So you want to be an organ donor (?)

Yes!

I think so.

Maybe.

I might be getting a little nervous.

Those who are aware of my plans to donate a kidney to my dad keep asking me if I’m nervous. I have consistently and confidently replied that I’m not. I have felt very comfortable with this decision from the beginning.

But now… I’m getting a little nervous. And it’s not even the surgery that scares me. Cut me open. Stick needles in me. I don’t care, as long as I’m out like a light.

What’s making me nervous is that I read through my Donor Handbook this afternoon. I have an appointment next Tuesday to have my donor evaluation done and it’s making me a little uncomfortable.

First, I have to bring in a 24-hour urine collection. It’s a good thing that I’m being allowed to start this on Sunday. I have a hard enough time using the restrooms at work without having to be in there collecting…. things. In a cup. And collecting it in a clean bottle. (Because I’d even consider collecting it in an unwashed milk bottle, or what? Sheesh.)

On the day of the appointment, I’ll get to talk with the surgeon to discuss the details and risks, I suppose. That’s no big deal. I can handle that. Then there will be some lab tests where I’m sure they’ll be drawing blood. I’m sort of ok with that too as long as I don’t look while it’s happening. (Hard to believe I gave birth three times, isn’t it?) Next comes the chest x-ray. Not exactly the thrill of my life, but I can deal with it.

After the chest x-ray comes the physical exam including girly stuff. All I can say is it’s a good thing this evaluation coincides with the timing of my annual physical, because if I had already gone to my own doctor and then had to have a repeat of the dreaded annual event, I’d be pissed.

So what’s so bad about this evaluation? Have I mentioned the Renal CT Angiogram? No? Let me just say this freaks me out just a little bit. Ok… a lot. For Renal CTA, a contrast is given by placing an IV in your arm and injecting the contrast rapidly into the veins. THEY’RE GOING TO INJECT A FOREIGN SUBSTANCE INTO MY VEINS! And then I have to lie back on the comfortable padded table on my back. The comfortable padded table will move in and out of the gantry as necessary and I’ll be asked to hold my breath so that the pictures are motion free.

Ok… I’ll be honest. The thing that worries me most is that I’m supposed to have my most recent mammogram results sent to the transplant clinic. I.. ummmmmm  …. haven’t had a mammogram done yet. Ever. I know that’s really bad since I’m 41 and my mom’s a breast cancer survivor and I have no good excuse except I’m just too lazy to call and get scheduled. They’re going to yell at me about that.

I wonder if they’d schedule an “emergency” mammogram before next week.

Suddenly those blood draws and IVs aren’t sounding so bad.

16 thoughts on “So you want to be an organ donor (?)

  1. You’ll be fine.. don’t worry. This Reminded me of many men putting off certain exams that they’re supposed to get after 40. (You know which ones)

    Of course.. many guys I know think they’re too manly or too “macho” to get them done, when really they’re just scared. I’ll let ya know my take on it after I turn 40!

  2. Terri, my friend, trust me when I tell you this -a mammeogram is uncomfortable, yes, but not as horrid as many of the cartoons and others may make them out to be. A CT scan -with the dye -also those things are basically a walk in the park too.

    How do I know? Mainly because I’ve waltzed through that park on numerous occasions over the past five years. Ok, only 1 mamoG in that time span but a whole heck of a lot of the CT scans, along with three abdominal surgeries, chemo, radiation, more chemo and numerous colonoscopies. The worst of any of those procedures was always, ALWAYS, the prep for the colonoscopies and the surgeries! Now that -well it is truly a pain in the behind!

    You’ll be fine, kiddo! I have utmost faith in you -as long as you have faith in yourself and also, have Faith, in general. You know where there, don’t you?

    I thought so.
    Peace.

  3. You’re so funny Terri. How come even in the midst of some major life stuff you make me laugh? I know you’ll be fine and it’s extremely admirable that you’re willing to do that for your father. If it were me, I can’t say I would do it for my dad…but we’re not very close as he’s was a butt head while I grew up.

  4. I’m amazed at your compassion and love expressed through your willingness to donate. The selflessness shown is an incredible example for everyone you come in contact with.

    As already said, the CT isn’t a big deal. Mine saved my life with the blood clots it found. Warning, when the contrast hits, it makes you feel like you’re having a hot flash and that you have to pee your pants. As long as you don’t give into that urge you’ll be fine.

    Blood draws and IVs – just don’t look. My little guy plays pretend at getting “little pokes” and looks forward to sitting in the chair at the blood lab. At least someone is enjoying the experience.

    Please call tomorrow on the mammogram. Consider it a gift to yourself and your family.

  5. Is that stuff they are going to inject into you radioactive? My wife had a similar thing done years ago and she was told to stay away from children and small animals for 48 hours afterwards.

    This really does make you one of the most amazing people I know – and you were already pretty amazing!

    Good luck with it all!

  6. You could just squish your boob with your camera and snap a few pics for them. Do you think that counts? No? …. oh …. ok well, sounds like just a too do list. Nothing too difficult.

    Knot

  7. God bless you for doing what you’re about to do. How could there be anything more noble? I admire you.

    Thanks for stopping by at my place!

  8. Omigosh, they really cover all the bases don’t they!

    I had a mammogram, my first and only, a couple of years ago. I was just glad the mammotech, or whatever they’re called, was a “small” woman like me. And yeah, like Judy says, at least it makes for good blogging material.

    Your dad must be so pleased with how you turned out!

  9. Wow, that is such a wonderful thing you are doing!

    But you know what, at 41, I also have yet to have a mammogram. OK, why don’t we both just make the call! Yes, I am lazy, but I also have this fear that they will find something. So incredibly DUMB I know. I am lucky not to have breast cancer in my family, but I know that is no excuse whatsoever. I guess it just has contributed to my laziness.

  10. Darrin – I’m not worried about the mammogram, I just somehow keep putting it off. I think I’ll make that call today.

    Snowman – It looks like I can avoid doing the pee-pee collection at work. Thank God!

    Judy – thinking of the mammogram as blog fodder might motivate me to get in quick and get it done.

    Jeni – You have been through a lot! Your words make it seem less intimidating to have to go through these tests. Thank you!

    Blessed1 – I’m glad I could make you laugh. In all honesty, I’m not that worried about the tests, just not thrilled with the thought of needles and such. But I’ll live. Once I started contemplating this decision, I never looked back. It’s my dad and he’s been a wonderful dad, even though there were times I didn’t always think so. I’ve grown up though.

    ATFF – I’ll call today!

    Jenelle – thanks for the tips, and yes, I’ll make the appointment! :-)

    Rock Chef – I don’t think it’s radioactive, but they do say to drink lots of fluids afterwards to move it out of your system quickly afterwards. Thanks for your encouragement too. You’re such a great friend!!!

    Knot – somehow I don’t think that’s going to cut it. I think I’ll just make that call and leave it to the pros.

    Suldog – thanks for your words of encouragement. I’m glad you stopped by!

    Abby – I hope they can find mine to get the job done! ;-P I think I keep my dad guessing as I was generally known as the difficult child growing up.

    Irene – I’m going to call today. Why don’t you too?

    Ranch Mommy – you are probably right! My only worry at this point is that they will find something that will prevent me from donating. That would be devastating. But I’m going to remember your belief that it will all work out and hang on to that hope. Thank you!

  11. Yes, I want to! In fact, they can take whatever I have if they still can use it. My brain is over used though so I bet the value of it is as good as one old rusty overused car. lol.

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