#20. Just a chat - November 2011

Today I went to St. Joseph’s for another blood test;  one needle but they drew 8 vials of blood.  I think I am being tested for everything under the sun. 

Then I had a discussion with the social worker which lasted around 45 minutes. It was pretty basic. It included a lot of questions I have already answered when I first signed up for this process; my address, allergies, next of kin. There were a number of questions just asking about my personal health history…do I go to the doctor regularly, do I go to the dentist. They are trying to get a picture of whether I take care of myself.  And then she basically asked me why I want to be a donor. It was a very congenial conversation, nothing startling or intrusive. I wondered whether the social worker would try and push me on why I want to donate, just to see if I really believed it. But that wasn’t the tone of the conversation at all. She also asked what time of the year would be good for me to donate, and whether I would have family support to help take care of me after the operation.

The social worker also explained about the Trillium Foundation. It`s a program to help organ donors cover expenses that are not covered in any other way, you keep your receipts and they reimburse you.  I read more about it when I got home.  It seems it is designed mostly for people with large costs, for example if you are from a remote community and you have to drive or fly long distances to come for testing, and have to stay in a hotel.  I am within driving distance, so it doesn’t really seem to apply to me.  It can also cover the cost of your missed time from work, if there are no other options available for covering that cost.

So that’s one more meeting checked off the list; the next one is my meeting with the transplant doctor, where he tells me the results of all these tests I’ve been having, and he does a general physical. The meeting with the transplant doctor is where they decide whether I am a good candidate to be a kidney donor.  If I am then they start with some more expensive tests, like a catscan.