Last Thursday Steve and I went to Vanderbilt so Steve could do his pre-transplant testing and so I could do blood work to see if we are a match. It was an incredible day! I was really impressed with Vanderbilt – how thorough they were at explaining everything and how smooth and efficiently the day went. We had an orientation class that lasted about 3 hours where we learned a LOT about kidney transplants – the before, during, and after transplant. We learned about what the costs are involved in a transplant, what type of support we would need to undergo a transplant, and what life after a transplant might look like. Then Steve had multiple appointments for different tests to determine if he was healthy enough to undergo a kidney transplant. I had my blood drawn to see if our tissue type/blood/antibodies are compatible.
The nephrologist (kidney doctor) Steve met with at Vanderbilt was AMAZING. We really liked her a lot. She was Steve’s local nephrologist at UT Medical’s mentor when he did his residency at Vanderbilt and Steve’s doctor has spoken very highly of her and now we know why. We had been really anxious about the process and she definitely calmed our nerves. Steve and I almost broke down crying in her office with relief. It felt right. She reassured us that Steve was an excellent candidate for a transplant and she wants to help us make that happen.
Now we wait. The donor coordinator told me it would take between 5-10 days for the results to come back and as soon as they got the results they would call and let me know. The suspense is killing me! If I am a match Vanderbilt will schedule me for 2 days of testing at Vanderbilt to make sure I am healthy enough to donate a kidney. I have already done some pre-screening tests (answering a questionnaire that asks about health issues you have that might disqualify you from donating and I did not have any of those health issues) but the 2 day testing will be more in-depth. If I am not a match I can sign up to be a part of a donor chain – where I donate to someone’s loved one in exchange for them donating to Steve. This helps more people get kidneys when loved ones are willing and able to donate but are not a match for their loved one.
If we are a match we could be undergoing surgery in a matter of weeks. I want so badly to be able to give my husband this gift of life! This experience has made me so much more grateful for my own health. I will keep you all posted on results soon! Hopefully by the end of this week or beginning of next week we will be celebrating the fact that not only are Steve and I compatible as husband and wife but that we are a perfect match. Regardless of what ends up happening, I believe God has such an incredible plan for our life that he orchestrated before we ever knew each other and it is unfolding for us and our friends and family in a beautiful testimony of His love for us.
My next post will be THE NEWS on if I have found out if I am a match or not.