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So THIS is happening💚

(Living kidney donor screening questionnaire)

You’ll never see exactly where the road will lead you, and when it comes to love, you gamble when you need to..
You’ll maybe break your heart on one unlucky throw… but then again, You’ll Never know…❤

You’ll Never Know – Ringo Starr

It’s happening.

I have been holding onto this big dream for many, many years. Since I was a young woman, I had this one big thing I knew I would grow up to do. But it is a dream that felt “too big.” Too scary. Too complicated. Out of my league. So I would put it off and say “some day.” It will happen. Some day. One day. Way into the future.
I had various excuses. I should be older first. I should graduate college first. I should have a place of my own first. I should have a “real job” first, Im probably not qualified because I have depression…..so many “shoulds.”
A year and a half ago, just out of the blue, this dream began to nag me day & night. I kept telling it to go away that I would get around to it. Some day. But it would not let up. It was on my mind day and night. It was in my dreams while I slept! It was the first thing on my mind when I woke up in the morning! It was the last thing falling asleep. It made no sense; it came out of nowhere like this. I thought about it for years off and on but then it just came to stay. And nag me every second.

So I gave in and said ok. I did research all day and night and prepared myself as best as I could to make the call. To answer the call.
I changed my diet and became a health nut. I stopped drinking soda and lots more water. I started walking even more than usual. I began consuming lots more fruits and vegetables. I talked to various people who already did what I will do, and others involved, about my plan and what it will be like. They were all positive and encouraging.

But still, I kept telling myself circumstances can be better. I have to wait. Wait for what? Who knows…but I have to wait. But it nagged me. The dream, it would not give up calling to me.

Finally I gave in. And one day, some day became today.

I answered the call and made the call.

I contacted the Kidney Transplant center and offered one of my kidneys to the next person on the wait list. Whoever it is, I do not know or care. All I know is, this is a person who has to live and wants to live. And that is enough for me.

So today. This is happening.

I am now beginning the process of donating one of my kidneys…..to a random stranger at a transplant center here in Philadelphia. Someone I have never met and probably will never meet because I am choosing the completely anonymous way.

What in the WHAT?!?!

Me? Just an average girl who lives at home with mom, sister, and dad. An average girl with an average job. No special talents or skills. I’m not adventurous and never travel anywhere, dont go on vacations, dont have lots of friends, always had average grades in school, I was never a fitness freak or health nut, havent run marathons, or won any awards, I go to work each day and then straight home, the simplest, most average life imaginable….so what business do I have taking a plunge like this, having my gut sliced open and a kidney cut off my bladder, possibly dying on the operating table(ok so that’s a bit dramatic and is rare), for a random person I do not know and probably never will?

Well, I have two healthy kidneys and a big ‘ole heart and just a little bit of courage….and that is just about all I need to embark on this incredible journey of love.

I am about to undergo a battery of extensive, extremely thourough medical & psychiatric testing. My entire body, inside and out, head to toe, will be examined and I will spend grueling hours with multiple mental health professionals for psychiatric testing to make sure I’m not batshit cray for volunteering to give my kidney to a total stranger. (I promise I’m not! I’m just a universal lover who strongly believes everyone is just as important as my own family/friends) and they want to make sure I’m emotionally strong enough to endure the entire process and that I am not being coerced into it. It’s not all pretty and not for the faint of heart. I will have to meet with a nutritionist or dietician and financial counselors (because I will be out of work for months recovering and have to show them that I will still be good financially.)

I have a history of major depressive disorder(im much much better and not depressed now at all & no longer treated), a kidney stone in 2007 that led to emergency surgery(I remember thinking “well damn I guess im not going to be allowed to donate a kidney one day now” and that is one of the first things I said to my mom upon waking).

These are known as relative disqualifiers, which means I can be rejected for them but will not necessarily be. The team has to know more about them. There are absolute disqualifiers that will render someone ineligible at every transplant center. These include HIV(I am a regular blood donor and do not have this), diabetes(hopefully don’t have this but don’t know – it’s the #1 thing leading to kidney disease), serious high blood pressure problems(dont have this), hep (no), cancer(hopefully not!)…

Currently, I’m in the screening process to see if I even stand a chance at all; some people are rejected right off before testing even begins. They are going to review my application at the center and if they believe it’s all good, they will contact me back and tell me to come on in for the official process to begin!

If they just toss it out, at least I tried! I reached out in love and that will have to be enough. But if they say no, I will move on to a different transplant center until one gives me a chance. It is extremely difficult to be accepted as a living donor. Most people are not healthy enough. And many are considered to be just not cut out for it emotionally. It’s no joke! It’s a very serious, serious matter that just is not for everyone.
The average person would be rejected because of physical health issues and then financial issues. We do not pay for the transplant or donor surgery but we do pay for any medical complications we may experience; there are traveling/hotel expenses, and we’re out of work for months and will not be getting paid. I live right here so no traveling expenses for me. If one transplant center rejects us for a relative disqualifier, another may accept us.

This one is a good choice because I read about some of the doctors and they are very warm and caring. There is an altruistic kidney donor here in Philadelphia who gave her kidney to a man also in Philadelphia and this is the center they had their transplant. The story is beautiful. He cried to be loved so much by a complete stranger. And she joked and said he’s crying because he has a woman’s kidney. They did theirs a different way. She chose him and happened to be a match and healthy enough. She chose to remain anonymous at first then revealed herself. Theirs is called altruistic directed. She heard his story about his need for a kidney and got tested for him specifically. I am doing non-directed where there is no specific person in mind. It will go to the sickest who I am a match for. This is always anonymous and I prefer this.

I hope this can inspire anyone else with a dream or goal to go on and take that very first step if it’s something that truly resonates with you. We all have fear in us and love in us. If something resonates with us and calls to us, and we say no or ignore it because we are afraid it wont work out, afraid of getting hurt, afraid it will not go as planned….afraid of anything, we are acting on the fear instead of the love. Is that any way to live? If something just is not worth it to us and we are afraid, that is one thing and is ok to say no to it. But if something is our passion and our calling and we say no out of fear, that sucks! Fear is not worthy of being the one that gets our attention. Love is.

So go ahead, reach out, take the plunge, whatever is calling to you, nagging you, resonating with you, go for it! Even if we are currently unsure about something, it certainly won’t hurt to find out more about it. And if all falls to pieces, at least we can be proud to say we tried and our action was aligned with our truth, life philosophy, passion. At least we can say we acted on love and kicked that fear to the curb.

People have asked me “What if you die?” And my response is, I would prefer to die a young woman on an operating table living my dream than die a healthy old woman, safe in my bed, never even trying because I listened to the fear in me and ignored the Love. What if I die? Then at least I will die living & loving. How does that old cliche go? Something like, what matters is not how long we live but how well we live, not the number of years in our life but the life in our years.

Isn’t that what life is all about? Taking chances, big or small, reaching out, being all that we can be, doing the best we can, then letting go and whatever will be will be. It’s not about cowering in a corner, shaking, living safely in a bubble, not doing what we dream of, just to die in the end anyway. Shake. Be terrified. Let your hands tremble and sweat and your mouth dry up in fear. Let your voice quiver and your legs turn to jelly. Push through that overwhelming “I can’t do this” and “I’m not cut out for it” feeling and try. Maybe we really can’t do this. We all have something that for whatever reason, we can’t do. Maybe we truly aren’t cut out for it. Maybe we don’t have the skills or the heath or the ability. And that is ok! But what isn’t good is not even trying because of fear.

Take that first step anyway and keep, keep going for as long as you can. Conquer that terror. Show it who is really the boss here. Welcome it, let it take up residence here in your world, embrace it as a companion but don’t let it win! Let the love ultimately win.

“Death is inevitable. Living a life we can be proud of is something we can control.” ~ Claire Wineland
(Claire was a beautiful, bold, brave young woman who died of an unexpected complication during recovery following a successful lung transplant)

Does this dream of mine scare me? Oh yes! I am pissing my pants! There are so many ways to fail at this, so many chances for me to be rejected, so many things that can go wrong with my body during surgery and even during some of the medical tests and even years later even if all goes well. The remaining kidney can stop working after the other is removed and it may not happen til years later but that is rare. I hear there is ironically a mandatory test to check my kidneys to make sure they are healthy but this very test can make them fail?! The transplant team can decide that I am a total basket case during the evaluations. They can find cancer during all the scans I have to get. And the list goes on of all the things I have to fear.

But the love in me is what is winning. The love is what I will focus on all throughout this journey wherever it will lead me to and no matter how short or long lived it is. Fear will take the back burner where it belongs. And love will lead the way.

So yeah, this 💩 is finally happening!

Wish us luck!

Much love, light, & courage to you; be brave, be bold, be strong; keep going; whatever it is you got this!❤

Xoxo Kim

Krampus👹🎅💚🎄

“On a cold winter night much like this
It was almost christmas but this christmas was darker, less cheerful, but i still believed in Santa, in magic, and miracles, and the hope that we could find joy again.
But our village had given up on miracles and on each other. They had forgotten the spirit of christmas, the sacrifice of giving, n my family was no different. I tried to help them to believe again but we were no longer the loving family i remembered. They too had given up. N eventually so did I.”

I love Christmas, the whole holiday season, and scary movies! Krampus is a combination of both! Very Christmasy but also scary. There is something about the concept of Krampus that I find to be inspiring. He is supposed to be an ancient spirit who comes to inflict punishment upon those who have lost their Christmas spirit or those who just don’t care about the goodness of the season. Even though he is evil, he’s like a reminder to never stop seeing the beauty in the holiday season.

If we give up on love, lose hope, have a cold, stingy attitude, not welcome the beauty around us, we may not be punished by an ancient evil spirit but we will be punished by our own head/mind.

I am in the Christmas spirit all year long and especially when it’s the actual holiday season!
I am all for the decorations, the happy holidays & merry christmases, the snow and holiday songs, the sappy movies, the giving, the cafes with all the seasonal flavored lattes and hot cocoa, cookies, candles, the cold, the early nightfall, fireplaces, cozy pj’s; Im all decked out in Christmas pjs and leggings and shirts.

I have always loved the bell in the Krampus movie! It’s the bell he leaves after he snatches non-believers/bah humbug people into the underworld. This year, I ordered a replica of it! It’s just like the one in the movie! At first I wasnt sure if I would get the Polar Express bell(Polar Express is a cute, inspiring, family/kid oriented Christmas movie about never stopping our belief in Santa Claus n never losing the Christmas spirit so sort of similar to Krampus but without the evil spin lol) but decided to get the Krampus one because I love the horror aspect of it and love that the Krampus bell has his name on it. And it looks ancient! I love the German pronounciation, the way the grandma in the movies says it, like Crumb-pus, like a crumb of food. I think most people say it like Cramp-us, like a leg cramp. Lol Anyway, I pronounce it the German way even though I have an American accent.

“I knew santa claus was not coming this year. Instead it was a much darker, more ancient spirit. The shadow of Santa Claus. It was Krampus. And as he had for thousands of years, Krampus came not to reward but to punish, not to give but to take, he n his helpers. I could only listen as they dragged my family into the underworld knowing that I would be next. But Krampus didnt take me that night. He left me as a reminder of what happens when hope is lost, when belief is forgotten, and the Christmas spirit dies.”

These are a couple quotes out of the movie. A reminder to not lose hope, not give up on love, to keep giving & believing all year long. A lot of people find the holiday to be stressful, sad, depressing, dumb…and whatever else. If we stop for a moment and look around though, we can see goodness and beauty in it. If nothing else, look at the beauty of all the lights in the darkess of nightfall and the cheerful decorations that people are so motivated & inspired to put all around their houses. It takes a lot of work, determination, & cheer to care to do that! We can appreciate that if nothing else.

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are! 💚

Xoxo Kim ❤🎄

Beauty up above❤

“There’s beauty up above & things we never take notice of…”💚

Suddenly – Billy Ocean

A reminder to stop occasionally and bask in the beauty all around us. There are so many beautiful things we often overlook. Imagine the extra joy, love, beauty…that can be in our world if we stop for a second each day to savor the moment and all the things that make up each moment, the sounds, the views all around, the scents in the air, the feelings, the buildings, the sky, the people, the animals, sunlight, cool breeze, the changing of the seasons…

No matter how busy we are, how stressed, depressed, or how happy and calm and peaceful we already are, let us stop and appreciate the boundless beauty surrounding us and within. It can be in any form and come to us through any senses, intellect, feeling…

I hope you’re having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are!

Much love,

Xoxo Kim

Baby❤

I haven’t posted here in a while and decided to update. Here is a pic of my (somewhat) new baby, Ralphie! He came to live with us a couple months ago. He is a happy, playful boy and slobbers a lot & gives lots of kisses! He loves humans & animals.

Isn’t he just adorable?!❤❤❤

I would like to start posting more here again! My photo space is getting full. I’ll have to start paying to get more!

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are!💚

Xoxo Kim🐾❤💜

Look for the good {gratitude}❤

One way to practice gratitude that is different than an ordinary gratitude list is to write a list of things that seem wrong, difficult, challenging, bad….then put a positive spin on them or make a conscious decision to see the good or create the good in them.
Here’s mine.

1.) My hemoglobin/iron level has been dropping consistently for the last six months for a reason unknown (Scary!) but I’m thankful it’s still at a safe level even though it’s considered to be at an anemic level now. It only drops slightly and only just now became anemic but it shouldn’t be dropping at all, consistently. This is an opportunity for me to get even healthier now, healthier diet, work on less stress factors, more consistent meditation, self care…This should bring it back up as long as there’s no underlying issue/illness making it drop. Hopefully it’s just that I need some dietary/lifestyle changes. I work/walk/exercise excessively, to extreme levels, and under-eat(My body weight is healthy though). I don’t have an eating disorder. And it’s not a conscious decision; it happened over time and is not something I wanted to happen. It just did. But now my body is demanding I rest and make healthier decisions in other ways. And that’s a good thing!

2.) Because of this I cannot donate blood and I’m a regular blood donor. Very disappointing. The Red Cross wont let me because it’s not safe for me to lose even a small amount of blood even though it’s safe for any recipient to get my blood, but at least I have the desire to help and try to. Sometimes that just has to be enough! And another good thing…they still let me have the free snacks!😂

3.) I have these rainshoes that cut my skin and are very uncomfortable. But so is walking around with soaked shoes & socks all day. So it’s either severe blisters or soaked, yucky shoes & socks when it rains. Both are sucky. But at least my body has the ability to heal the cuts. It’s a reminder to be thankful that it functions the way it should. I choose the soaked shoes n socks. Wet feet can dry very quickly while cuts take longer to heal and can potentially get infected. Also, I probably shouldnt be losing blood with my low hemoglobin thing going on. I tried different kinds of rainshoes and none work out.
4.) I have been struggling with very severe, absolutely debilitating health anxiety (which I never had before) for the last two months and this was before I found out about my hemoglobin issue so imagine my horror when I found this out!! That’s all I need is to hear this now! I have been convinced for two months that I’m about to die (In just a month I was convinced I had over ten different kinds of rare cancer and Google had me dead in less than a year – it may be in your best interest to stay off google if you are struggling with health anxiety! For example, I had some little thing I cant even remember now and put it in google just to check. What’s the first thing that comes up? Pancreatic cancer. Thoroughly freaked me out until Im in a near panic. I was never like this!!) and now this(low hemoglobin can be a result of cancer)! But my terrible anxiety inspired me to do something and I found a beautiful meditation that is so inspiring and full of love. So soothing, calming, peaceful, serene, healing. Stunning. Kuan Yin – Om Mani Padme Hum

It’s a short meditation just over six minutes long. We can put it on replay to meditate longer or just play it as soothing background music while doing other things.

These are a few things that are not good but either because of them I found something good or I was able to see or create the good in them. Try it! We can never go wrong with that! No matter how seemingly serious or trivial, list it and look for the positive aspect. This gets our mind into the habit of being thankful or deepens our gratitude if we’re already frequently grateful. It can be uplifting to list good things but may be helpful in another way to list “bad” things then the good in those bad things.

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are! Hugs to you if you are struggling with health anxiety or any health issues. Meditation really helps me, even just a few minutes of conscious breathing in the morning and/or at night is powerful.❤

Much love, light, & inner peace,

Kim

For anyone in need of some cheer❤💛🐾

This is for anyone struggling in any way today whether it’s something seemingly minor like a common cold, hectic day at work, bad mood…or something that may seem more serious like depression, grief, anxiety, health issues…two young, happy, healthy bulldogs!!

They aren’t mine; I’m their nanny! Any pets’ pics I post, I have permission!

Today, my world crumbled on top of me when my boss called me to tell me not one but TWO of my furbabies are dead today. I am shattered. Losing them is like losing my own. I don’t know what to do with myself. The two dogs who died were(are) a significant part of me like my own. It’s definitely ultimately the loss of their families but being a pet(or human kid) nanny, we come to love them like our own. This is very heavy pain. I always knew this day would come but can’t believe it’s actually today. One(two) of my worst nightmares has come true. Today.

My love goes out to the families. Both losses are unexpected. The one furbaby had cancer and was old but he was doing well then took a turn for the worst like out of nowhere. The other baby was not quite as old and not sick at all and no one knows what happened. He just got sick out of nowhere. I took care of both babies for over two years and this is the part of the job that sucks. I fed them, walked them, slept in bed with them, played with them, dried them off after the rain or snow… Like I have said before, this work comes with immense love but also immense heartache.❤💔❤🐾

I lost two of my own dogs to death in October, one expectedly & one unexpectedly, and it’s challenging to lose two so close together like now. I can’t grieve for both together because they are two separate beings and two separate relations to them. And grief is so all encompassing and needs all the attention but I can’t give it the attention it needs because there’s two at once to grieve for. The grief for each one doesn’t blend together. It stays separate. And both need my attention but it’s physically difficult to do that. Now I’m just numb.

It’s different with love. I can love both separately, easily. They both had very loving furever homes and will always be loved.

Anyway, the babies here are still very much alive and here to brighten your day as they brighten mine! They are sweet and loving and snuggly and can be kind of naughty! The big boy is about four years old and the little girl is ten weeks! She was just adopted to be his lil sis! They look so much alike! She’s like his lil mini me! They get along so well! But of course, just like any big brother, he can get a bit sad & jealous when she gets attention.

I make sure to give both all the love!

Since I’m absolutely shattered today my first thought is to try to bring some love to someone else so here are these sweet lil babies!

Much love & light…and hugs to you!❤

Xoxo Kim