Taking a deep breath & beginning the Journey

As some of you already know, the hubs is preparing to begin dialysis while he awaits a donor kidney. He has been going to weekly doctor visits and having heart tests (so far so good) and sonograms of the kidneys (not so good) and blood tests, etc. He has some more tests to undergo before the first challenge. (Challenge is the word I shall use instead of “procedures that almost make me poo my pants” and it is not even being performed on me! But when you have been together for over 40 years, when he hurts, I hurt.) A cardiologist and a nephrologist and the primary care physician must all sign off before we take any steps further. That should all be done next week. Bob has already met with the Dialysis Nurse who will train us both in home peritoneal dialysis.

We were required to attend a class yesterday at the Inova Fairfax Hospital and meet with just 2 members of the transplant team. There are many more to meet one on one, but that comes a bit later. The class lasted two hours and walked us a thorough list of step 1, 2, 3 etc. The information was amazing and overwhelming at the same time. There were probably 15 or so other patients some with spouses. You think that you need a kidney and the doctors and nurses just handle everything and in 4-8 years, voila! A new pink healthy kidney! Not so fast, Sir!

Bob will be required to maintain a certain BMI, weekly doctor visits, make calls to the hospital at various times, lots of paperwork (that part don’t bother me so much! I LOVE paperwork.) And then there are options for live donors and for domino surgeries. Such as:

Mr 1 needs an A or B or AB kidney. Hubs needs an O kidney. I have an AB kidney and Mrs 1 also has an AB kidney but the cross match is not compatible for her Mr 1. Mrs. 2 has an O kidney and her Mr 2 needs an AB kidney and his cross match IS compatible to Mrs 1. So, they can perform a domino surgery with up to 8 patients and

Mr 1 gets a kidney from me.
Bob gets a kidney from Mrs 2
Mr 2 gets a kidney from Mrs 1

How cool is that? That, of course, depends on whether or not I qualify. That is a whole other list of check marks and doctor visits.

One of the transplant team members took each photo id of the patients and their insurance cards and started a file. Each patient had their photo taken to go into the file. As we complete paperwork and medical testing we submit papers and they call and tell us the next step and there will be some type of 6 hour meetings with different members of the transplant teams one on one instead of class format. They pretty much get to know Bob inside and out and the entire procedure is fairly impressive, I have to say.

Anyway, this is just the beginning. I have a four page form to complete and a 2 page form to complete. After I submit that, then Bob has another heart testing next week and not sure what else, and then we submit all of that information and we wait for the team to call us for the next set of meetings. It is a little scary and quite amazing. But for now, I am taking deep breaths and one day at a time.

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