Military psychologist Patrick J. Sweeny defined the 3 C's of Trust: Competence, Character, and Caring. I trust our medical team because they have demonstrated these three things. Our two surgeons have 45 yrs and 12 years of experience respectively, everyone on the transplant team has been solid, and they care enough to make sure everything is right and all of our questions are answered. Every day, people put their lives in others' hands without one or more of these things because they have to. We all know (and have probably experienced) the anxiety that arises from these situations when it is ourselves or someone we care about! In contrast, if they are there AND you can receive them, you can relax and trust that everything will happen as it should. I think this is where my relative calm right now is coming from.
Some people intuit Competence, Character, and Caring instantly, some analyze them cognitively (I am one of these), and some don't think of them at all. I believe each of these characteristics has two aspects, the presence of it, and the receiving of it. For example if you can't believe that anyone cares due to past emotional trauma, the caring won't matter to you. Or if you don't have any knowledge of what competence is for the particular expert you're dealing with, you have no idea whether they have it. And you have to actually pay attention to people in order to assess their character. So with all of the 3 Cs, you have to put in some work on the receiving end in order to build and have trust. I feel that it's really worth it because it's a rich feeling to trust your fellow humans as you go through this life with them.
I trust Dustin completely with every aspect of this but especially the kidney. Can you think of anyone who exemplifies the 3 Cs better? I am amazed by how he does this in every action. It's very natural, but I wouldn't say effortless. He puts a lot of work into being a solid human and provides an amazing example that I learn from every day. It's been a real privilege for me to share this journey with him. Of course, the kidney is a gift freely given and there are no conditions, expectations, or control that goes with it; but imagine if you will (this is a real scenario I've seen on one of the donor support groups I follow) a woman who donates a kidney to a teenage step-daughter, who then disregards medical instructions, doesn't take her meds regularly, doesn't take care of herself, etc. How agonizing would that be? I feel so fortunate being able to give this gift with trust because my recipient has incredible character, puts in the work needed for competence, and cares about every person and every action, both now and looking forward to the future.
The details of the next few weeks are all in place now. I had my pre-op call yesterday with the nurse coordinator and I know exactly what to do, where to be when, and how things will go. I will work today and part of tomorrow; my work team has been supportive and fortunately my main occupation is computer/desk work and can partially be done remotely, so I can do a bit while recovering that second and third week. I'll also be able to physically get back to work quicker than people that have a job with physical requirements. It will, however, affect my OTHER job, my part-time personal training -- I had my last session of that yesterday until at least August. I think I will enjoy that break and having more time for myself and my family. As far as my own training, I'll do one more session tomorrow morning; then, NO LIFTING for 6-8 weeks. That might be the hardest part of this whole thing! I will be doing lots of walking for a couple of months... then slowly rebuilding.
Anna Cannington has offered to be part of this program. As a kidney donor with a nephrologist brother (not to mention next level human) she will be able to provide unique insight into "other side" of the transplant process. It is particularly apt for her to join up as she is Dustin's Donor. To schedule a conversation with either of Anna or Dustin just connect with either of us!
Dustin was diagnosed with IgA nephropathy (Berger's Disease) in early 2007. He and his family know well the struggles that come with suffering kidney failure, dialysis and the transplant processes. Born from these fustrations and Dustin's love of strengths-based coaching (centered on what is best in people) comes the Kidney Koach program. This NO FEE program is for Renal patients, their families and nursing staff that want support, understanding and a little help on the path.