Kidney donation – altruistic
My first appointment at the hospital to meet the surgeon and have some initial tests done. It was during the heavy snows we had but luckily once I had got a few miles out from home, the snow thinned and travelling wasn’t a problem.
There had been some mix up with the appointments and I was in the book for 30 minutes after the time in the appointments letter. The hospital was also running 1.5 hours late and I had arrived 30 minutes early!! No matter, it gave me time to read up on literature there and just watch and listen as to what was going on in the reception area. I was struck by the assortment of people there that had kidney problems … young, old, mothers, fathers, youngsters … it was a reminder than anyone, any age can be seriously ill and need help. I had time sitting there to think about the struggles some people have to try and lead a normal life. It made me realise I have been very lucky in life as regards my health. Whatever I have had wrong with me has easily been treated. Not so for thousands of people. I am so glad I made this decision to donate. Sometimes being kept waiting for an appointment has its advantages as in this case – it opened my eyes even wider.
I saw the surgeon first, very nice guy. Very friendly, smiley face and good sense of humour. I immediately felt relaxed in his company.
He made sure I knew exactly what it was I was offering to do and explained that a Doctor would be assigned to me to look after my interests. I would go through a very thorough medical assessment. I would also have a psychologist and psychiatric report made. The whole team needs to know that I fully understand what I will be doing. That I understand the procedure and what could go wrong etc etc. Once I pass the medical tests and the psychiatric report, the details are then sent for approval. If I am approved as a suitable kidney donor, then I will be put on the database and once a suitable recipient is found, arrangements will be made for the transplant. The evaluation process can be between 3 and 6 months, but they anticipate that once accepted it will be a very short time before they locate a suitable match.
They would remove my kidney in this hospital and then safely transport it to whichever hospital the recipient is in.
The surgeon asked me about my medical history and my families. We have all been clear of major illnesses that might affect the donation. The only down side was that I am overweight. I thought that might get mentioned! lol ! I was weighed and although my BMI (Body Mass Index) was just within the acceptable limit, the surgeon did advise I try to lose some weight. My current weight would not hold up the operation, but if I could lose some then that would assist the surgery and also my recovery afterwards.
I then saw one of the transplant nurses. She asked more questions re medical history etc and then organised some tests:
Blood taken for tests (about 8 tubes used)
It was also explained to me that during the very strict and thorough evaluation process, at any stage they could find out I am not suitable as a donor, so I also have to prepare myself for the disappointment of not being able to help someone.
My biggest worry at the moment is losing weight. I have an under active thyroid which piled the weight on a few years ago and losing it is extremely hard – I never used to have a problem with being able to control my weight, but now it is a real battle.
Please Pray that I pass the evaluation process with flying colours.
My next appointment is April 17th when I see the doctor … regarding what exactly not too sure, will have to wait and see.
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