It's probably obvious I'm still trying to figure out the tone I want to set with this thing. On the one hand, I wanted to use this as a kind of record for what's happening in my life with the impending kidney donation to my brother. But I also want to use this as a forum to write, talk, and express (choose your own expression) my ideas and experiences throughout the year in an effort to get back into writing, something I did with more than a modicum of love throughout my 20's, but lagged off on when I got married and got a job that entails writing for corporations all day, every day.

I will be posting about my weekend - it was an interesting experience, as I did something else I wasn't planning on doing: I drove around the neighborhood I grew up in and hadn't seen in about 5 years. I saw my childhood home and took some pictures, so those will go up as well. There's a story buried somewhere about why I haven't seen that house in so long, but it requires a little more reflection before I set it down to paper.
Medical Update - Another thing that happened during my weekend was my brother winding up back in the hospital. When I drove into Middletown I spoke to Jason, who told me he was heading back to my mother's house to rest. He was complaining of a weird pain that was in his shoulder and stretched around to his chest. I told him to take it easy, and I'd see him later when I got back from dinner and drinks with Steve. This was around 2:00 PM, and he sounded fine. A little tired, but fine.
6:30 PM - I stop at the bank with Steve in tow to pick up some cash before head into the restaurant for dinner when my mother calls. "Jason just went to the hospital. The pain was getting worse, and they're afraid it could be an infection from the dialysis."
"Is he okay?"
"He's tired, and angry. He doesn't want anyone there; they're just running tests right now." I can hear the worry and exhaustion in my mother's voice. It's been a constant presence since November, when all this came to a head.
"Do you want me to come home?"
"No. Have a good time. I'll call you if I need you."
I got in about 2:30 AM the next morning (more on those hours later). Still no word. My mother was still up, so we talked for a few minutes and then went to sleep.
The next morning we found out the doctors couldn't find anything. They sent him back with some codeine and the thinking that it could possibly be a pinched nerve. So he came home, and I left. I spoke to him as I was driving, and he seemed okay - just really tired and looking forward to getting some sleep since he was up all night in the hospital.
You know, none of this is what I wanted to write.
What I want to do is talk about how this is affecting me, and how scared I am every time I hear the phone ring now and see my mother on the caller ID. About what it's like to sit and pour through the medical books with my wife so she can put my mind at ease that it's never as bad as I think. I want to write about how, even though I know everything is out of my hands, and I have to put my trust in the doctors and the nurses and God, that I still feel completely useless and there's something more I should be doing. I want to be the brave and calm one instead of my wife, because I see her start to cry every time we talk about me getting tested and prepped for the transplant.
But I don't do enough of that, because right now simply writing what happens seems to allow me some distance from everything. And maybe right now that's enough.