One day they announce that you eligible for the transplant list. For me, that meant I had lost 50 pounds. There is much celebrating until you realize some people have been on the transplant list for years.
Getting on the list first involves giving blood to determine if you have a match with a donor. When I say you give blood, I mean you give lots of blood. If I remember correctly, I gave 17 vials of blood. And then a series of tests begins. It’s a great way to meet lots of new doctors. When I began the process, I had two doctors; a primary care physician and a nephrologist. In addition to those two, I now I have: a transplant team of four doctors, two cardiologists, an endocrinologist, gastrologist, gynecologist (just checking to see if you are paying attention), a podiatrist, and several others I can’t remember.
Then the testing begins. They tested my heart twice (The couldn’t believe I was old and fat and had a healthy heart, my lungs, my bowels, my esophagus and stomach ( think they found some old White Castles). When I woke from my endoscopy the doctor handed me a prescription for acid reflux. I explained to her that I didn’t have acid reflux. She dutifully and a bit exasperated went through the list of symptoms. I had none of them, which did little to improve her mood. I just took the prescription and went home, and everyone was happy. By the way, I now have acid reflux. Go figure. I started thinking that the tests were not to measure my health but to see if I could survive them.
After (surprisingly) I passed all the tests, we met with the surgeon, Madison C. Cuffy, M.D. The surgeon has a lot to say if the surgery will or won’t happen. He was very encouraging. (He said sarcastically.) If he mentioned that I was 71 once, he mentioned it a dozen times. I finally asked him if this was test. Yes, I know my age. Obviously, he thought I was too old for a transplant. Things were looking bleak. My wife and I didn’t talk about my chances for a positive report, but we both doubted it would happen.
Then the call came. I had been approved. We were ecstatic and knew we had witnessed a miracle. All I needed was a donor.
Copyright © 2018, William T. McConnell, All Rights Reserved
Bill McConnell is the Interim Minister at Norwood Christian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is a Church Transformation consultant and a Christian Leadership Coach. He is a frequent speaker at Church Transformation events. His latest book on church transformation is DEVELOPING A SIGNIFICANT CHURCH and is available at .
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