Morning: I just got my first kidney call! James the Transplant Caller Guy called at about 8:20 to say that they might have a kidney for me! It is a "high risk" kidney and yet it has passed the cirology tests (?). The kidney came from a guy (?) who had a past history of IV drug use with heroin. He was in treatment and died in a car wreck. Dr. Lewis, my transplant doc thinks the kidney is good and James says I have about an hour to make a decision on it. Okay.
So now what? Liz and I talk it over and decide we need to ask Moritz what he thinks. I call his office at 8:30 and no one is there! I call the Dr's Exchange to have them page him and they can't find him but pretty soon Judith Betts calls and we discuss the kidney and she gives me the questions to ask:
- What was the creatinine level when the guy died? We want to know how the kidney was functioning then... if 1 or 2 that is good... not 4.
- Are there other reasons he was "high risk" other than the social history of heroin use?
- How did he die?
- What does Dr. Lewis think? She reminded me that Lewis is on the cautious side and wouldn't risk as much as other docs might.
- Creatinine was 1
- No other reasons he was high risk
- "vehicle related"
- Don't think I need to talk to Lewis after all, since James' answers are so clean.
So, he says hang tight and he'll call me back just as soon as he gets an answer from the other person higher on the list.
WOW is all we can say right now. The I-Ching I throw throughout these conversations, based on the question, "What will be the result of taking this kidney" gives me hexagram # 54, Marrying Maiden changing in three positions (2nd, 4th, and 5th) to # 48, The Well. For those of you who know, this might be a prospicious reading... it warns that I am subordinate to the situation and it could change in several ways; being disappointing (2), refraining from action to await a more prospicious time, and finally, overlooking my social position to place myself in the service of others... these changes leading to "The Source". So, the way I read this is that it might be a disappointment this time... that I shouldn't just jump at it without forethought, and that the ultimate choice is not mine, but I should put myself in the service of others (the other candidate or the family of the deceased in some way) and that those moves will lead to the source... ultimate success. WOW again.
So, here I am awaiting James call. He just called at 10:40 while I was blogging this, asking more detail about my recent sonogram of my murmur... is that good news?
11:30 am: Call from James the Transplant Caller Guy... I am on my way... need to come up to N. Austin Med Center North Entrance to check in NOW! They'll do tests etc and we're on on the way to Part Two of the ADVENTURE. All goes well? I get the operation tonight! WOW.
- The kidney is coming in to San Antonio from somewhere else and will be tested for anti-bodies, HLA, and antigens (tissue testing) before being sent up here
- They will cross match it on the way up to Austin... while the kidney is driven by car
- And it should be ready for me by 7:15, so I am on the OR schedule for about 7:15!
- I will have a catheter and sometimes the kidney is "asleep" for hours or days before it kicks in
- Sometimes people have spasms or cramps after the kidney is put in
- Dr. Lewis will be in to talk to us about an hour before the surgery.
- Pneumonia ~ stand up lots to breath & walk to stave this off... take deep breaths and cough when I can
- Clotting in bed ~ get out of bed as much as possible... there can also be clotting in the catheter. (right beside this I have noted, "no herbal meds")
- Watch out for SOIL... has lots of microbes and bacteria ~ If I work in the yard I have to double-glove, wear a heavy duty mask and get double clean afterwards ~ best not to garden, but if I have to, take above precautions and wear sun block, and shower afterwards.
- The Campeth totally wipes out my T-cells so I have to be VERY Careful about infections for the 3 to 6 months it takes to re-build them ~ WASH HANDS many times a day with antibacterial soap (they have neat dispensers outside the rooms here that dispense a mouse-like foam that you rub into your hands and it dries right there with no use of a germy towel. COOL!