Today we met the surgeon who will do Ashlea's half of the transplant. It was good to meet him and get some questions answered.
The most important thing we established today is that he thinks he will be able to fit my kidney into the lower right part of Ashlea's tummy rather than smack bang in the middle among her intestines. Apparently that is better because the gut recovers more quickly from the surgery as they don't have to disturb the intestines at all - they can just put the kidney in beside them.
The other thing we discussed was the timing of things on the day.
My surgery will start in the morning - probably around 9 ish. At that time Ashlea will already be at the hospital having blood work done and receiving her first dose of immune suppressant medication. Once my surgeon has seen my kidney and decided that it is definitely good to go they will take Ashlea down to surgery. Usually the children go in at around 12:30 ish. The first hour is taken up by the anaesthetist getting a central line in and doing whatever it is that anaesthetists do (go figure - I thought all they did was the crossword while you were asleep). The surgery then takes around 4 hours so Ashlea won't be in the PICU until early evening most likely. The surgeon warned us that she will be really puffy for the first few days as they pour heaps of fluid through the kids to keep the new kidney perfused. He said she'll also have a central line and a catheter in as well. Man is she going to be pissed when she wakes up. The surgeon suggested we speak to the anaesthetist about keeping her well sedated so she doesn't pull any tubes out. Knowing her I think that is a good idea!
As the transplant is getting closer it is becoming all I can think about. There has been a real shift in my thinking even just over the last week. Now that the school situation is sorted out my mind has really just switched into kidney mode. I am starting to prepare myself mentally for what is to come. I don't necessarily know how to do that in a healthy way, but I can feel myself distancing myself from the outside world and starting to become very inward focussed. I'm getting my defences up and starting to steel myself for what is to come. The last thing I want to do is talk about how I feel about the situation. I can't go there right now. Right now I just have to focus on getting through it.
I am still shocked from time to time that this is actually happening to us - that our family are about to live through this.
The good news though is that we are off to Bear Cottage on Saturday for some much needed respite. I have been very selfishly praying for good weather and good health for us for next week as we really need to have a break and be looked after for awhile before the big day in November.
And yes I will post an update from Bear Cottage - you know I won't be able to help myself!