That Time I (Hopefully) Gave Away A Kidney – Part 10 (Flying To Ohio)

July 9, 2014

Aurora with a FedEx package of cheek swabs
When I was FedExing my cheek swabs to Ohio (months before this visit – ah, how exciting and simple things were ;))

Time for another installment of this Wednesday/Sunday night series!

Picking up from last time

So, all the blood, urine, cheek swabs, blood pressure readings, past medical records – all that jazz was approved.

That meant the next step was going into the hospital for some tests. For me, since I was being tested at a hospital in Ohio, this meant flying out there.

It wasn’t a huge deal. A bunch of people I love live there out there. I love getting away from Los Angeles whenever I get a chance. I wasn’t working at the time. So, what’s the harm?

I was prepared to stay in Ohio for many weeks, because I thought I was going to basically go and give a kidney.

I’d asked at the beginning of the process how long it usually takes from start to finish. The donor coordinator said it usually takes about three months. I started my testing in December. We were going into March now. So, we were right about at the 3-month mark.

Plus, all I had left were some tests performed at their hospital and the “Big Kidney Day” they do there. My understanding was that once you were approved, they basically worked around the donor’s schedule.

I knew March/early April was looking like a good time for me life/work-wise. So, I was ready. I packed ready to stay for 8 weeks to finish up the testing, get into surgery soon after, and then recover.

Oh goodness were my roommates (and I) surprised to see me back just two weeks later.

I mean, I always knew there was a chance I wouldn’t be approved… I heard this crazy story about someone who made it all the way to one of the final tests – the CT scan with contrast of her kidneys. Only in that test did she finally learn, she’d only been born with ONE kidney! Her whole life she’d only had one kidney but never knew… Why would she? When was the last time you saw your kidneys?

(By the way, that’s my go-to story whenever ever anyone says, “How will you function without one of your kidneys?!” Well, for all you know, you might be doing that in this very moment!)

Anyway, I knew there was a chance I wouldn’t be able to give – but I never, ever in a million years thought it would be for the lame reasons for which they turned me away. (Can you tell I’m still bitter? ;))

So, once or twice a month they have “Big Kidney Day” at the hospital. They don’t call it Big Kidney Day. But I do, because why not?

What happens is everyone who’s considering giving a kidney, and has gotten past the initial few months of testing, comes in together for one big meeting. (It’s easier to get everyone in on the same day.) My Big Kidney Day was March 4th (at 7:30am(!!!) read: 4:30am for someone still feeling California time). (Ow.)

Let’s talk about big kidney day next time.

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?