Sunday, June 12, 2011

Waiting Waiting Waiting

 This blog will be posted some time after it was written due to an outside directive to not talk about my living donor experience until after I have donated.  If you are reading this, it is because I have completed the donation process.
January 17, 2011

It's been four days since the blog was put on hold.  I think it's sad that to date, the page that ended up getting the most pageviews and comments was the entry about my decision to abandon (temporarily) the blog at the request of the Living Donor program and Canadian Blood Services. No one (least of all me) has been able to fully understand the decision and I can't help but still feel like I was bullied into it. I have been told they will mail me a copy of the policy and I've asked for any supporting documents that may help me better understand what the policy is meant to protect.  We shall see what comes of that.

I am also worried that I may not be able to donate because of the conflict-that cutting me from the program might be an option they pursue to minimize their risks.  I know that sounds a little "conspiracy theory" but it has added to the stress of the last week. It's also making the waiting game that much harder to play. I'm not going to lie either-its put a damper on the experience which is too bad because I was feeling so wonderful about everything. I can see via Google analytics that somebody at Calgary Health Authority is still poking around the blog which isn't helping my concerns diminish.

I am trying however to stay focused on the end goal. I have my MRI scheduled for this Sunday evening.  Aside from the fasting, I am looking forward to this test in particular because let's face it-its a pretty scientifically cool process that most people don't get to have.  It's also at a different hospital in Calgary and being as that hospital was a former food service account of mine, I am kind of curious to stick my head into the food area and see what, if anything has changed. 

In reading up about MRIs I have learned a few interesting things. First of all the MRI measures things like the vein and arterial structure of your kidneys-the fundamental structure of your kidneys. The magnetic field is produced by passing an electric current through wire coils in most MRI units. Other coils, located in the machine and in some cases, placed around the part of the body being imaged, send and receive radio waves, producing signals that are detected by the coils.

A computer then processes the signals and generates a series of images each of which shows a thin slice of the body. The images can then be studied from different angles a doctor. I believe they scan me first, then they will inject me with a contrast dye.  After that they will take more scans to do a comparison and chart the anatomy of my kidneys. Its yet another medical test that makes me wonder how its inventor came up with the idea and how much of a nut job they thought he/she was at the time.

The other interesting thing I've learn is that while these scans are probably the best way of evaluating the structure of the kidneys (and any changes), people with some types of kidney disease can be adversely affected by the contrast dye they inject. It is one of those rare cases where the test itself can do more harm than good. I have read that some versions of the dye are worse than others but depending on your type of kidney disease all could present risk.  I think though that researchers are currently trying to find a contrast dye that would have minimal effect of these patients because the test results can do so much to help predict changes in their kidney function.  Science-always a work in progress.

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