#59. The link - October 2012

Well October 24th is the day for the donation, so I am in the final stages of preparation.  Today I spent the morning at Toronto General Hospital; that’s where my kidney is headed to be transplanted.  I had to go there for the final work-up for the donation. First I went to the blood lab to have my final blood tests, to make sure I am healthy and to double check that I am a match with the recipient.  

I was a bit surprised as the nurse kept taking more and more tubes off the shelf as she got ready to take my blood.  I saw 12 vials, which was a lot of vials I thought, and then she grabbed five more just for good measure I guess.  Seventeen vials, that’s the most blood I’ve ever had taken.  But she was good at her job and it was over in a few minutes and it didn’t hurt a bit.

Next I went up to the doctor who will be taking my kidney out of a box and putting it in someone else’s body.  I am so filled with curiosity about the person who will get my kidney; I know I won’t ever meet them.  But this man links us.  He will see both me and them.  In a very personal way!

The doctor told me that Health Canada requires that the person putting an organ in someone else’s body has to meet the donor and sign off that they are healthy and are in good condition to donate.  So they can’t rely on the word of another doctor to do that.  He said that the regulations were done in a time when organs weren’t capable of being flown across the country, and that gradually these regulations may change.

It was a cordial visit.  I asked him about the other people in the chain of donations, but he said he didn’t know anything about that, he was asked to do this part of the chain and he does it, he is not the mastermind behind the whole process.

Once again, I was asked a series of questions about my health, my sexual partners and my family history. I can recite this in my sleep by now!  I am glad I got to meet the person who is such an important part of the team making this donation happen.