Family News - June 14, 2012
June 14, 2012
Here’s where we are in the lung transplant process!
Today Tom and I drove to LA to meet with the transplant coordinator who is handling Tom’s transplant details for a “lung transplant education session.” We also met with a social worker who conducted a preliminary psychological interview, so it’s been a long (and interesting) day! We were provided with a great deal of information, reading material and more detailed outline as to where we are in the transplant process and how far we have to go. (Of course, Tom likes concrete data so this was very satisfying to him!) During our educational discussion Tom was informed that he may no longer do yard work, be around dust, pick up dog messes and many other such tasks for the rest of his life! This further delighted him as I’ve been saying that I can’t wait until he has his transplant and can take over the dog mess duty.
Tom is now scheduled to complete approximately 30 different tests in the next several weeks that will provide current information on every major body part and function, including teeth. The goal is to have all of these done by July 10 so that the transplant team of doctors can once again review the latest results and medical records and make recommendations. This team only meets once a month, so we are hopeful we will make the July 10th date and not have to wait until August. Tom won’t proceed in the process until this team gives the green flag and determines he is ready to be actively registered for the transplant. At that time, his case will proceed to the “lung review board” connected to the transplant center at UCLA. If his health is compromised in any way during this pre-transplant process, his case will be put on hold. We were told to take strong measures to prevent infections and sickness, including staying away from anyone with a cough, cold, fever, etc. If he gets any kind of an infection, his case will be put on hold and he will once again be “inactive.”
Once the latest battery of tests is complete and there are no health issues that would disqualify him as a candidate at the chosen transplant center (UCLA), he will be given a new lung allotment score and could be called for a transplant at any time. It is important to remember that not everyone who gets this far gets listed for a transplant, and not everyone who gets listed for a transplant gets one (about one third). In one of our brochures it states, “The supply of donor lungs is limited. By offering donor lungs to candidates according to their medical characteristics instead of their waiting time, lungs will be directed first to candidates who have the most urgent need and who will have the greatest chance of success after transplantation.”
It’s easy to forget that there are many, many other people out there who are facing the same crisis we are and are hoping for the same lifesaving operation. As unbelievable as it sounds and as ill as Tom is, there are others who are hanging on to life by a thread and in more desperate need than he for a transplant. One quote I read today says, “You want to be sick enough for a transplant, but well enough to survive.” It is sobering to realize Tom may become more ill than he already is before he is in as urgent need of a transplant as others are at this very moment. As anxious as we are to move forward with the transplant, we can’t help but remember that there are some awaiting transplant aren’t as well prepared as we are to meet the Lord. During our psychological review today the interviewer prodded us about possible anxiety, depression, etc. When he asked if we ever felt like “hurting ourselves” or taking drugs, drinking, etc. we had a hard time not laughing out loud. When we reported no marriage crisis, vices or anxiety he was concerned and cautioned us that “anxiety is normal and they are more concerned about those who say they have no anxiety than those who do.” Tom finally said, “You know, I believe my life is in God’s hands and I have no reason to worry.” After we elaborated on how blessed we were, the interviewer finally just said it was nice that we had a strong “faith based” perspective. We left him a salvation tract entitled “How to be 100% sure of Heaven” and invited him to church. (I must confess, I had a good time evaluating his interviewing skills, reading between the lines and ruining his statistics!)
Thank you for your prayer, support and love. It is precious to us!
Last Updated (Wednesday, 18 July 2012 20:57)