Cruisin with the Real"s

Cruisin with the Real"s
Joe and Nancy Grand Cayman 10-07

Loma Linda Medical Center

Loma Linda Medical Center
Where the magic happens........

Monday, September 1, 2008

My First Appointment with Scripps and Dr Hillebrand Tomorrow

As you can all tell by my recent posts, I have really been focusing more and getting my Transplant sooner than later if possible. In all the things I have read, patients both pre and post transplant, My medical team at Loma Linda and the wonderful transplant coordinators, Judith at LLU and Thomas at Scripps along with Dr Darling and Joe of course, we are ready to start our next step of my journey by having our first of many appointments at Scripps Green as I attempt to be listed to be transplanted there in addition to Loma Linda.

I want to talk to you about what I am doing here..... You have the RIGHT to be what they call *DUAL LISTED*. Actually, you could be listed in as many *AREAS* as you like and are willing to go through the process to be listed at.

Your Transplant Team will advise you of this right. In fact you sign a piece of paper acknowledging that they have advised you of this right. (You sign LOTS of papers...!)

But it is important to know how the system works.

UNOS, who is the United Network of Organ Sharing Organization, ( I highly suggest your visit their site), is the organization in charge of Organ Allocation. Here is a brief description of what they do.

*The UNOS Organ Center is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year, to facilitate organ sharing among transplant centers, organ procurement organizations and histocompatibility laboratories across the U.S. The primary functions of the Organ Center are to:
  • assist in placing donated organs for transplantation
  • assist in gathering donor information and running the donor/recipient computer matching process
  • assist with transportation of organs and tissues for the purposes of transplantation
  • act as a resource to the transplant community regarding organ-sharing policies*

Basically, it works like this.

The country is divided into regions. We are in region 5. Region 5 consists of Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. Now within region 5 there are smaller more localized groupings. We at Loma Linda are in a group with other major transplant centers. Cedar Sinai, USC and UCLA are the big 4 in this area. San Diego has it's own area with 2 major centers and Northern Ca has 2 as well including, Stanford, UC San Francisco, UC Davis and California Pacific in San Francisco.

In order to better allocate and distribute viable organs the organs are best placed locally (they don't have a long shelf life...... :-) (I am still SO SURPRISED when people ask me when my transplant is SCHEDULED????? Which they often do!)

So, if your insurance allows it...which is a HUGE thing, or if you can afford the transplant yourself and if the Transplant Center agrees to have you as a patient and list with their facility, You have the right to be listed in any area you feel you would like to be transplanted at.

Now, not all transplant centers are created equally and I am not going to get into that here but do your homework as you should with any major health issue you may be facing.

I have and these are the best choices for ME..... I will leave it at that.

So, tomorrow, Joe and I head down to meet with my new hepatologist, Dr Hillebrand. He has been highly recommended to me by some of his former patients including Don, who just had his 10 year anniversary with his new liver, he is the head of our LLU support group along with his wife, Betty, who runs the caregiver support group. He was/is also Dr Darlings Doctor who is a 3 time liver transplant patient, who I wrote about in a previous post.

As you may imagine I am very excited and a bit nervous about tomorrow. I feel very safe and comfortable at my hospital home of LLU and it is a bit out of my comfort zone to venture out to another. The other reason for my feelings is that I am of course doing this in the hopes of getting my transplant sooner as they don't have as many people waiting with my MELD score and blood type. SO, that could mean that I am on my way........

I haven't mentioned to you all that it has been exactly ONE YEAR since I entered the Emergency Room Doors at LLU and was diagnosed and began this journey. It has been quite a year...I have learned a lot....more on that later.

So, I have my list of questions for Dr H and away we go!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.