Once I received final approval from Baylor to begin the testing phase of the process, the next step was to go in for some lab work. Luckily, this was done at a local LabCorp facility instead of at the hospital. I think my appointment broke the Guinness World Record for fastest lab appointment in the history of the universe.
The total time it took for me to park, sign in, have blood and urine tests completed and get back in my car was less than 7 minutes. I couldn't believe it.
There are 3 steps for being a compatible match for kidney donation. First one kidney texts the other kidney, "sup?" Then the two kidneys go on a group date at a noisy restaurant to see how they get along. Then one of the kidneys waits three days to contact the other kidney to set up another date. No wait, I don't think that's right....
I will attempt to summarize the actual steps of compatibility in my own language (technically still the English language) but if you are interested in learning more, there are tons and tons of articles about this on the world wide web. Try the website "Google" for further explanation.
The first hurdle of compatibility is blood type. Different blood types are (or are not) compatible with one another but since I have type O blood, I am a universal donor; score! Go team O! The next step in the matching process is tissue typing. This is the most confusing and complex part of compatibility. Basically they are looking at 6 antigens; a 6 out of 6 match is the best, then 5 out of 5 and so on. I definitely recommend reading a professional explanation of tissue typing (again, see "Google").
Once you have passed through these first two steps in compatibility, the last test is cross matching. This test is performed to identify the presence of antibodies that would cause damage to the kidney from the specific donor. They basically put the donor and the recipient's blood in the Hunger Games arena to see if they kill each other or get along like Katniss and Peeta.
The whole thing is very cool and very complex and I am really enjoying learning more and more as I go.