Today Ashlea had her pre-admission appointment at the hospital. We met with the surgeons, the anaesthetist and the renal registrars and had a chest x-ray, ecg and some blood tests.
I also signed Ashlea's consent forms.
Is it weird that even now - 2 days from surgery - I still can't believe this is really happening???
We went over the details of what will happen on the day.
Murray needs to arrive at the hospital at 7am. He will go into surgery around 9am and be out around lunch time.
Ashlea needs to arrive at the hospital at 8:30. She will have two infusions of immune suppressants before surgery begins and will then go in at around midday and won't be out until early evening - around 6 or 7pm.
I was very glad to discover that the anaesthetist is a friend from our old church. It will be nice to see a familiar face on the day. We have another friend from our old church who is a consultant in the PICU and one of the surgeons goes to church with my sister. It will be nice to have people who know Ashlea - or at least know her story - caring for her on the day.
For those who like the nitty gritty surgical details here they are:
Murray has two arteries to his kidney. One is the main artery, the other is a very small artery that supplies only 5% of his kidney. The surgeons are thinking this tiny artery will be too difficult to attach (it will take a long time and probably clot off so not worth the extra time under anaesthetic) so they are thinking they will not sew it in - meaning Ashlea will automatically lose that small portion of Murray's kidney.
They still aren't sure exactly where they're going to put the kidney - Murray's kidney will be quite big so they aren't sure if they will be able to put it in the side of her abdomen like they were going to with mine or if they'll have to do a big cut down the middle of her belly. They will make that decision once they've seen the kidney on the day.
Ashlea will have an epidural for pain relief for the first few days and then will be allowed to get out of bed on the Monday or Tuesday. Our hospital physio will help Ashlea with that. Did I mention she is also our anaesthetist's wife??? I have my people all over the hospital :)
Ashlea started on her immune suppressants tonight. The pharmacist told me I should wear gloves when drawing them up and be careful not get any on my skin. But apparently it is OK to give it to my 5 year old! I hated giving it to her - it almost felt like I was poisoning her by knocking out her immune system - but it is necessary to protect her new kidney.
Thanks again for all your prayers, phone calls, texts and emails of support. I had intended to respond to each of you individually but I'm thinking that probably isn't likely to happen now. And please keep praying - I can't believe that this time in 2 days they will both be out of surgery!