Tag Archive | empathy

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

More good news!!!❤

(Photo not mine)

Hero – Mariah Carey
Look inside you and be strong
And you’ll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in you

Yes, I love being the bearer of happy news!! 😁

A lady who I know, named Susan, told me last week about a rowing competition she was going to be in over the weekend. She’s very good at it and it’s one of her passions. She asked me to say a little prayer for her. I don’t pray but I did try to send some positive energy her way. Not that I believe that would help her win but it can’t hurt! And, like prayer, it can help let people know we wish them well.

I hoped she would win just as much as if I was in the competition myself and wanted to win! And I just found out today that she won FIRST PLACE!! I’m so, so happy!

She showed me her medal and it’s beautiful! Some parts of it are pink! 💗

When I was thinking about preparing this blog post just to share my good news, I thought it would be sweet to share an inspirational quote along with it and this one popped into my head.

The only disability in life is a bad attitude.

Susan has a dog who is physically disabled, permanently. He developed spinal stenosis a couple years ago and his vet suggested Susan and her mom (who she lives with) have him euthanized but they knew that wasn’t the answer. They love him like their kid/grandkid and saw potential in him. (He is not suffering in any way or in pain; he just cannot walk on his own or stand up)

So as part of my job, I visit them and help a physical therapist help Bandit walk again. He needs a cart/doggy wheelchair but he can move his legs again and even run sometimes! He just cannot hold himself up without his cart on wheels.

He is a very happy and spoiled and healthy ten year old boy! He loves treats, kisses, and toys! And bubbles! He can now move his legs more and pull himself up but not stand. Also, he recently began to “run” in his sleep! His little legs move back and forth. So cute! Actually, he’s a big mountain dog so his legs aren’t little!

Bandit gives me bunches of wet, sloppy kisses while we’re putting him in his wheelchair! Sometimes, he kisses me so much, it’s hard to get the job done!😍😁 Mary & Susan say I’m his favorite girl!

After thinking of this quote and thinking it’s a great quote for this post since Bandit has a disability, I remembered Susan also has a physical disability. She was born permanently paralyzed at the waist down. She is also very happy and healthy. I never thought of her own disability while planning this post and even after thinking about this quote. When I think of Susan, I think only of her positive disposition, her kindness for others, and her bright smile, and love for her dog.

Susan and her mom are both very loving, positive people. They’re universal lovers, like me. They welcome anyone into their house for holidays or events so no one has to be alone(If I lived alone, I would do this too!).

Susan’s mom, Mary, is 86 years old and very healthy! She has arthritis and osteoporosis but she gets around very well and her doctor told her she’ll live to be over 100 years old with the great health she’s in!

Susan, Mary, and Bandit all have physical limitations but they don’t let that stop them ever. Very inspiring!

We may have a physical disability, learning disability, or psychological disability like depression or anxiety but the true disability is a bad attitude.

A bad attitude will disable us much more than a medical disability ever can. There are people with no arms and legs, deaf/blind people, ones with chronic illness and pain, people with depression/anxiety, very old people, those who are grieving…who have achieved remarkable things while in their state. There are dogs and cats with only three legs or less and ones with legs that don’t work and are still happy.

Susan, & Bandit, & Mary are examples.

A medical disability doesn’t disable us. Disabled people are very able! It’s our attitude that holds us back when it’s not good.

And we have control over our attitude. Even if we can’t change it this very moment, we can work on it in small ways to make it better and better if it’s currently negative. Make gratitude lists, meditate, positive affirmations, looking at the bright side, focus on the beauty all around….all ways to be more positive. Even mental health issues and attitude can be separated. We can have depression or anxiety but still have a positive attitude about it.

So let’s remember to turn that frown upside down and be positive! We aren’t disabled unless we choose to be.

The main point of my post was originally to share Susan’s good news but there’s so much inspiration in her story so I’m also sharing the life lessons!

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

Xoxo Kim

F.E.A.R

My therapist recently told me that we have a choice for how to handle fear. We can Fuck Everything and Run (lol!) or Face Everything and Recover. He said that both are ok but of course facing & recovering is more healthy and in the end will likely bring us the more desired results.

Recently, I encountered a scary situation. And I remembered my F.E.A.R choices. And I chose to……fuck everything and run. Lol!

The scary situation? Having to go into a building with an elevator.

In case you don’t know, I’m deathly afraid of being closed in small places alone, especially elevators – always have been and don’t know why – sometimes I actually feel like I’m going to die when I just think about it; I actually feel like death is around me, squeezing me, suffocating me. You can read more about my struggles & victories in these posts if you want!

It actually freaking happened

Serendipitous Strength

welcome to rock bottom – the only way is up

My choices? To suck it up and get on the elevator & know I have the courage & strength to handle it (going up I have to get on because the door to stairs is locked but coming back down, I can take the stairs), to take advantage of this opportunity for growth or to take the stairs and avoid that fear and the possibility of getting trapped on one by myself. And yes, I chose the second. :-/

Generally, I’m really good with facing my fear and even staying calm and getting inside the elevators alone. But this is the building where I recently got stuck in one, very briefly but still not pleasant(and I handled it so well, I must say!) and I just felt that I was in no mood for any nonsense that morning. Lol

It’s good for me to get onto elevators alone as much as I can so I can stregthen my courage & inner peace with them. I haven’t suffered any terrible relapse recently. But it’s possible that I can as I have before. Sometimes my heart still races a bit and my hands almost tremble when I get onto elevators alone but sometimes I’m very calm when I do. For a while, my phobic fear was pretty much gone, healed, recoverd. But I suffered a relapse a while ago and began to struggle again. Nowhere near as badly as before but still a bit of a struggle.

The morning I was in that building, I was struggling with the phobic fear and wasn’t up to facing it.

So when the elevator doors opened, I bolted and ran for the stairs.

I won’t make a habit of it. I will still choose to get into elevators alone and know I can handle whatever comes my way. I will remember my strength and progress and accomplishments. But there will also be moments I’ll give into weakness, forget my strength and courage and take the easy way, the way that doesn’t allow as much growth and an opportunity to strengthen my courage & virtue of patience. And that’s ok too!

We don’t always, always have to be strong and brave and inspiring and positive and perfect.

I’m generally very positive and mostly use social media for sharing inspirational and/or happy/positive things. But I also think it’s good to be genuine and share my not so inspiring experiences/choices. Like running away and not facing my fear.

I was disappointed that I couldn’t write a post about how I was brave and strong in the face of my phobic fear and how I handled it like a pro! Lol I was sorry I couldn’t use my own experience to try to inspire others or encourage someone to be brave, feel the fear and do it anyway. I could have written that post but it would be dishonest.

But then I remembered that sharing our weaknesses and less than pleasant aspects and experiences can be just as inspiring and just as encouraging and uplifting to others as sharing our strengths. There are others who run, make mistakes, have setbacks, do things that aren’t the best. And sharing this can help each other see that someone else understands and that it’s actually ok. We have permission to not always be positive and strong and brave. We have permission to falter. To stumble. To fall. We have permission to run once in a while. Just so long as it doesn’t become a habit or way of life, it’s all good! And if it does become an unhealthy habit, that’s ok, we can fix it. Habits can be reversed. Fall and get back up.

Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Or not.

Whatever you choose, I’m here cheering you on!

Virtual Hugs to you! ❤ (virtual hugs are good for all because even if you don’t like actual hugs, you’re not actually being touched. lol)

Xoxo Kim

Light of the love that I found…♡

“It could be someone walking down the street
A stranger on a bus
A little kid on his way to school or any one of us
We all got a little superman ready to take flight
And save a life ohh save a life
Take a look around and you’ll see ordinary angels”

 Much of my job takes place outside, in all kinds of weather, without exception. Today is a very rainy kind of day! ♡ 

I can’t believe how many people, both men & women, stop to offer me their umbrellas on days like today. They choose to be soaked and uncomfortable so I won’t have to be. I love to see people living up to our motto, City of brotherly love. That’s why I’m sharing this post, to promote & share acts of kindness. We all have the capacity to love and there are an infinite number of chances each day, to express love to others, friends, family, strangers, animals, insects….all sentient beings. ♡ Let’s take a chance at least once today, to reach out and love someone! 

“The world can make you feel so small
Steal your dreams and make you crawl
And break you till you got you got nothing at all
When you’re in that dark place and you need that embrace
You know love is never too far away”

Ordinary Angels – Craig Morgan

Much love & light,

Xoxo Kim