Monday, May 14, 2012

Workup Week - Day 1

We came up to Edmonton on Sunday, May 13, 2012 and checked into our hotel that we will be staying at for 3 nights while we are completing all of the tests at the University of Alberta Hospital. 

Today was the first day of the 5 day workup that I have to complete to be assessed for lung transplant. And it was a busy one!! Mom, Mike, Auntie Lynn, and my Dad were with me. Started off at 7:30am where we had to be at the Mazankowski Heart Institute to have all my blood work and start a 24 hour urine specimen. Let me tell you, I don't think they have ever taken that much blood out of someone just for blood work! After a hectic morning of mom trying to get the equipment to take the blood from my picc line because my veins are so bad, the picc line wouldn't draw blood! So I guess I had to let them poke me! I must have had a professional though....one guy, one big needle, one vein, and the 16 tubes of blood were drawn. The best part of the day....Mom and Mike have to carry my urine around in a brown paper bag all day....even when we stop by West Edmonton Mall after the day is over...HAHA!! After all of the blood was done we headed off to my ECG appointment at 8:15am. I was glad that this only took about 5 minutes. Lots of wires, but all looked good. By 9:00am we were across the hospital in the 2E Medicine Clinics to meet with Dr. Nador who is a Transplant Pulmonary Specialist. He talked with us about the risk of the transplant in my case because of the rare Mycobacterium abscessus that I have in my lungs. He was very positive though and answered many of our questions. At 10:00am we met with Mina Deol who is a social worker. She went over many things with us including the financial costs of having a transplant, health benefits, AISH, and options for where we can stay when I have to return to Edmonton for the 6 week rehab program this summer. This appointment was about an hour and a half. After meeting with Mina, we got about an hour lunch break. At 1:00pm we returned to the transplant office and met with an anesthesiologist. He talked about that part of the surgery and how they would put me to sleep and the different iv's I would be connected to when I woke up. He also answered many of our questions. After meeting with him, we met with Marianne Schafenacker, who is the Assessment Transplant Coordinator. She went through a powerpoint with us about transplant and what to expect from the very beginning (the workup) to the recovery. It was great information that I also have enclosed in a duotang at home. She also took measurements of my chest so they will know how big of lungs they will need to fill my chest cavity when it comes to finding a donor. We finished the day off at about 3:30pm and had the rest of the night to ourselves.

After that long day at the hospital Mike, Mom, Auntie Lynn, and I decided to go over to West Edmonton Mall for some drinks, food, and of course the candy store! We stopped in at Hooters and had some wings and drinks (non-alcoholic for me :( ). After that we went to the candy store, checked out a few other stores and decided to go to a casino closer to our hotel. We stopped at Casino Edmonton and tried our luck at blackjack, but didn't have any! Mom thought she was playing a penny machine and put $20.00 in and played 9 lines at 2 cents each for 18 cents a spin. To her dismay it was a loonie machine, so she got one play...haha! Anyways after all that we had a quick bite to eat in the casino restaurant and headed back to the hotel to rest for the night before a day full of tests tomorrow. 

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