Surprise! I already finished my pre-op appointment. The hospital in New Jersey was asking for some pretty random blood tests that can take up to 5 days to get the results back. Rather than keeping my appointment for next week and crossing our fingers that the results would come back in time, they went ahead and moved my pre-op up a week.
My first stop was "pre-admit". I registered and waited for the donor coordinator to come with the special blood vials that would make their way to New Jersey. Once I signed a bunch of forms I was taken back for blood work. This was a new personal record for me...19 vials of blood drawn in one sitting. Good thing I had my protein bar for breakfast. Not sure what all of those are for but I know one is to make sure I don't have West Nile Virus, which would be a real bummer.
Next they ushered me into another room for an EKG. The EKG technician was a super nice lady named Vera. I noticed that there was a plaque on the wall honoring her for her 45 YEARS of service at Baylor. Wow! I told her that was awesome and congratulated her on her 45 years. She said, "Thanks, but it's actually 48 now." BAM! Even though I was only in there for a few minutes it was fun to hear her talking about the old times and how much things have changed. She said even though it has been 48 years, it feels like she started just yesterday. Kudos to Vera for being so stinkin' cool.
Last stop was a chest X-Ray which lasted approximately 2 seconds. They cut all of my cool paper bracelets off and sent me on my way.
While the donor coordinator was there, I took advantage of the situation to get a few of my questions answered.
1. At what point after surgery will I be able to sleep on my stomach? Answer: Whenever I feel like it.
2. When will I be able to see my family before and after surgery? Answer: They can stay with me up until they wheel me off to the OR and I will be able to see them again in the recovery room. I was also pleased to find out that the surgeons really try to keep the family informed about progress even during the surgery. They will be able to call my husband and give him progress reports, so that's nice.
3. Uh, do I need to bring slippers or something? (I was really coming at them with the hard hitting questions) Answer: If I want to I can.
4. What time is surgery and when do I need to arrive at the hospital? Answer: 7:30am and 5:30am.
I also asked for some information about the recipient. I know they can't tell me too much due to privacy issues but I am hoping to at least know gender and approximate age. I'm expecting an email later today with some more schedule information as well as a few tid bits about the recipient.
My only remaining appointment before surgery is a meeting with the surgeon next Wednesday. I'm looking forward to meeting with him. Only 13 more days people!
Remember in my last post when I mentioned that I was a little hesitant to give the update because things can change so quickly? Well, things changed.
I received an email a few weeks ago letting me know that the chain had fallen apart...again. I was super bummed. I had mentally prepared for an October 27th surgery, I had coordinated volunteers to cover for me at work during my recovery time and so it was a real let down when I found out surgery wasn't happening. Then, instead of being stubborn and selfish, I remembered that God's plans are bigger and better than my own and started to relax a little bit.
My information was put back into the Matchy Match Computer (not the real name) to hopefully find a new match. Hurray! A new match was found on the first day! That meant I was headed back to Baylor for more blood work and was glad to be moving forward again. My first question when I got to Baylor was, "what the heck happened with the match in Charlotte?" Turns out the reason the chain fell through was because that lady got a new kidney! She was matched with a deceased donor and she was able to have the transplant immediately. My next questions was, "what the heck is the deal with my new match?" (ok, I didn't really say that). So those plans that God has?? Yeah, definitely bigger and better. The new match is a person in New Jersey. My kidney will go to New Jersey. That recipient has a donor that will give their kidney to a match in Atlanta. That Atlanta recipient has a donor that will give their kidney to another person in Atlanta. That other Atlanta recipient has a donor waiting to be matched to start a whole new chain. More links on the chain means more lives saved. The Charlotte match was just a 1 way chain whereas this one is a 4 way chain that ends with a bridge donor waiting to start another chain. Bigger and better. Giddy up.
My new surgery date is November 3rd, only one week after the original surgery date. Also, since the time of my last post, our family found, purchased and moved into a new house. It has been a crazy few weeks (with some more craziness coming up in November) but I look forward to moving on to the next steps in this process. I will be doing my pre-op appointment the week of October 26th so my next post should be happening at that time. Thanks again for all of the support and prayers and words of encouragement!