There are an awful lot of things that I don't discuss here. I have a built-in filter to not blog about some things in my life. There are some things that are personal, and then there are things that are PERSONAL, and I happen to know where that line is in regards to my life. Then, there are things that are personal to you that actually based on something happening to someone else - family member or friend - and my built-in filter knows not to talk about it. Unless, of course, I seek permission and get it, limited or not.
So, there's been something that's been going on for quite a while now that I haven't talked about here. It's something kind of scary and it's effecting friends of ours, one very directly and severely. And, in deference to their privacy, my filter automatically kicked in and I've kept it quiet. This time, it was actually hard to do. I know people that actually read this blog, albeit it's only once in a great while, that actually know the person involved personally. I just don't know who "knows" and who doesn't, so best to play it safe.
Well, the filter is coming down for this instance, and I just hope to God that it's OK, because I haven't had the opportunity to seek permission to do so.
I've known Barry for over 15 years now. I met him interviewing him for a position and he was hired soon after. We worked in the same department for 6 or 7 years. We occasionally disagreed on things, sometimes significantly, but we always had a good relationship. The relationship grew over the years, and he and his wife and Carol and I have become best friends. We've traveled together to our favorite town - Las Vegas - quite a few times. We try to see them every month (it's hard to coordinate schedules a lot of times, plus coming into the city (into "enemy territory" - Wrigleyville) is difficult, but we're always passing emails in-between.
Now, the filter is being only slightly removed so that I can talk just a little about this.
Barry has been sick for a while now. He's had some liver problems over the years, that have slowly turned worse.
It advanced enough that it actually turned a corner - it had started to fail.
We got a call from Buffy this morning at about 6:30 (that's in that "Time Period" where you don't want to hear the phone ring, because - if it's not a wrong number - it's going to be something significant that requires your attention.
Barry is in surgery as we speak - getting a new liver. A transplant.
He's been waiting for one for a while, but he's been in good-enough health that, even though it was failing, it was still working - though just not as well as it should.
He's had at least 4 "False Alarms" over the past few months - where they get the call, go to the hospital, and the transplant team tests the donor liver (sometimes requiring them to travel to... "wherever" the liver may be) only to find out after hours of testing that the donor liver wasn't viable due to things that weren't found until it was physically examined and tested, like it being "too fatty", or has signs of cirrhosis or fibrosis.
So, imagine getting these phone calls, rushing to the hospital, waiting for what is significant, major surgery that will - in the big picture - save your life, and waiting for hours only to find out that the donor liver is viable.
And have this happen more than once - what kind of toll does that take on your life? Your well-being?
Well, anyway, Barry is under the knife, getting a new liver. More details to come.
UPDATE 12:35: Just got the phone call from Buffy - Barry tollerated the surgery really well, the new liver looks "gorgeous" and they didn't find any surprises inside when they started. She isn't able to see him for another hour yet. He's going to have a lot of tubes and drains and he may look bloated, but he got through it pretty well.
Hopefully, we'll get to hear a bit more later.