the jug is half full

Today was a good day.

Thursday was 24-hour urine collection day number two, and this time around, I wasn’t taking any chances. You’re not supposed to urinate directly into the container, but rather into a clean container first, then pour it into the collection jug. For P-Day 2, I was prepared with a new sleeve of red Solo cups (see, they’re for more than just beer pong!), clean and ready for the peeing. I left nothing to chance – I followed the lab’s instructions to the letter, making sure to collect every single drop and quickly transferring it to its temporary home in the bright orange jug which had to be kept in my refrigerator (for those of you who have been to my apartment, it was nestled right next to the big Brita thingy. Bet you won’t look at that the same way again now, will you?). I went on with my day, as usual, as opposed to P-Day 1 where I nervously tried to adjust my lifestyle because I was afraid ‘they’ would know my every move by way of urine analysis. This time, I woke up, worked out, took my vitamins, ate three normal meals, worked, took the dog out, watched a movie with my boyfriend, and went to bed. Just another day in the life. The next morning, I brought my half-full jug to the lab, gave one more vial of blood, and was on my way.

I tried not to think about the results all weekend and was mostly successful. They told me it would take 3-4 days for the results, but due to my previous experience, I assumed that was really about 5-7. So you can imagine my surprise when my doctor called me this morning – only 3 business days after turning in my sample. I held my breath. And I held it some more. And then…

‘The doctor said your results are much, much better this time. A lot closer to the normal range. You can pick up your results in the morning.’

Exhale. I don’t know the exact numbers yet, and they could very well still be too high for the NKR’s medical board standards, but this was certainly an improvement and only renews my confidence in being able to donate my kidney. I immediately emailed Diane, the NKR Administrative Coordinator with whom I had been in contact with throughout my scare, and told her the good news. She said as soon as I have the results, I can fax them to her and she will deliver them to the medical board with an explanation of my situation. If, no, when, I am approved, the next step will be a more complete medical evaluation and then it’s Surgery City! While this all may not have been the ideal way for this process to happen, I finally feel like all of the pieces are beginning to fall into place. And, if nothing else, this whole ordeal has given me a new appreciation for my health and the agony and suffering those on the kidney waiting list go through every day (though nothing in my life can really compare to that). It’s so close, I can feel it getting closer, and I can hardly contain myself.

Yeah, today was a good day.


‘It’s more important to know where you are going than to get there quickly. Do not mistake activity for achievement.’  [Mabel Newcomer]


2 responses to “the jug is half full

  • Kathy Santers


    I am a kidney donor as well. It will be 5 years this May that I donated my kidney to my brother. It was one of the best things I ever did. It was an easy decision for me to do knowing that I was saving his life. What you are about to do is even more gracious than me because you are donating to a stranger.

    I am very fortunate that I work for a company, Pearson, that also thought what I was doing was a good thing and did not hesitate to give me the time off that I needed to heal.

    Send me your resume because I would gladly look for a position for you within our organization. I applaud what you are doing.

    • melissaarlio

      Hi Kathy,
      Thank you so much for reaching out. It’s so amazing to meet fellow donors – you did a wonderful thing for your brother, if only everyone were lucky enough to have a sister like you!!!

      I actually worked for Pearson, but left the company a little over a year ago to get into the design/branding/advertising field. I loved working at Pearson, but wanted to take a different career path. However, this experience has very much reinforced what I already knew about Pearson – that they are a company that TRULY values their employees’ well being. Pearson doesn’t just say it like some companies, they prove it time and time again. I so very much appreciate you reaching out to me – the support and help I’ve been receiving from so many people – even total strangers – has been incredibly touching and words cannot express my gratitude.

      All the best,

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