So about two weeks ago I went back for my second round of donation tests. Notice the complete ease with which I subject myself to it:
Yeah, that's me, looking a little more bloated than I typically am (Honest!) hooked up to the EKG machine during the most recent trip to Mount Sinai in Manhattan. The reason I look so uncomfortable is that the table I'm lying on is about 12" wide, and I'm balancing while at the same time trying to forget about the fact there's a 24 hr blood pressure monitor wrapped like a python around my left arm and the tubes are behind my back (hence the sexy arching). The day started with Gerri and I lugging the pee container (see earlier post) through the wonderful NYC subway system to the hospital, where I was immediately told to provide another sample.
THEM (slightly disturbed): Uh, no. This little cup will be fine.
There was also lots more blood taken, a chest x-ray, and a visit with the surgical consult, and a very emotional visit with the social worker, who was there to make sure we knew everything we needed to know about what will happen in the near future and what could happen after that. The whole thing was very emotional, and I think we even got her crying a bit after Gerri broke down (approx. 3 sec after I did). No matter how many times I think I've gotten a handle around what I'm risking, a new thing I hadn't thought of comes down for us to cope with. I suppose this is how it will be until either it's done or I get declined for the procedure. But I'd be lying if I said it easier to handle the closer it gets.
So how close it is? The other day I received a phone call from the coordinator at the transplant center, Kim. She told me that they needed to re-schedule some of the tests as well as perform a few new ones. There's some concern with my liver functions being too high, which is odd since I'm not much of a drinker. Also I failed my urine test, which turns out to be more scary to me - that's how they diagnosed my brother with what he has. Now, I know that won't be the case with me (I've been tested every six months and have been clear), but it makes me anxious. So Gerri and I are going back in a week and a half to do an ultrasound on my liver, another urine test, and something called a Glucose Tolerance Test, which is to see if I'm a high candidate for diabetes later on. I'm trying to stay positive, especially in front of Gerri, but I tell you, this sucks.