Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Here We Go...

I received a call back today from the coordinator at the Living Donor Clinic of the Southern Alberta Transplant Program.  She picked the perfect time to call when no one was really around to hear me have the conversation. 
She asked why I was considering this choice.  I gave her a short speech on how it is something I've thought of for a long time etc.  I also mentioned an old friend in Ontario who a few years ago donated a portion of her liver to her father (where that thought came from on the call is beyond me).  Its a weird speech to have to make and it reminded me of a job interview when they ask you one of those very obscure "what if" questions about something that will never happen.  At any rate she seemed pleased with the sentiment of my speech and the call continued.
While some of what she said I already knew from doing a whole lot of Googling, I did learn a thing or two about the program and where it is different from what I read online.  Here are the highlights:
  • It can take 2-6 months to go through the testing, work ups and planning
  • Most of the labs are done in one morning at the Foothills Hospital
  • At the end of this I will probably have the most accurate picture of my current state of health as I've ever had.  Most people don't go through extensive testing like this ever in their lives unless they are sick.  So its kind of a nice opportunity for getting an uber thorough exam
Another new and cool thing is that they register me through Canadian Blood Services on a new national registry they have created.  That way they can be sure the right person would get my kidney.  Some people have a hard time getting a kidney especially if its their second go round...they have weird antibodies in their blood that make matching harder.  By establishing the registry its easier to help those people if they are sicker than someone locally who might be easier to match. Because of the registry being national though, there is a chance I may have to travel.  I need to be open to that.  However she did say if it was transplant time and they wanted me to fly to the north pole, I can say no to that opportunity-in other words I could be selective about the travel if needed. 
I must admit the travel part is unexpected but assuming the coordinate a lot of the details it probably wouldn't be so bad right?
Next step will be to fill out a bunch of forms they are sending me.  Once they have the forms they will call me to set up a morning at Foothills. 

So far I am still feeling positive about looking into this further and it still feels right.  Time will tell though.

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