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mauraacro (@mauraacro)

Kidney transplant - The Journey from the Donor's Side

Transplants | Last Active: Apr 29, 2020 | Replies (357)

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@mauraacro

I’m sure I’ve forgotten some of the things but I’ll try to go in order of how it went for me and maybe it will jog my memory as I go.
In October, I signed up on the breeze Mayo site to test as a donor for a named recipient. I was contacted by someone within a few days and she asked various questions about my health and health history. She said if I got things like my colonoscopy, mammogram and pap out of the way, things would go faster, so I had those done. I received a blood lab kit in the mail, my doctor did the draw and I shipped it to Mayo.
I didn’t match on all of the things that can match but she had no antibodies that would reject my kidney so I passed that part. I think I was shipped 2 more blood draw labs and a 24 hour urine collection kit that I did here and shipped back.
The scheduling nurse set up my appointments at Mayo, I still can’t believe how organized and well run it is. I got there at 6AM on December 12th for blood and urine testing and needed to go back for 3 more of those throughout the 1st day. I met with the nephrologist, received an 18 hour blood pressure cuff, had a renal function test, met the surgeon, the donor advocate, financial services and the donor coordinator,
The second day I had a CT scan, got the results of the BP cuff, met with the social worker and a nutritionist, had an electrocardiogram and a stress test, more blood draws, a chest xray and finally back to the doctor for the results. I was asleep in his office in the 4 minutes it took him to come in to see me. We went over my results and he said he would recommend me to the donor board as a candidate.
After I got home, I received calls from the advocate and the social worker. They were checking and and seeing how I was doing and if I was still interested after I had some down time. A few days later I got the call that I was accepted and we talked about a good date for my schedule. The recipient’s side does the surgery scheduling and they called me that day with confirmation.
I’ve since had 1 more blood draw that I shipped to Mayo but I think that’s all I have left to do here besides pack and fill out paperwork. So far, for my pre-op in Rochester, I have 2 more blood and urine tests scheduled as well as appointments with the doctor, surgeon and advocate.
If I could do anything different, I would eat more (or better) when I wasn’t fasting and get to bed earlier because it was hard to sleep with anticipation for the tests. I had a paper schedule and made notes on it that said things like, “fast after 7, 1 cup of water between 12-5. Eat between 9-945. 2 hour fast for test at 11:45” that was invaluable because there were a lot of eat/don’t eat on my instructions. I got to some appointments as much as an hour early and sometimes they were able to take me and sometimes not. I think I would have felt more rested if I had, well, rested during those times instead of trying to beat the clock. I learned that the elevators in the Charlton building are super slow but the volunteer on the lower level is a font of Rochester information.
This was probably way more than you meant for me to reply with but it was nice to get it out!

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Replies to "I'm sure I've forgotten some of the things but I'll try to go in order of..."

That was such great information for me to read, thank you. I’m heading down to mayo January 29-31 for all my testing, as a non directed donor.

@onecentwalsh, Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I am very happy to meet you. Since you posted in Kidney Transplant discussion, I am guessing that you are testing to be a kidney donor. Is that correct?
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a safe trip. And I pray for a successful round of testing. Thank you for what you are about to do! People like you are the reason that patients in need of a life-saving organ transplant are able to hold on and to hope until a match is available to them. I am a liver/kidney recipient from an anonymous deceased donor, my hero.

I am happy that our amazing members have been able to provide you with great information from their own experiences. You might be interested in looking at the Living Donor Discussion: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/living-donor/?pg=1
and The Journal from the Donor-side: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/kidney-transplant-from-the-donor-side/

What other questions would you like to ask?
Hugs and Hope,
Rosemary

Feel free to ask me any questions about the testing. If you haven’t gotten your schedule yet, brace yourself. I remember seeing an appointment at 3pm and one at 315 and thinking, no way is this going to work but it did. Also, I patched together an outfit to sleep in while I was wearing the 18 hour BP cuff. It was not beautiful but it stayed on all night and I didn’t have to repeat the test. Let me know if you want that info -or any other weird piece of knowledge. The nurse and social worker both are great sources of info but it is the odd, non medical stuff that I find helpful.

@onecentwaish How wonderful! Being a non directed donor is so needed and so appreciated by those on the wait list (100,000 assuming you are donating a kidney). Thank you for your selflessness! Can I ask what lead you to making such a generous offer?

@IWantToBelieve, I think you were directing several of your recent posts in this discussion to @onecentwalsh.

@rosemarya – yes and I did. I see it in the post above your comment so I'm confused with your comment.

@IWantToBelieve, Great question. Let me clear the confusion.
I noticed that the @name was not highlighted in blue – so then I saw an "i" instead of an "l" in the spelling. That is easy to do when keying in a name. So I copied and pasted the @name, thus assuring that it was directed to the correct email. This happens fairly regularly. It is just something I do as a mentor.
Rosemary

@rosemarya – Well that makes sense because I thought onecentwaish sounded odd. It still looks like an i to me so maybe I need an eye exam! Thanks for making the correction for me.

@rosemarya – There were two other posts (earlier in the conversation) where I did the same thing. I tried to edit/fix it and I could not figure out how to do it. Are you able to do that for me so @onecentwalsh sees my comments?

I'm seeing every post!