Last week, I had several interviews with members of the kidney-transplant team, including a doctor, an advocate, and a clinical psychologist. Everything seemed fine until the clinical psychologist learned that I typically drink alcohol at a rate of 3-4 drinks 3-4 times a week. She noted that they recommend that people with a single kidney drink no more than 1-2 drinks a week. That would be problematic, I told her.
A couple of days later, the psychologist called me back to confirm that, although their guideline was conservative, she had confirmed that any drinking of alcohol in excess of that would be risky. She suggested that, because my donation was entirely elective, and because my health currently was in such a good place, I should seriously consider whether I would want to do anything to potentially throw my life out of balance.
As I’ve thought about the matter this weekend (and done a lot of internet research on the subject), I am learning against the donation. The 4-6 weeks of post-surgery disability is concerning enough, but permanently and dramatically curtailing my drinking is probably too much. Drinking 3-4 times a week is an important part of my social life. If I had to choose between giving up drinking and giving up yoga, I’m not sure which I would do. Fortunately, I don’t have to give up either.
More time to think.