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........

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Scripps San Diego Transplant Class

On Wednesday I drove down to San Diego..... I left home at 10:30am for a 2 hour class and got home at 8pm...I only stopped for gas/potty break twice and a 30 minute shopping break at the pottery barn outlet. It was a very long day...It's a 5 hour round trip.

I enjoy the time alone....I always have liked to drive and when I am alone I have lots of time to think, sing to the radio, talk a bit on the phone.......etc.

The class was very good....very different than the class I took at LLU. I find the differences interesting and an opportunity to learn more from different people who are very knowledgeable.

There were 2 classrooms being used at the same time next to each other. One for Kidney Transplants and one for Liver Transplants. During that time the transplant coordinators spoke to us about what transplant entails regarding the organ that you need replacing...The why's, what, when, how, etc ....etc. Very informative.

Some differences between LLU and Scripps. I am not sharing opinions here just facts...

LLU only does whole liver transplants from deceased donors as do the majority of transplant centers.

Scripps does whole liver transplant, and also will split livers from deceased donors. I.E. If a liver were to become available that could be used by a child and and adult....(same blood type, etc) They can use, say, 20% for the child and 80% in the adult. Both grow to full functioning organ within a year and save 2 lives. It can be a longer and more difficult time of recovery for both as the liver has been severed and also has to heal... They do this rarely as the opportunity doesn't always present itself but that is sometimes an option.

They also do a small percentage of living donor transplants.. In kidneys this is common but in liver, not so much.....I am not going to go into detail as I am not very educated about this... I do know that it is a very serious surgery and recovery for BOTH the donor and the recipient. It can be even harder for the donor during recovery. Both need full time caregivers and it goes on and on....Not something I am interested in doing to a loved one even if I did qualify.....

Another thing that is different is that the anti rejection drugs used post transplant and forever...
Scripps tries to use a steroid free approach which helps avoid a lot of the complications that can arise just from the steroids...(I will talk about that later when we get to a *medication talk*)

After our individual classes they opened the dividers between the rooms and a couple of other speakers talked to all of us as these things would effect all of us.

The Social Worker on the support we would need, housing issues, follow up appointments, support group, compliance to appointments, medication, etc. Insurance....

The Pharmacist talked about all the different types of drugs, what they were, how they were used and combined, side effects....THE SIDE EFFECTS!!!!! If anything scares me that is the biggie. It is one thing to think that your organ that controls so much of how your body operates is not functioning well......another to face the traumatic surgery......another to deal emotionally with having your body cut wide open and have another persons organ placed inside your body,.....another to deal with the months of physical recovery and the fact that you will most likely never have the health you once had......BUT...for me the thought of being place on these drugs which YOU HAVE TO TAKE FOREVER......AS LONG AS YOU WOULD LIKE TO KEEP YOUR NEW PRECIOUS ORGAN..... which is a good idea.....but all the things that these drugs that will save your new liver will also CAUSE to happen to you..... (again...when we have the drug talk....) But....of course it is manageable BUT that doesn't mean it doesn't scare me or I have to like it.................................................................................

All in all it was a very informative and well taught class! Kudo's to Scripps and the Transplant Team there.....They did a great job.

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