Kidney Transplant: My Story

It occurred to me recently that I’ve pretty shamelessly promoted my memoir on this blog, frequently alluding to it or to my experience with kidney donation and expecting that to somehow fill in the gaps of a story most of you don’t know. And while I’d like to think you’d all just drop what you’re doing and take up 250 pages of my life for a while, I’m not that self-absorbed. Or stupid. But if I’m going to continue on with this project, it seems to me that a summary… Read More

Kidney Transplant: Naval, Delhi, India

On May 15, 2015, Naval went to the hospital for what seemed a relatively minor ailment. When they couldn’t sort him out, they performed a complete physical. Not even the doctors expected to find that Naval’s kidneys had stopped functioning. “I already knew that I had high blood pressure, but no one ever told me that could lead to kidney problems,” said Naval from his home in Delhi, India. “Even after my creatinine came back at 6.5, they didn’t tell me about ESRD. Instead, they sent me to another hospital…. Read More

Kidney Transplant: Jeff, Broward County, FL

In 2011, just one year into Jeff’s retirement from forty-two successful years in sales, his wife received a phone call from New York. Her brother, Michael, had been diagnosed with kidney disease. “Honestly,” said Jeff, “neither one of us knew a lot about it other than to say we knew it wasn’t good.” Over the next few months several people volunteered to be tested as potential kidney donors. None of them matched. In 2012, Michael started dialysis while he continued to search for a donor. In the meantime, his condition… Read More

Album Review: Fruit Bats, Absolute Loser

It’s been a while since we’ve heard new material from the Fruit Bats, thanks large in part to a brief hiatus so they guys could focus on other projects. As is the case with most brief hiatuses, this one was worth the wait. While The Ruminant Band and Tony the Tripper both showcased a more elaborate production value than the preceding albums, Absolute Loser returns slightly to the frontman Eric D. Johnson’s roots as a folk based artist who doesn’t stray terribly from acoustic overtones and nostalgic midwestern living. But rather than mirroring… Read More

Fruit Bats, Rough Trade, Brooklyn, NY

Last night marked Fruit Bats first return to New York City in five years. To say it was worth the wait would be the understatement of the day. Fruits Bats have come a long way from the one-man-show of Eric. D. Johnson to the four-plus members they’re working with on this tour. Despite the rotating cast members over the years and the lengthy breaks between Brooklyn visits, the band has only become more cohesive, gently pushing the boundaries they’ve worked within just as they’ve done with each new album. Savvy with curation… Read More

Kidney Transplant: Tony, Nashville, TN

Tony told me his story over the phone. Tony knew about his hypertension, but he worried more about a stroke than about kidney problems. It never occurred to him that he might end up in renal failure. By the time his doctor convinced him to see a specialist the damage was already done. In December 2013, Tony, who’d been living with kidney problems for seven years, finally began peritoneal dialysis. Even still, he worked 100 hours a week at his job in the oil fields of Alaska where he lives… Read More

Kidney Transplant: Jenelle, Maple Valley, WA

Less than a year ago, Jenelle knew nothing about living kidney donation. Then she learned of a man in her city who needed a kidney and had taken to social media to find a suitable donor. After reading his story in the newspaper, Jenelle decided to further research living kidney donation. It didn’t take long for her to become convinced. “I looked into the process and I thought, that’s something I can do,” she said, even though she’d never met the recipient. But Jenelle didn’t take her decision to donate… Read More

Book Review: The Immoralist, Andre Gide

Years ago, I kept a blog where I reviewed books that I’d read. While not a particularly original idea, I’m going to resurrect it here. Don’t worry. I’m not reading as much as I used to. Also, I decided to do this after returning the book I’m reviewing to its owner, so we’re going to wing it a little bit here. Lucky you. __ I borrowed The Immoralist from a friend at my neighborhood watering hole. She’s a big fan of André Gide, and I’d never read anything by him before…. Read More

Kidney Transplant: Leti, San Antonio, TX

Leti told me her story over the phone. Some time in 1996, Leti’s friend and godmother to her second grandchild, Liz, went into renal failure. Leti knew right away that she wanted to help and offered to do so. For better or worse, Liz’s cousin stepped forward as well, and since he was a much closer match than Leti, they went with him. “In a way, I’m glad,” Leti laughs, a flicker of humor in her voice. “Back then, they didn’t do all the laparoscopic stuff. When I saw his scar… Read More

Biking in Brooklyn: Seven Lessons

When I was married, my then-wife refused to let me get a bike. She believed I would inevitably die from some clumsy, catastrophic traffic mishap, though I think she was more concerned that I wouldn’t die but instead become physically incapacitated and she’d have to take care of me for the rest of my life. Really makes you rethink your marriage vows, I suppose. I’ve been divorced now for about a year and a half. I grieved for a long time, I self-medicated, I bought a bigger TV and a… Read More