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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pre-Surgery Day-To the Hospital!!

When you are going to donate a kidney, they want you to be admitted to the hospital the day before (not all hospitals do this but many do). This is so they are able to run a few last tests to confirm you are healthy and able to donate. At Foothills Hospital, you are to call a specified number at 10 am the day you are to be admitted and they will let you know when they will be ready to accept you. A little weird and hard to plan around but it is what it is.

I was ready to call at 10 am when I realized I had left the form with the number on it at work (they had needed to fax it to me as the kit I got in the mail was missing it).  Doh. I thought for sure there would be an admitting line listed on their website. There was but that apparently wasn't the right number to call (who knew there could be more than one admitting line but only one listed...). After being transferred unsuccessfully to a few different people I hung up with no information. It then occurred to me to call the Living Donor program number and see if they could give it to me. That was a much smarter solution and I had the number in under two minutes.

When I called the number I was given they looked me up and initially said to come to the McCaig Tower at 4pm. Then they put me on hold and came back and corrected that to 2:30pm. I had initially thought I would add an adventure element to this day and take the bus (two buses actually) but once I got the admitting time, the exploration of two bus routes seemed too daunting. Christian was unavailable to take me (mostly because I told him days before not to bother-I was certain I didn't need his help to check in and we couldn't nail down a specific time) so I decided on a cab. I'm not a huge fan of cabs in general-I always feel like I am being rude by not talking to the cab driver but at the same time I usually feel too shy to talk. But it seemed a far better choice than the bus for this kind of occasion.

The cab arrived soon after I called for it. Phew. I had worried it would be one of those weird days where there was a long wait. The cab driver was a really warm and friendly man. I think he was surprised when, despite my suitcase, I asked to be taken to Foothills rather than the airport. I tried to make small talk (because I felt like I should) and I asked him how his day was so far. He said it was busy-thank god. I soon learned that most of his sentences ended with a very genuine "thank god" with a slight hand gesture to the sky. We were barely at the end of my street when he out of nowhere said something interesting and very well timed to me.

"There is an Arabic saying that goes something like this: I plan.You plan. And in the end, God's plan is what happens". 

While I am Christian and grew up fairly involved in church (United Church so pretty vanilla in terms of religious-ness), I'm not really religious anymore. I don't "not believe" but I'm not one for God or bible quoting. But given the situation and the randomness of what he was saying, it stuck with me. It made a lot of sense. And there was a certain comfort to it that shooed away the last of the big butterflies that had been frolicking in my stomach all day. Whatever was going to happen was now out of my control and I needed to be okay with that.

The rest of the trip was spent with him telling tales of how he tries to avoid driving at night because of how stupid drunk people are and how much he loves his own children and family. All thought he was very passionate ("Thank god" + gesture) about every topic he covered, there was something relaxing and distracting in listening to him.We never did touch on me or why I was going to Foothills. Neither one of us knew how to get to the McCaig building by car (it's new) but I knew there was a bridge to there from the main tower so I just got him to take me there.  As I got out of the car he handed me my luggage, smiled warmly and said "Good luck to you".

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