We drove down to the Salt Lake City area yesterday and arrived at University of Utah Hospital in plenty of time for our meetings this morning. Our packet said 7:30, although things didn't kick off until 8.
We started off in the conference room and heard from Heidi, our new transplant coordinator. Then was the nutritionist, financial people, and pharmacist in a group setting. In addition to us, the group had one older female who had her kidney transplant 30 years ago and needed another and also one man who I'd guess was in his early 30s who had a kidney transplant 4 years ago and needed another.
Then each of the three transplant candidates was given his/her own room in the clinic. The set-up was cool. On each candidate's door there was an "in/out" checklist, so each specialist checked off his/her box as they came in and out. This way, they could rotate through the group and not miss anyone. I'm sure this is especially helpful when there are 8 candidates.
As soon as we were in our room, Chris needed to use the restroom. The staff was all over it! They followed him into the room and got a urine sample. Immediately thereafter, a gal came in to do an ultrasound of Chris' bladder to see that it had emptied completely. It did not. He had 75ml left. We met with a nephrology fellow, nephrologist Dr. Abraham, surgeon Dr. Sorensen, a social worker, a nurse who pricked Chris' arm for a TB test, and the finance gal came back. We were given an order for a chest X-ray which we did at Radiology just after lunch. We were done with everything around 2pm, and they sent us to the lab to draw FOURTEEN vials of Chris' blood. The lab thing took a while because they had the wrong birth date on one of his vials. We were out of there by 3 and heading for home.
Takeaways from the meetings:
- Dr. Abraham said Chris really needs to go ahead and get on dialysis, despite his strong desire not to. His blood work and urine tests indicate some toxins that his system needs to expel prior to the transplant.
- Dr. Abraham and Dr. Sorensen both said Chris might have to return to U of U to have their cardiologist test Chris' heart, even though Dr. Undesser here in Boise didn't need him to. They'll let us know what they decide.
- Even with insurance, the surgery and medications are expensive. They even suggested fundraising. We'll put some thought into that.
- The transplant LIST Chris is hoping to be put on is not a pure waiting list. There are points assigned to each person based on the amount of time on the list, how closely he matches to the available organ, etc.
- He's not on the LIST yet. The committee will vote and we'll let you know as soon as we hear.
As we were leaving U of U, I went ahead and called Dr. Giles to schedule the surgery to install the catheter to allow for the peritoneal dialysis. Chris will be having that at Saint Alphonsus hospital in Boise on the morning of December 7th. The cath needs 2 weeks to heal, so he's looking at starting dialysis on or around the 21st of December. He needs a "clean room" to dialyze, which means my craft room is on the chopping block. I'll start cleaning that out soon have a big sale. Let me know if you'd like to hear when that's going to happen.
Chris has his first iron infusion on Friday morning. Hopefully, someone there can also read his Tuberculosis test that was administered today. This would save us a doctor/clinic visit.
That's all for now, folks. Thank you all for your kind words and friendly thoughts!