Bloom of Hope
About 12:30 am Saturday I got the "The Call". I wasn't ready for it even though I've been waiting for it for over a year, I still thought I had another year and a half to go. There was much excitement here and a lot of rushing around to get ready. I was on my way to receive my new transplanted kidney at Emory University Hospital.
We arrived at the hospital at just before 2 am and checked in at the 9 E nurse's station where they sent me to another floor due to a lack of bed space on that floor.
In my new room I went through all the routine - tons of questions, blood work and exams. My God, it's really happening - I'm going to get a part of my normal life back. I know there are still risks, all kinds of them, there listed on the consent forms I have to sign. The very first one listed and in bold type is death followed by a long list of unpleasant things.
I'm not really concerned by this. It's a standard thing here to list every possible thing that could happen to cover the liability issue. Its a risky operation and they don't want to be sued if anything goes wrong.
At 6 am the surgeon's assistant comes in - more questions and an exam - things are moving along. He tells us the donor organs are being=eing harvested at this time and will be tested to make sure every thing is clean and clear. Meanwhile they have put me on an IV insulin drip to control my blood sugar during the operation. I'm ready to go.
finally the surgeon comes in to see me. More questions, poking and probing. While he is here my sugar goes low (remember the insulin drip) Now he's worried. He leaves to review old test from my first evaluation almost two years ago.
About an hour later he returns and informs me that due to my still recovering from all the trauma I suffered earlier and my vascular condition the operation would be much longer than the normal 2 to 3 hours - possible as long as 6 to 8 hours and I might no longer be transplantable, They would like a new evaluation before going any further.
NO LONGER TRANSPLANTABLE - The words are numbing to us. Sue starts to cry. I feel empty. I can;t imagine to be on a life on dialysis until I die. He says there may still be some hope although small. That's why they want more test.
We're home now. Great hope dashed. Plans for the future changed forever. I don't really know how I feel now. I need more time and a vacation from this life.