Hi girls and boys.
Yesterday I finished the 4th and final day of my evaluation for transplant at the UWMC in Seattle. I have just a few more tests and odds and ends to get finished up over the next couple of weeks. So, my case should be presented to the board very soon. Like nearly everything in my experience, it wasn’t as scary or tough as I had imagined. You sure can waste a lot of time and energy fretting about things that don’t happen. lol
The physical tests were not particularly difficult other than the normal stress of spending all day running around a hospital getting poked with needles occasionally. 24 vials of blood and an arterial draw for blood gases one day. Drank plenty of water before that day. The stress test was done with drugs, imaging, and electronic monitoring. Very interesting to me.
The transplant social worker interview was a biggie. She had some pretty hard truths to discuss. She also asked many challenging and serious questions. She was WAY more concerned about my Pre-transplant plan than Post. Particularly for someone living alone, she said that the danger level is much, much higher Pre-transplant. Sickness, hepatic encephalopathy, etc… are often easy to start without being recognized by the patient, and can get out of hand very quickly, and cause damage than can not be overcome. Hard things to hear, but very sound advice. She said that Post-transplant, they will tell us exactly what to do and we only have to do it!
The surgical consult went very well. The surgeon told us that he doesn’t consider my paraplegia to be a disqualifying problem in and of itself. He said that they have to look at lung and kidney function as the biggest factors.
The anesthesia consult was very interesting as well.
Yesterday was the 3 1/2 hour class. It was primarily about $$$. Insurance issues, and paying for drugs. Also, a discussion on all of the drugs and their potential side affects.
After getting through it, I would say first and foremost to get your head together, get focused, and get ready to play. Having a strong and confident outlook always helps everything. Kindness and courtesy always go a long way. Having some strong support with you is critical. (no different than everyday life) Different people hear things differently, and comparing notes on what was covered is great! I was so fortunate to have an incredible couple with me. A 20+ year friend, and an amazing new friend. Bringing coolers of food and drinks to the hospital was a great idea. (strongly suggested by my “new” friend) Nothing like a nice little picnic in the parking garage! I had two family members attend the transplant class as well.
I’ll have to see what the board says now. It is in the judges hands… In the meantime, I have started a gym membership with a session with a trainer. I also have an evaluation with a Physical Therapist scheduled for Monday. One of my goals for whatever the rest of my life may look like is to continue to stay as strong, healthy, happy, and positive as I can for as long as I can. That will certainly help Post-transplant if that happens for me.
Wishing everyone a great start to summer.