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Author Topic: Feelings of guilt  (Read 4534 times)

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Offline Ag

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Feelings of guilt
« on: October 23, 2020, 10:52:25 AM »
Hi,
I'm a new member Anju,from India. Aged 39 years female . My brother is in need of a liver transplant. He has been ill for the last three years due to consuming too much alcohol. He has liver cirrhosis and I'm a potential match. There are two other members of my family who have the same blood group_my sister who is married with a daughter and my neice(his daughter) who is age 24.
My sister's husband refuses to let her donate and my brother dosent want his daughter to be at risk.
I am unmarried living with my parents ,my brother and his family and seemingly the only option .
But I am terrified to even get tested. I keep circling between feelings of panic and guilt .
Of course,I love my brother and I want him to get well,but I am nervous for my own health.
Being single,I have no responsibilities to anyone and though noone has forced me but I feel tremendous pressure to give in. Like I'm the dispensible one.
I know that it is a wonderful altruistic thing to partake in and I wish I felt effortlessly so,but I don't.
I feel like something might go wrong and my health will be compromised . And noone will be around to take care of me. My parents are old and won't be around forever. My other siblings are all settled in their families and I share a horrible relationship with my sister in law. In fact, noone in the family has a good relationship with her.
She suffers from mental issues that she will not take medication for. In fact, she's the one who drove my brother to drink ...being in her toxic company has messed up every member of the family. Even her daughters are suffering because of her.
I feel like even if I did this, nothing about his situation would change and he would go back to the same pattern of drinking to drive his miseries away. ..
I don't know what to do ..I can't talk to anyone in the family about this as I feel I'm being judged in the first place for not jumping in to save him.
I wake up in the middle of the night with panic attacks .
Any words of advice will be welcome.
I don't want my brother to die  because that will drive me further into depression.
Help

 

Offline Fr Pat

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Re: Feelings of guilt
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2020, 04:17:20 AM »
     If your brother destroyed his liver through abuse of alcohol it is VERY important that he take part in Alcoholics Anonymous or some other group and STP consuming alcohol. I think it would be unwise for you to take the personal risks involved on donating a liver-lobe to him if afterwards he would just destroy it by continued alcohol abuse.

Offline Ag

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Re: Feelings of guilt
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2020, 04:33:41 AM »
He has stopped consuming alcohol,but it was too late to reverse the damage done. But I can see how difficult it is for him to cope with the mental anguish caused by his situation knowing that nothing will change for him even after getting a transplant.

Offline Fr Pat

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Re: Feelings of guilt
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2020, 07:21:47 AM »
If you use FaceBook on the internet you can also post at the FaceBook pages of "Living Donors on Line" and "Living Donors' Support Group" as now there are more people, including liver donors, who visit there rather than here.

Offline AdrianFR

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Re: Feelings of guilt
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2020, 06:31:11 PM »
In my opinion nobody can force you to donate, directly or indirectly. And no one can decide this for you. At the end of the day only you can decide if this is what you want to do. There is no right or wrong decision here.
You should only do this if you are willing to accept any and all outcomes which includes irreversible damage to you and also the possibility of complications for either one of you.
I will pray for you to have peace with whatever decision you make.

I donated a kidney almost exactly 5 years ago to someone I did not know. In my experience it really helped me to be at peace with my decision and to be willing to accept any possible outcome.


Offline sherri

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Re: Feelings of guilt
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2020, 12:50:25 PM »
Ag,

I am so sorry you are going through this. Family donation is very very difficult for the very reasons you explain. You feelings are valid; they don't make you a terrible person or unloving sibling. In many families, there is this unspoken expectation that there is one member of the family who seems to be the sacrificial lamb. It may be because you are single or you may be the one in the family that everyone always turns to "fix' everything.

I know that "altruistic" donation (unrelated) is often thought as the highest level of donation. Personally, I think related donation in some circumstances may fit that description. Unrelated donors have the support of the transplant center and are encouraged to walk away if they do not want to donate. Related donors are somewhat expected to step up. Recipients are often grateful to the stranger who volunteers but if a relative (often a sibling) declines there may be a "price to pay" in the relationship. I get it!

Liver donation is much higher risk than kidney donation. So you may need to educate your family about this risky procedure. The mortality and morbidity is much higher and it also depends on the experience of the transplant hospital and the surgeon. There is a group on facebook called living donors with complications. There are donors on there who have had mild side effects to moderate or severe life changing health issues. There is one lady in particular whose name is Lorraine Hawk. her husband Paul donated to his brother in law and died during surgery. She has a link https://islivingorgandonationsafe.com.

Maybe you can contact others who have donated and get both sides of the story. Involve your parents and siblings so they can see this is a big ask, not just  minor surgery.

I would also suggest you see a therapist to help work through these feelings. You are not bad person or unkind. your fears are very valid. One needs to go into donation surgery with eyes wide open.

Wishing you and your family the best and thank you for sharing your story.

Sherri


https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/02/12/malpractice-case-involving-death-liver-donor-goes-trial/GFq6kVKywZ48bzRaMN6DhO/story.html
Sherri
Living Kidney Donor 11/12/07

 

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