Day four of the pre-op visit for donating my kidney was spent checking out of the hotel, having a surprise spa visit as a Christmas gift from my sister who traveled with me and a walk on the beach. We found out that Gavin’s removal surgery has been scheduled for late January because his “team” feels my kidney will be suitable. My “team” wants one more set of tests and a specialist visit here in Seattle. While my kidney looks wonderful for the transplant they have a mild concern about something else with my health that will need to be checked before they give the final go ahead for the donation.
When Gavin’s one kidney is removed in January he will begin dialysis. This will involve his mom driving him 1 hour away to the hospital 3-4 days per week. His family will need additional financial support during this time. They will need to hire a nanny, and after having met the Thomas clan, I would not be surprised if doing the job of caring for Gavin’s two year old brother requires an additional caregiver, he is a delightful handful for sure! They are currently fundraising to help cover these costs and if you would like to donate you can go to http://www.gofundme.com/gavins-kidney-fund
My next trip to California will be sometime in March for the donation. They expect that with the preparation for the donation, the donation, hospital stay and follow up that I might be in California for about two weeks. After returning to Washington I will not be able to drive for about 4 more weeks. Hopefully my work will allow me to work part time from home during this time. I have been blessed by many friends who have supported me so far on this journey. The first trip to San Diego cost approximately $1600 for the week including airfare. My work will not be paying me during the time I take off. In addition to the travel cost in donating my kidney to Gavin I will be suffering a loss of income for the two weeks I am in California and also any additional time I will not be able to work while recovering. I am also fundraising to help cover these costs and if you would like to donate you can go to http://www.gofundme.com/58bycg
Learning more about the surgery was pretty fascinating. They will be taking my left kidney. The right kidney has two arteries and the left only one so it is easier to remove. The surgical team will be doing the surgery robotic-ally. They will make an incision through my belly button and a few small incisions on my left side for the robotic tools. When the kidney is ready to remove they will extend one of the small incisions on my left side to remove it.
To have better access to your organs they will blow up my abdomen with CO2 gas. One of the most painful aspects of recovery is that the gas presses up on you diaphragm and you end up with shoulder pain for a day or two.
I also found out my surgery will be at UCSD hospital. After surgery they will be driving my kidney the 1/2 hr away to the children’s hospital to transplant into Gavin. Hopefully traffic won’t be as miserable as it was while we were there this time!
While I have been hoping the kidney donation would take place in January I am at peace with waiting a few more months. I can continue to work on getting in better shape and that will hopefully make my recovery easier. It was also good to take this one week trip and get an idea of how my family and pets would fare while I am out of commission from the surgery. My kids were fine (although they did tell everyone I was in California having surgery! I guess they really don’t listen to a word I say!) and my horse was amazingly well taken care of. My husband survived solo parenting without missing a beat. The sole sad member of our family was my little dog Kiwi who has decided he will not be left home next time!