Sara arrived at my house this morning at 8:20 a.m. to begin our trip down to Madison. She handed me a vase full of flowers which were beautiful! I hugged her right away -- I felt like I already knew her based on our many Facebook conversations and emails. Shortly after, we set out for UW. Right away I felt very at ease with her and we had no problem making conversation. Of course for those of you who know me personally you know that I am never at a lack for words. Poor Sara probably didn't know what she was getting into when she agreed to a 3 hour round trip journey with me :-)
When we got to UW we parked on the 6th floor of the parking garage and made our way down to the clinic/hospital entrance. As we were walking up to the doors we saw a very familiar person sitting on the bench outside -- it was Lonnie's wife Ginger! She pointed behind me so I turned around and there was Lonnie! We knew he had an appointment today, but our timing was perfect. I introduced Sara and we all walked in together. We registered and then waited to be called back for our lab appointments. I was called back first, then Lonnie, and finally Sara. I got to give 8 tubes of blood plus another huge syringe, which in reality was only 2 ounces of blood. After that I needed to do a urinalysis, as blood in my urine has been a definite problem in the past. Amazingly enough, that was the extent of the testing we needed to have done today. They originally thought I might have to have another psychiatry visit, but they decided that was not necessary. Obviously they do not know me well!
After Sara and I finished up at UW we said goodbye to Lonnie and Ginger as they still had to go to see Dr. Fernandez. Then we headed out to eat lunch at TGI Fridays. Sara was nice enough to buy me lunch even though she certainly did not have to do that. I managed to eat a big bacon cheeseburger -- hey, I had just given up a lot of blood and needed my strength back, right? We were on the way home and just to Portage, about 30 miles outside of Madison, when Sara's coordinator Kathy called my cell phone. My coordinator, Chris, was on vacation so Kathy was calling to tell me that the urinalysis results were already back. I was a little concerned about that test in specific because for reasons unknown I have always had a trace of blood in my urine. That is concerning to the surgeons because it could indicate a kidney problem. Kathy told me that this time there was NO blood! Thank the Lord!! She said the rest of the results should be back in the next couple of days and either she or Chris will be calling us. The last major hurdle will be the final crossmatch. This is done to ensure that there are no changes in mine or Sara's blood that would cause a problem at surgery. The blood samples they used to do the initial matching were from November for Sara and December for me. So there is always a chance that something has changed. But Kathy says she does not anticipate problems. We are so close now that I can feel it!
I am still waiting to hear how Lonnie's visit with Dr. Fernandez went today, but I am positive that all is well. He looks great and his whole family will continue to be such a big part of my life.
It was so awesome to finally meet Sara. I know she will provide a great home for my kidney. I can only pray that it will allow her to live a long, healthy life so she can enjoy time with her husband and precious daughter. Thank you Sara for allowing me into your life! I hope we will be friends for years to come.