Careful, it's a tad bit lengthy.
Many people have made aware that they've wanted to know and understand the process of donating one of their kidneys. Now, I thought that you just sign up, they call you, test you and boom, take the kidney and hold it in some type of freezer until it was time for me to get it but um, that is definitely far from the truth. I found out that the kidney donor process is just as long and strenuous as the recipient. So first, you have to know if I am listed on a kidney transplant list and the answer is, No, I'm not. I am not on the list yet because I am still going through the evaluation process. Once the process is completed and taken before a board of qualified doctors, nurses and other team members, it is then determined if I am listed or not.
Before I talk about the process..
Tomorrow I have the honor (not really) of going back down to the Cleveland Clinic for ANOTHER ONE (Kidney Evaluation) and this one is more intense than the others. Tomorrow, I have to do CT scans, chest X-rays and a couple of other tests. I hope they don't check my weight again because that hospital stay put about 10 pounds on me. Am I nervous? Of course not. I really like this hospital and I really hope and pray that this hospital is in His plan of where I receive my kidney. They make me feel extra comfortable and they will explain EVEN IF YOU don't care to hear it. Well, I've been getting a lot of messages in reference to the kidney transplant donor process. First before I even explain the process, I really have to say thank you; a true sincere thank you. I never would've never thought I would be asking people for an organ but, here I am. Giving an organ is not a everyday thing (it happens alot though) and for those who have told me that you want to donate to my cause by giving one of your own, Thank you, thank you, thank you! But as quick as I say that I must say something else.
So, Monday I was admitted and even though I wanted to be mad as ever, I just took a deep breath and laughed. Now I laughed for a couple reasons honestly. For one, this ain't new. I feel like everytime I cough or blink wrong, I'm in the damn hospital (excuse my language...thats my hidden anger). Two, I really did want them to figure out what was wrong with me but I knew the ER would only do enough to check the Emergency (something I've experienced first hand and I've learned in school). Once I was admitted I knew my Nephrologist would come and actually do all he could to make sure the problem was found and solved. And three, I just had this funny feeling that they were going to keep me even though I felt like it was nothing major. I only got a little angry when they made me poop in a cup. I was so embarrassed. I was about to puke all over myself trying to scoop it from the bowl thing to the testing cup. However, it did come out of me but it was straight water (kill the visual Lord). Definitely a struggle.
So I know in your head you're like "OK Brieana, enough talking, what in the HECK happened to you?!" So, I will explain.
It's always something...
So, so much has happened since the last blog, feel like. I was excited to start writing another blog to explain what happened with the Cleveland Clinic when I went but then 3 days later I am sitting in the emergency room, not feeling well, and just wanting to lie and close my eyes. Let's talk about the Cleveland Clinic first. Let me be the one to say it if I haven't before, The Cleveland Clinic is a beautiful hospital. I saw people of every color, religion, ethnicity, ALL THAT!! It was such a beautiful sight and it made me more confident and motivated to lose this weight that I've been yapping about. I went the first day and it was just explaining the process and education session of a kidney transplant. It was prerty short and sweet honestly. However, this last visit was extensive. That visit was much longer. I first saw a lab tech who drew about 20 to 30 tubes of blood. She pulled blood for everything! She probably pulled blood just to make sure I'm black too lol. Who knows. I then met with a social worker who pretty much informs me of everything going on. She is the one who will know me best because I talk to her the most. She asked about my childhood and my goals. We talked about who I'm closest to and where I would go once I received my transplant. I met with a dietician who lectured me about certain foods to eat. I was excited because I made it down to 195 from the 240 pounds that I was in January. She explained that my BMI was in range for their kidney transplant program. Excited, I met with the pharmacist who informed me about the medications I would take once I received the transplant. It was about 6 medicines on that list and 2 that were on the list including one I already take will be the 3 I will take for the rest of my life. The other 4 are temporary. I been taking many medications since I started this journey so I'm pretty used to the whole "prescription drug life" thing. I've always said, I'm a part pharmacist and physician by experience. Lol. I then met with a financial counselor who explained that there are things that I may need to pay for like medication that has a total of $4,000.00 alone! I was told that in the event that I have to stay in Ft. Lauderdale after my surgery, I have to fit the bill. I'm a water bag and the tears trickled down my face. NEVER in a million years would I have imagined that I would be in this clinic because my life depended on it. Never in a million years did I think that I would suffer from a condition that I could eventually die from. Not in a million years did I ever think or have to think of ways to fundraise to raise money for a new organ and all the outside costs such as travel, lodging, food and medicines. Most of my life I may been have been big but I was always healthy. Never was I the hospital or sick. I won't sit here and lie and sat it's been a walk in the park because it hasn't. Everytime I turn around it is something. While at the Cleveland Clinic, I felt very very sick. I had shortness of breath, an upset stomach, dizziness, and a loss of appetite. All I wanted to do was lay down. However, I didn't want to miss my appointment with Cleveland Clinic so I went anyway and thank God that my stepmommy, Din Din, was able to go with me. I probably wouldn't have been able to make it. I still have 2 more visits with them so I pray all goes well.
Did You Know?
An estimated 1.5 million Americans and 5 million people worldwide are living with lupus.