Tuesday, July 18, 2006

So to back track

OK, so you know we've hit the one year, but anyway. To continue the story...

I met Dr. Astor for the first time in September of 2004, after I had started my statehouse internship. He was from Colorado by way of Boston and D.C., where he did his residency (or med school, whatever). I was so glad that Children's was finally getting a lung transplant program. A few months later I also met Karen, who I liked tremendously. She used to work at Lifeline of Ohio on the other side of donation--working with the families and getting organs to recipients. She's from Canada and has her nursing degree, and has the most adorable husband and puppies. :) In fact, she got married three months after my transplant.
When I first met Dr. A, he agreed that I didn't seem quite ready for a transplant yet, but it was coming. I think after seeing me at Christmas with my pancreatitis, and then again the following March, after I'd begun working for Senator Cates, that he joined Dr. M in saying that I had to get listed ASAP. So at the end of March, after my hospitalization, I began the work-up at Children's, which was a lot of stuff you just don't think about. I'd actually done a bit of it before that, such as:

--having my sinuses drained, which I'd never had done, and is very important since all sorts of bacteria can hang out there ane cause trouble later
--visiting an OB/GYN to make sure I was medically sound in that department
--having my dentist do whatever she needed to do to my teeth because dental hygenie is very important pre- and post-transplant (even more so than for the general population).
--A VQ scan, to see how well your lungs distribute certain gases

In March, I had:
--Complete PFTs
--blood work
--an ECHO and an EKG to make sure my heart was OK
--a bone scan
--CT scan
--ultrasounds of my pancreas and abdominal areas
--6 Minute Walk test with PT
--social evaluation with Laurie, the Children's tx social worker

So that was a fun few days. After all the data was collected, a profile of me was compiled for UNOS and we spent the better parts of April and May arguing with my insurance company about the need to transplant me at Children's. Finally, they said OK--since I was going to be the first (or one of the first), some haraunging was involved. But no matter. I was officially listed at the end of May, and then immediately put on 'hold', since I was going to Pittsburgh for my grandpa's 80th birthday party.

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