I have been (apparently) on the "top" of the transplant list for the past several years. But being on top really has no meaning because of the fact that matching me with the right kidney is not easy. It is out there somewhere, and it does exist, but when you consider those factors with the low number of organs coming through, it means I have a wait.
Of course I have already had, and by all medical standards for dialysis patients waiting for organs, an extremely long wait. Many other patients by this point of over seven years are either in one of three categories; transplanted, given up and are just doing dialysis, or more likely deceased.
Many things were discussed, and due to my extreme fitness and health levels, considering my state of affairs as only a dialysis patient, that I, and they (my transplant team in Cleveland), have no problem waiting for the right organ to come along, even if, and very likely, is still years away. While they may be more, as they say, hail mary options out there, it would statistically leave me in a less quality of life position that I enjoy now. It does not make sense. As I said to my doctors, I did not come in suffering to the appointment with worry and fear about my future, and I leave Cleveland feeling just the same. My status quo, while inconvenient at times, is good. The right kidney will come. I'll probably get the call someday while I'm out running in the park, or watching one of the kids playing some sport.
As a bit of a post script to this story. If you have never been to the Cleveland Clinic recently. I believe it is worth the trip to see one of the world's great medical campuses.
My wife and I on our way out from the day long appointment enjoyed sushi, fresh gourmet tea, and a beautiful view, right there in the Clinic. All in all it was a very good day.