On 11th September I spent most of the day in the Nuclear Medicine dept. I had two radioactive injections. The first was to show up on a CT scan as it found a route through my kidneys. The second showed the rate at which my kidneys filter by dint of four blood samples taken at hourly intervals.
On 18th I had an echocardiogram of my kidneys. This was an extra test for donors over 60.
On 21st I had an ultrasound scan of my kidneys.
And today, the 26th September I attended Dr P's assessment clinic. I had a repeated chest X ray to clarify a shadow on the first which it's thought was just one of my nipples. I had an ECG to check my heart's ok, plus fasting blood and urine tests and blood pressure. I spent half an hour with Dr P, one of the MRI's consultant nephrologists (kidney specialist). Dr P went through the whole of the process from here to make sure I was aware of the small risks involved. A very thorough, informative chat.
At the end, Dr P seemed happy with everything except for my blood pressure which, though within the accepted normal range, is higher than he'd like for the operation. It's thought it may be nothing more than the stress of attending hospital and, thanks to very rapid liaison, tomorrow I'm visiting my GP and being fitted with a monitor to read my blood pressure over 24 hours.
Dr P tells me my blood pressure is not a show stopper but it may have to be dealt with; I'm guessing with drugs.
I'm waiting for an appointment for a further CT scan which is performed after the assessment clinic, the intention of which is to map where my kidneys and associated blood vessels are to better inform the transplant team.
Once Dr P is satisfied with the blood pressure and has double checked all results, he'll write to refer me to the transplant surgeons. I'll get a copy of the letter.
I asked for a likely time when the operation might be able to take place and was assured that January is a realistic expectation. It may be even earlier.
I'm also to have a meeting with an independent assessor who ensures the transplant is in accordance with the Human Transplant Act. Critically any form of payment, in cash or kind, is illegal in the UK. Jamie will also be interviewed on the same day and in the same place and this will most likely be Cardiff. As an aside here, legitimate expenses can be reclaimed by live donors via a government agency and this should cover things like travel costs, parking and accommodation.
So, although I don't quite have the final go ahead for the transplant, it seems very positive now, especially since the team this morning were happy to discuss, broadly, a likely date.
I had a long phone chat with my pal Jamie and we're both feeling positive that good progress is being made. I admire Jamie's positivity through all this. He's approaching his 100th dialysis session soon.
So, tomorrow, the hot topic is my blood pressure. I WILL remain calm, watch TV and read.
New visitors here can find earlier instalments of this story by clicking on "Older Posts" after this post.
Wish us well.