Elizabeth Kendricks, the transplant nephrologist, wants to see the results of a new CBC test including a WBC diff. So I go in to the Univ. Washington Medical Center’s blood draw station to provide yet another sample. This is my ninth visit to the hospital; I’m becoming a regular here. I take a number and only have to wait a few minutes. They only need a single vial of blood and I’m done.


Afterwards, I ask my wife to take my picture standing next to the sign to the UWMC Transplant Center. The photograph was requested by my college’s alumni magazine to illustrate a story they are doing on my kidney donation and kidney patient outreach volunteer effort. To provide a bit of interest, I use a safety-pin to attach a kidney-shaped pillow to my shirt and cradle it in my arms like a baby. I’ve also brought along a work light with an extension cord, a couple tripods, a black towel, a white towel, gaffer’s tape, and a step-ladder. It turns out we didn’t use any of it. Oh well, better to bring it all and not need it than to wish you had it.


Photo by Susan Wolcott

[Update1: You can get your own kidney pillows from Shumsky. The one in the picture above is the smaller 14″ x 7″ pillow. (They also have larger ones that are 16″ x 8″.) I bought eight and will be giving them to my recipient and to members of the transplant team.]

[Update2: The results of my CBC are reported in a Jun 2010 blog post.]

[Update3: My profile is now published in Mines Mag Summer 2010.]