Transplant Education Day

A vial is a small glass or plastic vessel or bottle, often used to store medication as liquids, powders or capsules. – Wikipedia

Today was a full and exhausting day. The transplant center at IU Health conducted an “education day.” They presented information about the transplant process, financial/insurance info with a social worker, blood draws, a chest x-ray and finally a session with one of the transplantation doctors. The purpose was to review the results of the tests taken to date, provide education for Art and Tim….and meet some of personnel involved.

Art was accompanied by Tim, Bonnie and Mary. We started at 8:30am with an explanation of what the kidney does, how the transplant is done, how the kidney wait list is created and managed nation-wide, differences between a living and deceased donor and many other pertinent details. While we were there, both Tim and Art had blood drawn to help confirm they are compatible. Art came out looking a bit like a zombie because they took 15 vials of blood for all the various tests…not to mention he took a whiz quiz and filled a bottle.

Many questions were answered and we received good news in 2 different areas.

First . . .the doctor explained to Art that all the tests taken to date showed that he would be able to withstand a transplant. It appears that it will happen 2 to 3 months from today. The doctor wants to complete the operation before Art has to move to dialysis…which is fine with him.

Secondly…it appears that between Medicare A, B, D and some sort of supplemental insurance…virtually all of the expected $250K-$300K will be covered. This is good because after the operation there will be a lifetime of very expensive anti-rejection medicine. Kidney transplant or dialysis allows Medicare eligibility before you reach the age of 65. We are learning a lot.

Next step – Tim has to undergo a few tests to confirm he will be able to donate a kidney with no big impact for his health – then the surgery will be scheduled. The doctor seems to think that Art will need about 5 days in the hospital and about 3-to-4 weeks to recover and be able to work again. It will be interesting to see how it all works out.