I wouldn’t donate one of my kidneys to just anyone. Don’t send me a friend request on Facebook, then start schmoozing with me for a few minutes about how we were friends in 9th grade English class, and then slip in a, “Hey, man, I need a kidney.” I didn’t have friends in 9th grade English class. Don’t tweet me a sob story or send me a sad Instagram photo of your dog. Besides, I don’t even like dogs. I didn’t help anyone move when I owned a pickup truck, and this is no different.
In fact, there are only four people I would donate my kidney to without question. They are, in no particular order, my wife, my two kids, and my cat. Maybe your cat isn’t human, but mine is. I’d even donate both kidneys to my cat. She’s amazing.
It is possible I would offer a kidney to some of my closest friends, and maybe President Obama, but there would have to be something in it for me. My closest friends don’t have anything of value, and President Obama isn’t giving tours of the White House these days, so a kidney partnership is looking bleak.
While, yes, it’s technically true that a person can live with only one kidney, you have a better chance of being a professional athlete with two functioning kidneys. As a 40-year-old with bad knees and a beer gut, I’m not quite ready to give up on my dream just yet.
No one has asked me for a kidney at this point; I’m just being proactive.
Out of sheer curiosity, I Googled, “How to prepare for kidney donation.” What I found was startling. Apparently, an individual donating a kidney should be in good shape, and if they are not in good shape, they should get into good shape before the donation of said kidney.
So, let me get this straight. Not only would I be expected to participate in an elective surgery in which I would be cut open, have my kidney ripped out of me, and then be sown back up, but I must also jog in the weeks leading up to this? That’s kind of a deal breaker. Why would I train my kidney to be more efficient just so I can give it to someone else? I’m not running a kidney farm, and if I work hard to improve the functions of my kidneys, I’m going to want to enjoy the fruits of my labor.
The website also suggests that someone willing to donate a kidney should simply try to relax. Yeah, right. I get nervous going in for routine physicals. I’m sure a kidney donation is a walk in the park compared to a routine physical.
I suppose I might consider donating a kidney to a family member if they absolutely needed it, but it would be on a rental plan, and I’d expect it back when they are no longer using it. I can almost imagine my kidney fist bumping the other kidney and saying, “It’s good to be home,” after returning to my body following its foreign exchange experience.
If either of my sisters needed a kidney, I’d first ask the other sister to donate hers. I would only donate to one of them if she finally admitted to being on my side of the vehicle when we were being driven to the beach in 1987. She denies it to this day. Maybe needing my kidney will garner me some respect.
None of this makes me a jerk. I just have a unique bond with my kidneys. They’ve been with me every step of the way. If you want to blame someone for my refusal to donate a kidney, blame my parents for never teaching me the importance of sharing. It’s still acceptable, at 40 years of age, to blame your parents for stuff.