Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Kidney donation, part 7

Today's been a day of mixed feelings.

My thoughts are a turmoil. In part it's to do with our labrador, Islay, being so poorly after an operation to rid her of a fungal infection in her sinuses. She's had the front of her skull shaved to allow two needles to be inserted for the application of cream to kill the infection. Home now, her nose is running with a nasty mixture of snot, cream and blood, as expected, and her skull and muzzle is swollen. She looks a sight. But it's all as predicted by the vet. Worse, she is likely to need a repeat of the operation in two weeks. I feel for her. This is nothing at all to do with the donation process, but everything to do with my mood as I cycled into Manchester this morning to meet my new Transplant Coordinator.

I met Guy, at the renal transplant base in Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI). I decided to cycle in to avoid any issues with traffic and parking. Plus it's good quality exercise and the 17 miles took less than an hour and a half. Guy was very pleasant and guided me through the work up to come. Today I had my height, weight and BMI checked. I also had some further blood samples taken along with blood pressure and I had a chest x ray.

Guy explained to me that the work up takes so long because access to the scanners used in a couple of the tests is prioritised towards folk with life threatening conditions. Since I'm healthy that puts me down the list. No account seems to be taken of the recipient's condition. But that's the way it works. As Guy explained, their team could do all the tests they needed in a matter of weeks but it's slowed by the access to scanners. 

In light of this it's no wonder that Guy predicts a 6 to 9 month process ahead. Chrissie and I have an Arctic trip planned for late summer 2019 and it's beginning to look as if this could be compromised given the length of time needed to get back to hill fitness after my operation. Guy's suggestion is to schedule the transplant until after that trip, which would be September 2019. As he says, there is no point in trying to rush recovery, better to delay the process by a few months. 

This is all hard to stomach but it's important to realise that the transplant could easily be delayed right at the last minute because either Jamie or I have a cold. Not to mention any other hiccups which tests mightt throw up. Nothing is certain.

I talked all this over with Chrissie after I got home and then phoned Jamie and explained all the above to him. That was hard. But Jamie sounded stoic and positive. He's clearly doing his very best to handle all this. I admire him for that. Although it's been made clear that the donation process is centred around me I cannot help but be honest with Jamie about what's happening along the way. For me, Jamie is at the centre of this and deserves no less.

So now I await the appointment for my next test, which I think is an ultrasound scan. Not sure, because I was a little overwhelmed with all the information today. No criticism intended.

Sorry to seem a little demoralised today. As I said to Jamie, I was perhaps naive in thinking all this would be done by the end of this year. However, I remain resolved to help him and will try to stay patient through the process to come.

I wish my friend Jamie well.

To read the whole story go to my kidney donation page which you can access on the left side of this blog.


  1. Take the positives Geoff, its a step in the right direction and all journeys start with the first step. Stay fit and healthy.

  2. Strewth, poor Islay and by association of caring for your baby girl, poor you. Sorry I missed this back in August. Hope all is well now and the problem will not return.

    1. Thanks Jayne. Islay ended up having the operation repeated but is now fit and well again thank goodness.


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