A Year in Review!

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So it was exactly a year ago today that I had my first appointment with the transplant center at Yale New Haven Hospital.  An awful lot has happened in the time since my first appointment.  Meg and I went to the appointment not knowing what to expect.  We found out at that time that Meg might qualify to be a kidney donor so she went thru the testing that day.  In March we found out that she was a match for me except that we both needed to lose some weight before they would approve a transplant – Meg 10 lbs. and me 20 lbs.  This seemed like a difficult task but possible.  Working very hard Meg hit her goal in early summer and started doing the other testing (24 hour urine testing, multiple blood testing etc….)  I was behind her but eventually in the fall of 2014 I hit my goal weight.  Then I had to quickly get a stress test and an echo cardiogram and more blood work.  Then I had several exams at the Yale Transplant Center and the final blood test and was told one of my blood levels was too low.  So we quickly added a drug to bring that level up and it worked and all was set to move forward.  We had a date, I did one last blood test, my daughters were schedule to be here, I had finished all my Christmas Shopping and most of the wrapping – we were all set to go.  Then I get a call telling me were cancelled due to a problem with the final blood work, it looked like I would reject Meg’s Kidney so they don’t want to risk the surgery.  Merry Christmas – no transplant!

Well now it seems there is a hope of a transplant thru the paired exchange program.  There are 5 donors and 5 recipients lined up as part of this exchange and Meg and I are two of the cogs of this giant wheel.  With so many people involved a lot has to happen correctly for these to happen.  Most of all I need to make sure my current treatments are proceeding properly.  Normally this would not be a problem but Sunday evening this past week I put in my first needle (arterial needle) fine and then could not find the vein for my second (venus needle) hole.  We tried like four times and spent like an hour at it and finally gave up.  Monday evening the same thing happened and I spent even more time at it on Monday.  So now I have not dialyzed since Friday as Saturday was a scheduled off day.  So Tuesday, Wednesday and today I went to the DaVita Training Center and my training nurse couldn’t even get my venus vein.  So she by-passed it and put a sharp needle in and we have done treatments that way three days this week.  Slowly I am getting back to normal.  I also put online 12 pounds in the four days I missed dialysis.  It is mainly water and we have since taken off like 7 of those pounds but I need to get back to my surgery weight to make sure that I do everything to make this transplant happen.

Meg and I are scheduled a couple of more times at Yale New Haven Hospital for testing etc….  Next Monday (2/16) we both go in for pre admission screening meetings and then Meg has another blood test and also an EKG.  I have the pre admission meeting and then I have an EKG.  Then the following Monday (2/23) we both go back for final blood work and then meetings with the Pharmacist, Dietician, Social Worker, and both of our Surgeons.  In the meantime I am trying to lose weight and not get sick.  If everything works out, the surgery will be on Tuesday, March 3rd!  We are cautiously optimistic.  It would be great to be done with dialysis.  I can’t wait to urinate again.  There are foods I have missed like milk, peanut butter, ice cream, and chili.  Most of all I want to be free for the weekend of Kate’s wedding.  Originally we hoped to have the transplant in December and be able to visit Carolyn in Granada but now I won’t be allowed to travel until after she is back in the United States.  So we are doing everything we can to make sure that March 3rd happens as scheduled!

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