Kajsa’s April 2005 caringbridge post

Friday, April 29, 2005 12:08 AM CDT

Hello everyone.

Well we just had our monthly nephrology meeting on Wednesday and it went fairly well. We met with nutrition (Ami), social work (Sandra), our P.D. nurse (Joanne) and of course the Nephrologist (Dr. Morgenstern). We discussed Kajsa’s health and all the changes to meds required this month. But, the fascinating part was talking with social work. Sandra is our first step to transplant coordination. She helped to dispel some of the misinformation I’d received in the past, and to inform me of what all goes into donation by a friend or family member.

We expect to transplant sometime in the next year, depending upon when and if we get a live donor. If we are unable to do so, Kajsa will go onto a transplant list to wait for a fatality which matches her tissue type.

The main advantages of a live donor are that:
1. This type of transplant tends to be more successful, meaning that the organ rejection is less likely.
2. The surgery can be scheduled for a time when people can take time off of work, rather that carrying a pager to wait for a call to come to Phoenix, just in case of a match.

Now, down to the nuts and bolts of it…If anyone is interested in becoming a donor, there are a few criteria that you need to meet:
1. You must be healthy with no prior kidney ailments. This includes such things as kidney stones, bladder reflux, etc.
2. You must be between 18 and 45 years of age.
3.You must go to a lab to check for a match in blood type. I found out that this is generally done one time to make a match, and once a couple of days before the scheduled surgery. This is far less often that I had previously thought.
4. You need to have a chest X-ray, an EKG, and if you are a woman, a gynecological exam.
5. Lastly, and I feel most importantly, you must have the ability to take off 2 weeks to 1 month of time from work. This is because after the surgery you need to check back in 10 days post operation, at Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix, to make certain that you are recovering well. Then of course you have healing time before returning to work. Each person has their own rate of healing and perception of pain. Sandra said that getting up to speed could take anywhere form 2 weeks to 1 month. This is an important step, and definitely not to be underestimated.

Now I know that this is a huge deal, and I will absolutely hold nothing against anybody for not coming forth. In fact, I thank you for not wasting your time and ours, if you are not absolutely certain that this is a commitment that you can truly make. If; however, you are 100% sure that this is something that you, your family, and your employer can manage, please let me know. My email is mamassage@myfamily.com

I want to let you know also that you are in no way financially responsible for this surgery. Kajsa’s insurance is set up for this purpose. Thank you for taking the time to read this update. I needed to put this out there so that I could direct interested parties.

To everybody, I continue to be amazed by the outpouring of love and concern we get from all of you. It gives us strength during the hard times and increased joy during the easy ones. We all send our love to you, and wish you well. Please, drop us a line sometime and let us know how your lives are going.

Much Love,
Rowan

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