Second visit – day 1

Having passed the initial blood tests – apparently we needed six positives and one specific negative – another set of tests were scheduled over two consecutive days. The hospital were really accommodating about this as normally the tests arent all done together, but its a 4 hour drive each way to the hospital.

Day 1 involved a session with the consultant, the surgeon and blood work. My doctors are seperate from my sister’s, so that one team focuses on what is best for her, and the other (my) team decide what is best and safe for me. It seemed a little strange at first, but I understand the logic and there have been cases in the past where one person has been coerced into donating.

I was very impressed with my consultant. He was a kind of posh speaking, but very down to earth and very straight with me and had a sense of humour too.

My surgeon was completely different, but not in a bad way. Asian, he had been to the Olympics the day before where everyone had been in a “happy bubble” – his words. He confessed to feeling a little worse for wear, but still instilled complete confidence, a completely different character to the consultant and I am sure he will be tip top for the operation itself.

More blood was taken (I thought the practice  of leeching stopped in Victorian times) and I was done by just after lunch time. Result!

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Introduction

There is a short version and a long version of this, for those with short attention spans, the shorter version….

My younger sis needs a kidney. Both hers are about buggered and dialysis starts soon. In the absence of any other likely candidates I have put my self forward to give her one of mine. And this is where I plan to record the events, thoughts and so on.

The longer version.

Around 35 years ago, my younger sis became severely ill and was hospitalised for over a year. She was six years old. Eventually the prognosis was scarred kidneys, which among other things, caused extremely high blood pressure. The blood pressure caused further scarring to the kidneys. A kind of sad vicious circle. Through the rest of her childhood she was on various experimental drugs (this was almost four decades ago) and in her teen years she rebelled, to the point where Mum had her committed to a children’s home as she could no longer control her or prevent her from endangering herself.

Fast forward a few years, she settled down a little, though admittedly not that much, and moved south. Although she had stopped going to school at 13 or 14, she moved south as early as she could, went through a series of jobs, eventually working her way up from waitress to manageress of a  restaurant.

In the last year, finally it seems things have come to a head and she needs a replacement kidney.

I may not agree with all her lifestyle choices. We don’t speak that often and have often gone for stretches of several years without even talking. We don’t do Christmas and birthdays cards often. Regardless of all that, she is still my little sister and if there is something I can do to help, then I want to do what I can.

Of course, it isn’t quite that straight forward. I’m in my mid 40s, in reasonable health, apart from the fact that I have smoked for around 30 years. I also don’t like the sight of blood or needles. I put myself forward as a possible living donor candidate a few months back. During my initial consultation, when all the nurse was going through the lovely descriptions of what is entailed and they were draining me of blood for a battery of tests, I flaked out.

I’d prefer to think it was the heat, lack of air and the fact that I had driven down late the night before, got up early and not eaten. Maybe that was it.

So, all the tests came back positive, last week I went back down south for more tests. Which I will talk about in my next entry.