Kidney Transplant Last Week! My Little Xmas Miracle
Hey all. I'm beyond happy to share that I received a live donor kidney transplant last week at Methodist in Rochester! Things are going well and I feel extremely blessed right now. While things are fresh in my mind, I wanted to share a couple of things (tips?) that may help you immediately before/during/after transplant.
Mayo's Concierge Service. LOVE! Met a lovely woman there who was kind enough to notarize my will, financial power of attorney and health care directives. Mind you, this required us to leave the office in search of two individuals to to sign as witnesses. SUCH a great experience. And this service is free for Mayo patients. Concierge does so much more, you should definitely check them out. They're located on Lobby level of the International Building.
The entire Transplant Team. Wow. Just wow. Couldn't have asked for a better experience. Talk about a genuinely caring group of people. And the team on 10-2? I couldn't have asked for better. SO supportive and helpful. So professional and always looking for a way to make recovery better.
As for what to bring to the hospital? Honestly I brought WAY too much. Mayo provides pretty much everything you need. I'm guessing that it depends on the length of stay and your condition but I could have gotten away with bringing my phone, a phone charger and a change of clothes for the ride home. They provide little slipper socks and you live in your gown and the hospital robe. There's toothpaste, toothbrush and soap/shampoo in the bathroom. No need for a computer as there are TONS of movies to watch in your room via Media on Demand. Maybe bring some lip balm? And if you stay past catheter removal you might want some pants to slip on under your gown.
Oh. And don't wear nail polish – it can interfere with the oxygen monitor (I kept setting it off but my nails looked so good… 😉 ).
When you get to your room, ask to see the card titled "Family/Patient Comfort Guide". It lists all the things that Mayo has to make your stay a bit more comfortable – including warm blankets (yes please), ear plugs and eye masks.
Finally, the Media on Demand system has an incredible library of educational videos to help you get comfortable with your new transplanted organ, caregiving responsibilities and even catheter care. Definitely check them out. I've contacted patient education (firstname.lastname@example.org) to see if it's possible to access them from home so I can continue to learn/refresh my knowledge.
There were definitely some stressful moments between the time I got the call and transplant but the Transplant experience itself has been nothing but great – mainly because of the incredible support team and resources Mayo has put together.
Best wishes and have a very Merry Christmas.