I have never been good at waiting.
The day following my visit to my internist and blood work, I called the transplant unit to verify they had received my blood typing results. Again, I was told I would be re-assigned a donor coordinator soon. My blood type was compatible with my uncle. I already knew my blood type was compatible from my aunt, but it was good to hear it officially. (One of the first things a recipient learns is what blood types are and are not compatible!) They verified my testing dates were scheduled for Monday, March 23 and Tuesday, March 24, 2015. In many cases, as it was with the two prior potential donors for my uncle, testing can be spread out over months. In my case, because I lived out-of-state, they offered me the option of two days of testing, which I accepted. Honestly, testing over any long period of time would have driven me crazy! My personality is lets just get it done and over with. Truthfully, my uncle might not have months.
I waited ten days with no word from the transplant unit. I knew I was being assigned a new donor coordinator. I knew I had testing dates. The promised packet of information never arrived. I called the transplant unit again, to discover I had indeed been assigned a new coordinator named, Cody. My call was transferred to her office and much to my surprise she answered. She was surprised that I had received no packet, nor had I been contacted. She commented that my dates for testing were set and time was being wasted. I knew we were going to get along right then! She decided to overnight me everything as we had one week before leaving home for three weeks of travel, ending our travels at the hospital for my testing. Included in the packet of information, were several things that needed to be returned before I arrived. Included was also a 24 hour urine kit, that had to begin and end at specified times, kept on ice, and delivered to the lab the morning testing began. The weekend prior to my testing beginning on Monday, my nephew was getting married in Alabama. We had a big laugh when she told me go, have fun, and aren’t we glad you are being tested to donate a kidney instead of a liver! Cody had a wonderful way of relating and a grand sense of humor. My faith in her was sealed the next day when a big box was delivered!
Off my husband and I went with a big cooler:) driving from Alabama to Jackson, MS. I drank copious amounts of water, we would stop, and I would go dashing into a bathroom with my big, beautiful tote bag concealing my big jug:) and then dash back to the car and throw the jug on ice! I’m not sure if we had been stopped for speeding, anyone would have believed our story!
Once we arrived in Jackson, we went our separate ways. My husband returned home and I chose to go through the testing alone, in order to save his vacation days for the actual transplant. Truthfully, it was the best decision. Having checked beforehand, I knew there was no sedation involved in any of the testing, therefore no need of a driver. I really saw no reason to have anyone along to just sit and wait all day, for two days. When you really need someone is afterward the transplant. It is a long and exhausting process. I stayed near the hospital and knew the process would be grueling and about endurance!