Today was my first day of testing to be approved as a donor. The Mayo Clinic is one of the best hospitals in the country and I had been there before to visit a friend’s mom after her knee surgery.
The organization there is incredible. I had an itinerary that mapped out my whole day. For each appointment, whether for my social worker, the advocate, blood tests, piss tests and CT scan, I had to check in on whichever floor the test was being held on and wait for my name to be called. Never was it more than 10 minutes for me to wait. I was prepared with my laptop and phone, juuuuuuust in case.
I have to take sick days at work for the tests, and I explained to the woman who does the scheduling that I can’t do it all in one week. I’d love it if I could, but no way was I going to be there on Wednesday, as originally scheduled. It’s my 40th birthday and I don’t want to be poked and prodded that day.
I got there at 8:15 this morning and got in with the advocate right away. I learned a ton of stuff, like my rehab, my rights as a patient, etc. I also learned that there will always be someone for me to call while I recuperate. She even gave me some advice on FMLA to secure my job, insurance stuff and things like that. (I am utterly exhausted but I have to write this now or I will forget how I am feeling.) There is a likelihood, after all these tests, that I will not be approved to donate my kidney. Something about how many veins/arteries go in and out of my kidneys, if they’re healthy enough even to donate. I still have a psych test to go through, too, but I am not worried about that part. The questions the advocate and social worker asked were very thorough and personal, but that was the easy part. My last appointment was supposed to be at 4pm, which was just lab stuff. As I went to check in, I got handed a new itinerary, which now included, for today, a CT scan. Well, it’s Valentine’s Day, but I don’t have a Valentine, so I just agreed to it. It also meant that I would have shorter visits and hopefully cut them down a day.
I’m not scared of much, but they put the insert for the IV into my arm. It burned. I couldn’t bend my arm all the way. It was the last thing for me to do today and I was completely exhausted, physically and emotionally. The past several days have been a whirlwind of publicity, getting things in order, paperwork and working things out at work. I was taken into the CT scan room and told to lie down on the table. They were going to put iodine into the IV and then LASIKS, which flushes everything out of my system. I was put through the CT scanner a couple times before any of the fluids were added to my body. I was on the table, in a gown and pants, alone and that’s when I started to freak out a little. My eyes welled-up with tears and I just kept thinking that I need to get this fucking thing out of my arm and it burned and it was sterile in there. And then I thought of Anu and what she is going through. All day the thought that she hasn’t been able to eat pizza in ten years kept popping into my brain. It calmed me down, because, after meeting her, I just knew I could be strong. It was just a stupid IV and people go through it every freaking hour of every day all over the world. I can handle it.
The iodine was weird. It rushed through my body very quickly and it was HOT. I felt like I was going to piss the bed. In an instant, though, those sensations were gone.
I have never been so relieved for a day to be over! As soon as I got home a little while ago, I put on my comfy clothes. I’m going to eat dinner and pass the fuck out.
My next tests aren’t until next Monday at 1:30pm. I’ll be meeting with the urologist and the kidney doctor. I haven’t read over anything yet about next week.
Oh, and the LASIKS they gave me to flush my system? Makes me piss every 15 minutes. I am a peeing machine.