My coworker came to my cube this morning and said, "can I talk to you for a minute about something?" Sure thing. Cubeville has no privacy, so we go to one end of the office trailer. I like this coworker. Her thing is virology, while mine is population genetics, so we have good discussions about how to go about getting the stuff done that the boss wants done. She's also a mom, so we talk about our kids as well. She had a difficult pregnancy a few years ago, which coincided with the discovery of a tumor on one of her kidneys. They removed the kidney and her daughter was born premature but OK.
Well, turns out her other kidney is failing, and she wanted to talk to me about how to tell the boss. She'll have a kidney transplanted from her brother, and is expected to be out for 5-6 months. She was worried the boss would be disappointed in her because they've got a very busy summer of experiments planned.
Can you imagine? She's in her late 20's. The transplant is supposed to make her better for a long time, but she's got to deal with the possibilities brought by her one kidney being in the process of ceasing to function, and all the worry associated with getting an organ transplant.
Hearing about stuff like this makes me want to kiss my kid, hug myself and acknowledge to someone (maybe the Flying Spaghetti Monster?) my gratitude. Although I usually wish I were thinner, my body has served me quite well these 40-some years, I am grateful.