Orange Gearle

family, friends, politics, music and technology... that's what it's all about

Friday, March 09, 2007

o negative

On Tuesday, March 6, Mom, Dad and I traveled to Iowa City for more tests at UIHC. On the drive there, when we were crossing the Iowa River I saw about eight bald eagles sitting in the trees by the river. Beautiful.

Between the last UIHC appointment and this one, Dad had his blood drawn for tissue typing. We were looking forward to finding out Dad's blood type. Blood type is the first step. Although it is possible to do an ABO incompatible kidney transplant, it is not our first choice. I've been a bit nervous about all of this because I really want this to work for him. I want him to feel good again. This is how it works:

Recipient has: Donor must have:
O blood-type O blood-type
A blood-type A or O blood-type
B blood-type B or O blood-type
AB blood-type Any blood-type

So I was of course rooting for Dad's blood-type to be AB. :-)

We checked in at the surgi-care center. As the lady was checking us in, Dad, quite discreetly whispered to my mom that he thought she looked like some character on Grey's Anatomy. My mom, indiscreetly agreed. The woman smiled and said that she heard that a lot, at least once a day. Apparently I am the only one on the planet that doesn't watch Grey's Anatomy.

After checking in, Kaye (a nurse with Dad's team) lead us back to room six, on the way she weighed and measured Dad. When they started to get his height, Mom made some comment to me like "God forbid Dad shrink during the kidney transplant." It made me laugh, because it does seem kind of silly that they measure his height each time he has an appointment.

This was the day for us to meet the surgeon, learn Dad's blood type and for him to get his second, and final tissue typing done (labs). Kaye did all the usual routine nurse stuff, then gave Dad a gown and told him to get in it. After she left, Dad said, "I don't know why I have to get naked to talk." But he did anyway.

The surgeon came in and shook our hands. He was what some might call 'my type'. The dark, kinda curly hair, darker skin, etc. My mother immediately starts looking for a ring on the guy's hand. Poor guy. LOL I thought he was arrogant and that's completely unattractive to it really didn't matter at all to me that he had a ring.

He asked Dad a lot of questions. The usual stuff...looked at his chart. When he was asking the smoking questions, my mom said, "But he does chew tobacco." And the way she said it, MADE me say, "Tattle Tale!" The surgeon almost smiled. Then when he asked Dad if he uses intravenous drugs, we all burst out laughing. He looked at Mom and said that if anyone would tell him, it would've been her. :-) Can you picture this man doing intravenous drugs??

So after Dr. Katz finished asking a zillion questions...he examined Dad. Inside and out, if you know what I mean. He felt something a bit "nodular" which is just a gross word, so now Dad will have to see a urologist before we proceed any further. That kinda stinks because it moves everything back another month. But better safe then sorry I suppose.

Shelley, another nurse that is taking care of Dad's case, poked her head in several times throughout our time there. She is a riot and handles Dad's orneriness very well. She is the one that told us that Dad's blood type is O.

The surgeon said that he saw no reason that Dad couldn't have the surgery. So this is about the fourth doctor that has given the ok. Now, it looks like just the urologist and we will be good to go!

After Dr. Katz left, one of his nurses, Jan came in to talk to us about a study that Dad could be involved in if he so chooses. One of the drugs that Dad will have to take following the surgery is called Cyclosporine. It's an anti-rejection medication, that can cause high blood pressure and kidney damage. Yes, I said KIDNEY DAMAGE. This drug as been around about 35-36 years. They have recently made a new drug that they are testing called Belatacept. This drug is either in Phase Three or Phase Four of testing and Dr. Katz is part of this study. So, Jan came in to tell us about it. The main thing about this drug is that it is not hard on the kidneys. If Dad were to participate in this study, the drug, Belatacept would be covered completely by them...also any extra testing that they require would be covered. The disadvantage is that he would have to go to Iowa City to receive drug intravenously. Every other week at first, then monthly. Dad hasn't made a decision about this study yet.

There are a lot of drugs that Dad will have to take after this surgery. A LOT. There are drugs to suppress his immune system so that his body doesn't reject the kidney. There are drugs, like antibiotics, to help him stay healthy (some are disease specific). He has to be on these drugs because of the other drugs. You get the picture.

Mom, Dad and I went out to eat afterwards. I made a quick call to St. Lukes in Cedar Rapids to see if I could get a copy of my blood type (they have it from when I was pregnant with Hollyanne). They said they could get it for me if I came in with proof of identity. I'll admit that I was very nervous when I heard Dad's blood type was O. I was pretty sure that mine wasn't O. And only O can give to O. However, the good news it that Mark is if I wasn't, we had a backup.

After we ate we went to St. Luke's to pick up a copy of my records. Mom dropped me off and went around the block while I ran in. I couldn't believe it when I saw it. I am type O negative. This is the first step toward a match. :-) We are part way there...with many more tests to go, but at least I'm in the running. :-)



Blogger Donnie McDaniel said...

Sounds like you guys are getting closer to finally getting this thing done. Woohoo!

10:32 PM  
Anonymous ronazon said...

Ever hear of a band called Type O Negative? You would love them!

6:42 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home