advice. Keep in mind that many children too, are in need of organ transplants.

Am I Too Old to Donate?

You are not too old to donate, just inform of your desire to do so and let the medical professionals make the decision whether or not you are able to do so.

Do not discount organ donation because you think you are too old as there is no defined cutoff age for donating organs. The decision to use your donation is based on strict medical criteria, not age.

The idea of donating your organs may be an unpleasant one to grapple with. I must admit that I was not enamored with the idea myself. As humans we do not want to contemplate our own demise and the connotations that this idea brings to mind are not pleasant ones. But the truth is that organ donation saves lives.

If they know I’m a donor, will they just let me die so they can have my organs?

Some people are under the misconception that their medical treatment may no longer be a priority if they become donors, the medical staff will make every effort to save your life as is within their power to do so.

When you are ill medical personnel are required by moral and legal code of ethics to make every available effort to save your life first.

You will be seen by a doctor whose expertise most closely matches your particular condition and who can and will give you the best care possible.

If you are unsure of, or uncomfortable with your faith’s position on organ donation, ask a member of your clergy.

Even if your organs are not used for living recipients, they can be used in science to further medical understanding of many disease processes thereby making a greater impact.

Don’t deny yourself from the chance to help someone else. Let the doctors decide at the time of your death whether your organs and tissues are suitable for transplantation.

Being a Living Donor

If you decide to become a living donor, i.e. giving one of your kidneys to someone while you are still living you will have to undergo extensive psychological testing to ensure you are not being coerced into doing so.

This ensures that you are aware of the risks associated with your decision. Doctors will also test to see if your kidneys are in good shape and whether you can live a healthy life with just one kidney.

It’s critically important to consider becoming an organ donor if you belong to an ethnic minority. Minorities like African Americans, Asians, Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, and Hispanics are more likely than Caucasians to have certain chronic conditions that affect the kidneys, heart, lung, pancreas and liver. Some examples of such diseases are; alcoholism, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Certain blood types are more prevalent in ethnic minority populations. Because matching blood type is usually necessary for transplants, the need for minority organ donors is a ‘dire need’.

How to Register to Become a Donor

Becoming a donor is easy. Here are a few ways to indicate your wishes:

  • By registering on your State’s website.
  • Have it placed on your driver’s license. 
  • Inform your close family members.

If you have a loved one who will make decisions in the event you cannot make them for yourself, discuss your expectations with them and ensure that they understand and will honor your wishes.

So now that you have some of the facts, can you see that being an organ donor can make a big difference? and not just to one person? Organ and tissue from one donor can save or at best improve as many as 75 lives. Also knowing that your loved one helped save or improve the lives of many others may bring you some comfort.

What are your thoughts, please comment below. I would really love to know.

Sources cited and questions:

Posted on 6 Comments

The Space in Which we Find Ourselves

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

Today it is raining, cold and windy. The whistling of the winds reminds me so much of the book/movie Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. The story is based on a wild, passionate story of the intense love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a lad adopted by Catherine’s father.

The English moors were dark, cold, and sinister. An interesting read if you get the chance.

It has gotten darker in my part of the universe in recent weeks. The world is so much quieter this year. Covid-19 has thrown a huge monkey wrench into the plans of mice and men.

So many of us have personally lost so much. And collectively the world has lost its innocence and its sense of invincibility.

We have never experienced a time such as this and many of us do not know what to do. Many refuse to adhere to the recommendations to help save lives and continue to go about living life unawares.

At a time we should be showing more love, discord seems to be the dominant force.

We must continue to pray for peace.

Photo by Blake Meyer on Unsplash

Spring and summer have given rise to fall as we continue to grapple with our new normal.

The children have had a harsh year being locked mostly inside unable to attend school and freely play with friends.

They have lost so much precious time and we continuously pray that our love, their youth, and adaptability will empower them with resilience to make it through.

Photo by Jon Lever on Unsplash

Mental health is at an all-time high. Those who were struggling before are now in dire straits. While new diagnoses are made every day.

The elderly and the homebound have witnessed a time like no other. Imagine only being able to see your family through a window. Heartbreaking!

The loss of human interaction, closeness, touch, and camaraderie will give rise to many current and future problems.

The way we see life and our planet is forever altered. Our world has shifted on its axis and many souls have transitioned.

As fall and winter settle in many will feel isolated in a deeper way. 

Photo by Alexandre Grégoire on Unsplash

This morning I arose early and usually, I cannot wait to leave the warm confines of my bed for my online platforms. But today I remain in place. Snuggled in the warmth of my blanket listening to the sounds of my sleeping child.

Soon he will awaken for his online school in these abnormal times. No walking to school with friends. No noisy peals of laughter parts the chill air.

Just the noise of silence.

Even the animals seem quieter this year. Not too many dogs barking. The animals sense a shift, something not quite right this year.

I remember to thank God for my life and many blessings.

Be safe, be well!

God bless us all!

Posted on 19 Comments

A Good Friend

Two women laughing and covering each other's eyes.
Photo by Sam Manns on Unsplash

What does it mean to be a friend?

The dictionary defines friendship as — a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.

I have never felt the need to cultivate many friends, just a select few. These ‘special’ ones, good friends, are the ones that stand the test of time. Most of my friends have been so for the better part of 20 or 30 years.

My best girl and I have been friends since kindergarten. We are now women of a certain age, so that’s been a looong friendship.

We each live our separate lives and come together whenever we need to without ever losing a beat.

She is perhaps the only person alive I feel I can tell “anything to and the message is received in the spirit it was intended. We really do understand each other. We never quarreled even during our teenage years!

We have a cool easy friendship that has stood the test of time.

I am a keeper of friends. I love people, loyal genuine folks. The type of friendships that thrives without being too demanding.

Photo by Duy Pham on Unsplash

What is the basis of a good friendship?

  1. Trust — the foundation upon which ALL relationships must be built. Otherwise, they will never stand the test of time.
  2. A kindred soul, one that is respectful, kind, generous, empathetic. Good friendship does not require that you share the same viewpoints on everything, but each must be willing to respect others’ points of view and work through any conflict towards a resolution.
  3. A keeper of secrets and a safe harbor to rest. Everyone needs a confidante. A friend you can trust with your secret is a boon.
  4. Honesty— this is non-negotiable! Without honesty, no relationship can grow or prosper. Lies, deceit, and betrayal will swiftly cause the demise of any budding friendship.
  5. A cheerleader — He/she encourages your dreams and aspirations and does all they can to help you achieve them.
  6. Maintain individuality— each person must own and maintain their separate spaces in which to pursue their own interests. Later they come together with fresh perspectives, hopes, dreams, and even failures.
  7. Generous with time — As with any relationship, great friendships must be nurtured. This requires carving out time for mutual interests and bonding.
  8. Provides a voice of reason, camaraderie, and belonging. Empower your friend with the freedom and to tell you when and if they think you are heading down a wrong path. Be willing to listen, hear them, and take time to see their point of view.

Photo by Liz Weddon on Unsplash

Final thoughts

If friendships are to survive, some ground rules must be set. A few of the necessary qualities are honesty, trust, compassion, and love.

A good friend is any person with whom you can let your hair down, so to speak. In their presence you feel safe, loved, welcomed, and most importantly you are free to be yourself. A great friend is one with whom there is no need for pretense.

If you should find such a friend, make time to nurture and cement that bond.

Finally, be as good a friend to them as you hope they will be for you.

Be safe, be well!!

Posted on 19 Comments

I Miss My WordPress Family!

two dogs, one black, one while sharing a chew toy
https://gph.is/g/ZWrvNAd

Hello my WP family. 

I have been  MIA here lately. I have gotten sooo busy.

My job

A healthcare worked extracting blood for lab tests
Photo by Chang Duong on Unsplash

 

It is the 4th quarter at work, our busiest time of the year. With the pandemic and beginning flu season, we have so much more to do than last year. More safety protocols to follow. More extra work.

My home

A young boy sitting in front a computer
Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash

Then when I am off from work, I have homeschooling that requires all-day commitments with young Snookums (8 years old). So during the times, he would be at school which would give me some free time to do my things, he is home ALL the time. So I never have a day off anymore really.

My 16-year-old is mostly self-sufficient and seldom requires a trip to school or to the store.

My 23-yr-old had a COVID scare at college, thank God it turned out to be negative!

My life goes like this:

  1. I work mostly Fri, Sat, and Sundays so that I can be there for online schooling. The online classroom requires that I/we constantly re-direct the wandering mind of a kid that thinks incessantly about building robots.
  2. The “kinks” pose some issues. Sometimes the screen goes dark. Or we log off because we cannot hear the teacher and she forgets to let us back in the zoom meeting. Then I have to call the school and ask the staff.
  3. So now I have the enviable titles of a full-time assistant teacher.

My days appear long and fleeting. I go out to work then I return to work at home. No rest in between…not complaining, I know many others have it worse than I.

I thank God I am well and all is well with us. I pray for everyone and we stand together in creating a path out of this nightmare that is 2020.

Do forgive me for not interacting as I normally would. 

Praying hands
http://gph.is/1dU4jBx

Be safe and be well!

Posted on 6 Comments

Thru Life’s Storms — A Lesson

 

Video credit-unknown

A friend sent this to me and it ministered to me. I pray that someone out there will get the encouragement they may need to keep driving through the storm and not to pull over by the roadside.

Times are tough right now, we have never faced such uncertainties in life as we do currently. Everywhere people seem to be dealing with so much turmoil. Thankfully we know we can turn to Jesus because He never changes.

Second Corinthians 12:9

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

I pray for the peace that passeth all understanding to flood our hearts and minds that we may know that God is always in charge, even as we pass through the storms of life!

Be blessed, be well!

 

 

Posted on 11 Comments

The Shoulders Upon Which We Stand

Video copied from Facebook

I found this profound, this phenomenal woman. 

Stated here and more eloquently than I ever could, are some of the reasons why we have to pay it forward.

I hope your take away is similar to mine.

Be blessed and be well!

Posted on 15 Comments

Summer’s End

Sad brown eyed dog laying on the colored leaves of fall in the outdoors.
Photo by Tereza Hošková on Unsplash

Melancholy moments

I don’t know why, but the end of each summer makes me feel melancholy. There is no specific triggering event that I can recall, no direct issues that I can associate them to, but that feeling happens each year.

This year, of course, is no different and a few days ago I realized that when I left for and arrived home from work it was suddenly dark where it had been light just the day before. The changes are so subtle as they unfold that they are almost imperceptible.

Image for post

Photo by Bernd Schulz on Unsplash

This morning on my way to work the waking world looked so quiet and beautiful.

I have always felt like I’ve lost something at the end of each summer. An awareness that I am one year older and that there are a finite number of summers left in my life.

This awareness for me is not one that I dwell on negatively but use as a means of appreciating the little things as well as the big ones and learning to let go of that which I deem to be inconsequential.

Image for post

Photo by Joshua Sazon on Unsplash

Each season as I become ‘more myself’, I learn what really matters and I am taking more time for self-care. Working towards a calmer me by removing myself from persons and situations that do not contribute to my growth or bring out my best.

I am learning to accept the me that I am and loving it flaws and all. I take joy in each day and in each experience, and I make every effort to learn the lessons each day teaches.

The metamorphosis continues…

Goodbye summer, I’ve grown a lot this past year and I look forward to our meeting again.

Until next time.

Be safe, be well, be blessed!

Posted on 10 Comments

Remembering God While We are Young

Image of 4 bananas in various life stages -- from green to old and dried up
Image credit: Jean Downer/Facebook

 

Ecclesiastes 12:1 — KJV
Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;

Good morning! A Facebook family of mine posted this image today. It struck me as being so apt for the stages of our lives and a reminder to me at least to remember to honor God while we are young.

Youth is fleeting, it seems like yesterday I was a girl of sixteen. Now my daughter is that age.

Thoughts to ponder…

Be safe, be well, be blessed!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on 19 Comments

Update on Dangers of Vapes & E-Cigs

Two people sharing a light for a cigarette
Photo by Mark de Jong on Unsplash

 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the US Food and Drug Administration Act (FDA), has been eyeing a common key chemical in the lung injuries caused by the use of vaping products.

What are Vaping Products?

Vaping apparatus
Photo by CDC on Unsplash
Some examples of vaping products and its duplicitous packaging, they look like harmless scented air fresheners.
  • Electronic cigarettes aka e-cigarettes, vapes, e-hookahs, vape pens, tank systems, mods, and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).
  • The use of e-cig products is also known as vaping.
  • E-cigs contraptions heat the liquid in the aerosol producing the vapes which are then inhaled into the lungs.
  • The liquid used may contain; nicotine, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinoid (CBD) oils, and other substances and additives. THC is the psychoactive mind-altering compound in marijuana that produces the “high”.

Fluid samples collected from the lungs of some 29 injured persons found vitamin E acetate in all samples.

While vitamin E is often used in the production of e-cigarette, or vaping, products. No one substance has emerged as the causative culprit.

What is Vitamin E Acetate? 

An assortment of edible seeds containing vitamin E
Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash

Vitamin E is of course a vitamin we all eat/use every day. It is a component of many foods such as vegetable oils, cereals, meat, fruits, and vegetables.

  • It is also used as a dietary supplement and for skincare.
  • Does not cause harm when ingested or used topically.
  • Vitamin E inhaled directly into the lungs interferes with its normal functions.
  • Is often substituted for THC.
  • Used as a thickening agent in the liquids used for vaping.

Several other product sources are still being tested.

Per the CDC and FDA, this is the first time that this chemical has been detected and there appears to be much cause for concern.

As always whenever possible the best practice is to stay away from cigarettes or other related inhaled substances.

What the CDC Recommends

CDC continues to caution against the use of e-cigarette and/or vaping products that contain THC, particularly from non-regulated suppliers, such as friends or family and face to face or online dealers. Updated information can be found on their website as it becomes available.

To contact the CDC call 1-800-232-4636. Web: https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/

Posted on 32 Comments

Smoking Hot…!

A beautiful young woman smoking a cigarette
Photo by Ferdinand Studio on Unsplash

Recently the dangers associated with the use of vaping, e-cigarettes, pens, or Juuls (pronounced jewels) have been highlighted with an injury of some 530 persons across 38 US States and territories. Is reported that seven (7) persons have lost their lives resulting from the use of inhaled substances.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), almost three-fourths of those affected are males with the prevalent age range being 18 to 34 years old. And what is even more alarming is the fact that 16% of the total cases are among young persons under the age of 18 years.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), some 3.6 million middle and high school kids used e-cigarettes in 2018, an increase of 1.5 million or greater than in 2017. There seems to be a common misconception among teenagers and even many adults that e-cigarettes are benign and harmless.

Nothing could be further from the truth! It is estimated that using one pod of e-cigarette liquid is equivalent to smoking 20 cigarettes. Furthermore, it is also possible for e-cigarettes to be outfitted with pods that hold THC, the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana. The vapes may also contain a hallucinogenic like Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or Cannabidiol (CBD) oils or nicotine-containing products.

A young male about to light a cigarette
Photo by Arun Sharma on Unsplash

Of the affected cases all have reported a history of e-cigarette or vape use in the past but no evidence of respiratory diseases or other related comorbidities. There is not yet a specific cause of these lung injuries/deaths.

Some recommendations from the CDC are;

  • Persons using these products should consider refraining from using e-cigarettes/vaping products until further information becomes available.
  • If you are using e-cigarette products in an effort to quit smoking, please do not revert to smoking actual cigarettes at this time.
  • Please see your healthcare provider if you or someone you know have used these products and have had any abnormal symptoms, such as shortness of breath, palpitations, dizziness, chest pains, etc.
  • Pregnant and nursing women, youths, and young adults should refrain from the use of cigarettes, e-cigs., vapes and all tobacco/nicotine-containing products if at all possible.

References:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco
  2. https://www.fda.gov/tobacco-products

Until later, please be well, be aware, and take care.