Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The surgeon requests one more test!

Yesterday I was back at UK for more testing at the Transplant Clinic. I did lab work, met with the Transplant Surgeon, and completed a CT scan. The Surgeon informed me that in most cases the CT scan is the final test needed to make sure that an individual can donate an organ. However, the Surgeon is recommending that I visit a Rheumatologist to double check my organ functioning due to my medical history. About 8 years ago, I was diagnosed with skin-limited lupus. Skin-limited lupus is basically lupus only of the skin. It is not the same as systemic lupus which can lead to organ failure. If I only have skin-limited lupus, I can proceed with giving my kidney to Mark. However, if for some reason, I have developed systemic lupus, I will be ruled out as a donor. The chance of me having systemic lupus is really unlikely. A very small percentage of people with skin-limited lupus develop systemic lupus. In addition, the surgeon assured me that all of the testing that has been completed thus far has shown that my organs are really quite healthy. He does not think I have systemic lupus, but wants to double check as a precautionary measure. He actually questioned my diagnosis of skin-limited lupus. It was interesting that he questioned the diagnosis because I've often wondered if I was accurately diagnosed. I have not sought medical care for my skin for several years and haven't needed any medication. I essentially only had one skin "flare-up" which occurred when I was an undergraduate and in a stressful time in my life (I was applying for graduate school and serving as President of my sorority). My curiosity about the diagnosis was especially heightened when my skin did not "flare-up" at all during my pregnancy which usually happens to patients with skin-limited lupus. My OB-GYN did lab work at the beginning of my pregnancy as a baseline of my organ function in case any problems arose during the 9 months. The lab work was normal and luckily there was no need to repeat the lab work or monitor my organ function throughout my pregnancy. I understand the Transplant Surgeon's decision to refer me to a Rheumatologist, but I'll be honest that I am a little disappointed. I am fearful it will take several weeks to get an appointment with a Rheumatologist and really wanted to hear the Surgeon say, "Yes, you have been selected as the donor!" Oh well-I guess we'll just have to be patient!

Thanks for all the prayers yesterday. The CT scan yesterday was really interesting. A "contrast" dye was injected into my arm through an IV. This allowed the CT scan to trace the blood flow through my body. This gives the surgeon information about where to sever the renal artery and connecting arteries/veins during the transplant. It was an awkward feeling to say the least!

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