Green Light from Transplant Panel

The transplant board of doctors said, “Yes!” I had been waiting for 2 weeks on pins and needles, anxiously awaiting the green light from my transplant nurse coordinator at Methodist University Hospital.  Let me just say, the wait was made more nerve-racking by  dealing with three 8 year old stir-crazy kids.  The inclement weather had also brought an unexpected vacation for the bambinos by way of 6 consecutive snow days.  I was to receive word of the decision on Friday, January 12, but the snow and ice Memphis received delayed the decision until the 19th.

The board meets every Friday morning and reviews all of the patients that have completed the medical evaluation portion of the transplant process.  They review the test results and vote approved, deferred, or denied.  The board decided to review my case before medical evaluation to decide if my medical conditions would bar me from having a pancreas transplant and save me the trouble of further testing if their answer was to be a denial.

I am happy to say that they agreed with my nephrologist’s conclusion that I am in urgent need of a pancreas transplant and that I am a good candidate as well.  Yay!

I am so thrilled and terrified at the same time. My stomach is churning. Yikes!

Introduction to Pancreas Transplant 101

My husband and I attended the transplant education seminar today.  We learned some pretty interesting information about what to expect during the transplant process.  The transplant team did a great job of detailing how the potential transplant recipients would be evaluated for an organ transplant to determine if we are physically capable of having the surgery and whether the potential recipient was actually in need of a transplant.

We learned about how we would be placed on the organ waiting list and the various lists that we could activate once initially listed.  We were educated on the protocol of how we will be notified of a donor match and organ availability.

We heard from a nutritionist regarding the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle both prior and post transplant.  A quick aside, I cannot stress enough the absolute high priority importance of eating well and excercise. We have to take care of the bodily functions and organs that we still have. We also must take care of the precious gift of life, this incredible organ that we have been given.  We cannot treat it as a renewable resource and be careless with it.

We listened intently to the pharmacist as she went over the medications that we would take, the reasons for the medications, and the absolute Golden Rule – Do Not Stop Taking Your Medications!!!  Message received pharmacist with the voice like Minnie Mouse.

Finally, we were educated on the costs of our new lives. We gravely nodded and diligently noted just what this gift would demand from us financially.  It is a sobering and macabre experience to learn exactly what your life is worth.