So…my crazy boyfriend was watching this silly show the other day, Stargate Universe, and when I say ‘watching’ I mean days on end of a FULL ON BINGE!
* I will note it’s gotten a bit better recently. 😜
After a few
months days of having this show on, I was getting pretty good at tuning out what was happening, until all of the sudden my ears perked up.
What is that I heard…
One of the characters on the show was sick. Specifically, something happened to his kidneys (what exactly…I have no idea, as mentioned before I was NOT paying attention), he was in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and needed dialysis. The show takes place on an OLD spaceship that, as you would assume, does not happen to have a dialysis machine handy. At this point you might think…
He’s going to die, right? How sad!
Oh…don’t you worry. They will just do a kidney transplant instead! They’ll just find someone else on the ship to donate.
You know, no big deal.
The spaceship has a pretty weak medical bay…but somehow they have the lab equipment needed to do the blood and tissue testing. (In order to donate your organ you MUST be a blood and tissue type match with the recipient).
I will give it to them for explaining this part correctly. But, come on now…they just happen to be able to run those tests?
The room where they did the kidney transplant surgery was all gross, dirty and nowhere close to sterile.
Nobody wore a mask. Nobody wore a gown.
In an attempt to base it in some version of ‘reality’ there was some glove action…but all together quite the contrast to what really is required for any ACTUAL SURGERY!!
The point I’m trying to make is that kidney disease and the need for organ transplants are common enough health issues to be featured on a non-medical TV show.
There are OVER 100,000 people in need of an organ transplant in the US alone.
The funny thing is, while writing this post my boyfriend is bingeing the original show, Stargate SG-1, when…
I’m typing away, not paying attention to the show when I hear “kidney transplant.”
What’s that I hear?
My ears perked up…again!
I withdrew from my writing bubble to lift my head and confirm I heard correctly.
Oh yes, indeed I did. This time one of the characters was going to be a living donor for a friend who needed a kidney.
Now THIS was a storyline I could get into.
I reluctantly 😉 …
*(Let’s at least keep the boyfriend thinking so. I’m not going to lie, I got into the show a bit, but COME ON there are TEN SEASONS!!! Let’s just say, they jumped the shark a long time ago. 🤪)
… closed my laptop and started watching the episode.
His friend was sick.
His friend needed a new kidney in order to survive.
Without question he confidently made the decision to share his spare with his friend in need. It was those around him that questioned whether he should do it or not. It was a good way to discuss some of the misconceptions people have that make them hesitant and a bit scared to donate.
He ended up deciding to go through with the donation and saving his friend’s life!
He chose to give a part of himself that he could live without to someone who would die without it.
It all turned out to be a dream…but I loved how they used a kidney transplant as a metaphor for his need to save his friend in real life.
I have seen transplants depicted on all sorts of television shows and NOT ONCE has it been depicted correctly.
After my kidney transplants I was homebound for months while I recovered and developed some sort of immune system again–when you have an organ transplant you are BOMBARDED with tons of immune-suppressing medication so your body doesn’t reject the organ. This means anyone visiting my hospital room was required to mask up…and if I left the room I had to wear the mask.
NOT a cute look. *Once I get around to finally moving all my things I’ll share some of those photos!
Whenever it’s shown on TV it looks so easy. Oh, you had surgery yesterday…now you’re up and walking, no big deal.
I T . I S . A . B I G . D E A L .
I wish they would show it as such.
The problem with depicting it on TV is the: donor matching, surgery, hospitalization, and then finally the recovery period, are all compressed into a 45 minute episode. One minute you’re healthy and by the time the episode ends you’re up and walking, working and living life like it is no big deal.
If only more people knew what it was REALLY like, they might have a better sense of the urgency for organ donations.
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