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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    ORGAN DONATION: A FOUR PART TRIP REPORT NSFW

    Okay mags, in the spirit of it being the middle of October with no relief in sight, I thought I would spam the padded room with another semi-interesting trip report with absolutely no relation to skiing. I feel like I have a decent anthology of these now: self leveling concrete in a 50 gallon bucket, eating nutmeg and tripping my balls off as a mormon missionary, impulse buying a car, my marriage falling apart, etc. Hopefully this will give the board ten minutes of not-boredom.

    So - with that in mind - please know that my goal here is to:

    1. Write a funny trip report
    2. Encourage others to investigate organ donation, because it is easily the most meaningful thing I've done with my otherwise mediocre life.

    Part 1: Buttsharpies


    In September of 2018 I went to the Utah Avalanche Center Fundraiser at Black Diamond, as is my longstanding tradition. We listened to "Soon it will be cold enough" by Emancipator on our way there, collected as many ski straps as we could, and got some cool stickers. My then-wife didn't drink, and not being one to waste a perfectly good drink ticket, I cashed in and made sure we got our money's worth.

    After we had maxed out our swag (and I had used all of her drink tickets), we headed home and went to bed. She went to sleep pretty quickly as I scrolled through Reddit for a few minutes, enjoying the comfort of an internet page that is always new yet never different. Cute cats, girls with sharpies up their pooper, and then something new: a post on /r/saltlakecity from a girl who wrote "My best friend is dying of kidney failure, is there anyone in Salt Lake who has B- blood and would donate their kidney?" I stopped my mindless hunt for girls with sharpies up their butt and read that post again - I was B-, and as far as I knew, I had two kidneys. Lord knows I've done dumber shit with less benefit to others.

    "Mrs Tgapp" - I poked her rib - "some girl on the internet's friend is dying of kidney failure, can I hook her up with one of mine?" I asked, almost entirely in jest, the effects of the four Wasatch beers still clearly present.

    "Sure whatever you want I'm trying to sleep spoki noki" - she dismissed my question in Russian, rolling back over to sleep. I moved on and kept hunting for (legal) teenage girls with sharpies in their shitter. As an afterthought I stopped, scrolled back up, and commented. "I'm B- and I would get tested, shoot me a DM", and as a sign of divine approval, the gods of the algorithm sent me the best butt sharpie picture i have ever seen.

    The next day when I woke up, CloudedEyeCat, the user whose friend was dying, had sent me some information and an a link to an application, which I found to be far less interesting since there were no pictures of girls with sharpies in their butts in between questions about my family's history of diabetes (rich and varied), questions about my drug use (also rich and varied), and questions about my financial sources of support (neither rich nor varied).

    The next few months were the full medical gauntlet - inspiration for any aspiring medieval torture book author. After making me pee in a jug in my fridge for a week (“the milk is in the WHITE jug, piss is in the red one”), drawing 30+ samples of blood, two different MRIs, a chest x-ray, and an ultrasound (complete with me asking the tech if it was a boy or girl - no laughs), it was time for the final showdown: a series of 1x1 deathmatch interviews with members of the transplant team.

    The first challenger to enter the interview room was a social worker, whose goal was to figure out if I was being bribed by the recipient or her friend. Sara the social worker(name is made up) looked like she was probably on the security detail for an outlaw lesbian biker gang - the sides of her head were shaved, and she had full sleeve tattoos of what seemed to be horror movie scenes. If I had to guess, she probably put holes in homophobes heads for fun on the weekend. I looked her up and down to try and gauge her tolerance for trolling, and I didn't like my odds. Even with both my kidneys I couldn't take her.

    "Tell me why you want to donate, '' she asked me, taking notes in a folder from the desk across the room from me. "Well see - they told me that if I gave up my kidney, they'd give me a toaster in exchange, and I'm tired of burning my toast under the broiler" I offered up, meekly - I wanted to make a joke about a guy in the parking lot who offered me a bag of cash, but I also wanted to keep all my front teeth intact. The toaster joke seemed far more benign.

    Sara didn't flinch, keeping her gaze on me as I finished and waiting for me to come clean - tough crowd, lesbian outlaw biker gang social workers. I blinked. "Okay fine I was a little drunk and I was scrolling through Reddit one night looking for pictures of girls with sharpies in their shithole and I found a post of a girl whose friend was dying of cancer and on a whim I responded and now here I am since I said I would do this and I don't really like going back on my word". I confessed, vomiting the truth out on the table. She looked up again as if she was tired of waiting for the truth, annoyed with my smartassery. This time I was the one who didn't flinch. "On Reddit?" She asked, eyebrows raised. "Yeah, on Reddit. Lots of crazy stuff on there". I half expected her to ask about the sphincter sharpies, but again, not to stereotype her - my sense is that she probably has put a lot of sharpies in a lot of butts in her day. Nothing phased Sara, certainly not some scrawny smart-ass skibum.

    "Did anybody offer you any money or any other form of compensation if you were to do this?" Sara was not entertained, but I thought I would have a go at it anyway - this was my only chance, after all. "You mean, like, did a guy driving a 2005 silver Subaru Forester offer to meet me in the parking lot with $25,000 of unmarked bills if I went through with this? Because, uh, no, that definitely didn't happen". This time she smiled a bit, and the conversation moved on to her finding other ways of asking if I was being bribed into doing this.

    A few other characters came and left - an octogenerian dietician who told me that I should eat a heart-healthy diet, a Nepali nephrologist (or some other south asian ethnicity, I just like the alliteration if I’m being honest) who talked to me about UTI’s, and then finally, my surgeon: D. D is a small, bubbly latina woman who is also one of the chief transplant surgeons at IMC. D sat down with me and immediately caught me off guard with her direct demeanor, warmth, and surprising candor. I asked D if there was any concern around previous substance use and she broke into a big smile. “You mean the types of substances that long-haired young men in beat up Black Diamond ball caps use?” I laughed. “Like what”, she continued “LSD? Mushrooms? Weed? Maybe a little Molly? A bump of coke at a party? Or something else?” “No, that about covers it” I admitted, sheepish that she had so shrewdly sized me up. “Not worried about them. If you had a history of harder substance use that would be concerning, but that also would have shown up on your labs. You look to be a very healthy person.” I thanked her meekly. “Listen, Thomas, I’m going to be direct with you. You are healthy, fit, and a very well qualified candidate. We would love to transplant your kidney.” Her sharp gaze and matter-of-fact speaking caught me completely off guard; up until now this had been a somewhat absurd act of medical tourism that I fully expected to go nowhere, given how few people actually qualify for donation. My surprise was self-evident; I wasn’t ready for her to be that direct, and I stumbled to respond. She gave me a minute before speaking again. “We want to support you regardless of what choice you make - you can always back out, at any time, for any reason - but you now have the direct opportunity to save someone’s life. And that chance doesn’t come very often in life.”

    Later I would go skiing with D up at beartrap - she and her husband were even game for two laps, which for knuckle-dragging dentists, isn’t bad at all. I’ll share some pics of skiing with her in a second.

    Surgery was originally scheduled for October 31st, a date so fortuitous that I bought an adult-sized ‘Operation Man’ costume just to accompany the ocassion. I had dreams of pushing my catheter cart down the halls of the hospital with a big red nose on, complete with surgical scar and missing organs - but a poorly-timed head cold had other plans for me. Not wanting to remove organs from a guy with a head cold, my surgery got bumped to November 15. I never got reimbursed for my Operation Man costume - or for anything, really.

    My memories of the morning of surgery are somewhat fuzzy; I showed up at the hospital, changed into my gown, got an IV put in, and eventually got wheeled into the OR. My last memory is that when getting wheeled into the OR, I noticed a large metal bowl with what appeared to be a whisk sitting in it. “Did that come from Ikea?” I asked my surgeon. “We make margaritas in it on the weekend” She told me, and that was it.



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    hi it me

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    ffs i can't get this picture to load right but this is my surgeon, D, skiing beartrap

    more pics later

  2. #2
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    Mar 2017
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    One last thing - if I could communicate anything to this audience, it is that organ donation is an incredible opportunity, and minimally impactful. What I gained in going through this process is far, far, greater and any sacrifice I made (which was truly minimal), and I am healthy and strong and lead a full and fulfilling life. In the calendar year after donation, I managed to do Kingís peak in winter car-to-car in a day, climbed the grand (Petzold > Upper E) in a day, and skied a metric fuckton. None of those are impressive - not at all - but they represent meaningful accomplishments for me.

    So, if youíre interested in learning more, I highly recommend it.

    https://transplantliving.org/

    Thanks mags, if youíre in SLC, come visit me at IMC next week. Iíll share my lorna doones with you if you do.
    ó

    Anyway this trip report is getting long in the tooth, but I can finish writing more later. I'll end with a few pictures, and, if there is more interest, I can publish this serial-style:

    Part 2: Kidney post-op recovery (or ďIím not a nazi, butÖĒ)
    Part 3: Liver donation screening
    Part 4: Liver recovery (which Iíll write in the hospital - Iím going back to donate the right lobe of my liver next week)

    Okay that's it for now, if there's interest I'll work on subsequent parts

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Oh dang! Never know what you're gonna run across in the padded room on tgr...
    Brandine: Now Cletus, if I catch you with pig lipstick on your collar one more time you ain't gonna be allowed to sleep in the barn no more!
    Cletus: Duly noted.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    16,233
    Wow!
    "timberridge is terminally vapid" -- a fortune cookie in Yueyang

  5. #5
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    Mar 2005
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    Tgapp

    Winning the interwebs. And changing irl strangers lives.
    Holeee fuk.

    You sir deserve an award of some kind. I’m thinking a butt sharpie trophy.

    PS. And they say Reddit is a cesspool of wasted life.

  6. #6
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    2,505
    Holy shit.
    ride bikes, climb, ski, travel, cook, work to fund former, repeat.

  7. #7
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    Dec 2012
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    I can still smell Poutine.
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    Tell me more about the girls with sharpies up their butts.

  8. #8
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    Oct 2004
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    50 miles E of Paradise
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    13,891
    Yes please continue

    Several years ago (10+?) a maggot needed a bone marrow transplant, so I signed up. Never got selected and just recently aged out as a donor. Hope you are well Birdman

    Good on you for giving life to a stranger

  9. #9
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    Mar 2009
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    Tgapp, you are awesome. Karma is a good thing.

  10. #10
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    Dec 2009
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    The Mayonnaisium
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    I'm oscillating between recklessness and selflessness, and questioning my own selfishness in the process.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by riser4 View Post
    Tell me more about the girls with sharpies up their butts.
    asking the real questions:

    www.reddit.com/r/buttsharpies

    nsfw, obviously

    Sent from my Pixel 6 Pro using Tapatalk

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    General Sherman's Favorite City
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    Wow, amazing stuff man.

    Your willingness to share so much of yourself on here is what makes you, and this place, great.
    I still call it The Jake.

  13. #13
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    Nov 2008
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    I think we should invent a new cocktail called the butthole sharpie.
    Thought about making it a band name but, too close to that other band.

    Heartfelt kudos to you tgapp

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Great read and mad props to you tgapp for letting them scour you for parts. Looking forward to reading the subsequent volumes.

  15. #15
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    Jan 2010
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    What was the recovery like? How long until you returned to full activity, what was the first week like, etc.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by neufox47 View Post
    What was the recovery like? How long until you returned to full activity, what was the first week like, etc.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Hang on I'll get there

    But in short, hiking the day after discharge, skiing within 10 days (probably not the smartest idea), back to complete normal in a month.

    Sent from my Pixel 6 Pro using Tapatalk

  17. #17
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    TRG Humanitarian of the Year, and a pretty fucking good TR too.

  18. #18
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    This is awesome - good on you!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meadow Skipper View Post
    TRG Humanitarian of the Year, and a pretty fucking good TR too.
    Thanks, but what I struggle with is that if (healthy, capable) people saw kidney donation for what it is (a minor inconvenience with limited health consequences), more people would do it. So aggrandizing the act as some sort of huge humanitarian sacrifice isn't really helpful.

    Truth be told, I'm a pretty selfish guy. I make good money and buy a lot of toys and spend my time doing things I want to do. And organ donation is definitely self-serving, don't let me tell you otherwise.

    Sent from my Pixel 6 Pro using Tapatalk

  20. #20
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    You're alright, tgapp. If you ever want to go skiing/fishing in RMNP I've got a place for you to stay.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meadow Skipper View Post
    pretty fucking good TR too.
    Sure but the lack of butt sharpie pics is a travesty

  22. #22
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    Feb 2005
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    tgapp- you are incredible. I don't know you but am inspired by you!!!

  23. #23
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    Nov 2011
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    This is truly amazing. Do you get to meet the person you saved?

  24. #24
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    Nov 2011
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    265
    Or maybe itís like adoption, if you meet them you may have sellers remorse and try to get said kidney back?

  25. #25
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    Mar 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by tgapp View Post
    Hang on I'll get there

    But in short, hiking the day after discharge, skiing within 10 days (probably not the smartest idea), back to complete normal in a month.

    Sent from my Pixel 6 Pro using Tapatalk
    Think of the strange you can score after telling the donation story in the right crowd................

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