Living Donor Risks Psychosocial Risks

Might Have an Anxiety Problem If….

Since the donation in 2008, I’ve developed an anxiety problem. Round about the one year mark, it was causing major impairment in my daily functioning (as the DSM likes to say), so much so that I procured a Xanax prescription from my primary care physician.

I was plagued with insomnia. And when I could sleep, my dreams were all of the being-late-for-something-important, or being-inappropriately-naked, or other Freudian what have you. When my slumber was interrupted, which was often, my head would immediately attack with whatever might’ve been making me the least bit apprehensive, thereby eliminating any possibility of returning to unconsciousness. And no matter what form it took, my fears were always about safety and security – because that’s what the experience of living donation stole from me.

For quite awhile, these bouts of panic and overwhelming worry were just as debilitating as my periods of depression or explosions of rage. Fortunately, all of these things have subsided, but not disappeared entirely.

To whit:

This morning I was jarred awake before daylight eked around the curtain. As I laid there, trying not to alert the dog to my status, I began obsessing about the smoke alarms. What should’ve been a normal mental note of “Check the battery, and find out where we stashed the one that should be in the upstairs hall” turned into a “OhMyGod, If There’s A Fire We’ll Die” and “Our Home Owner’s Insurance Won’t Cover-It Cuz Our Smoke Alarms Aren’t Working“.


My ever-patient SO knows what my early rousing means, so when he came in to kiss me before heading off to work, he said, “I hope you feel better.” I turned to him as if it was the most natural thing in the world and said, “We need to go buy a smoke detector.”

Understandably, he was very confused. But he played along, cuz that’s what you do when you’ve been with someone for twenty years. It’s too bad my neurosis makes him have to.

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