Kicking the Kidney – Part 4
And Flying Blood
When I started writing this blog, I worried that no one would ever read it. Now I’m starting to feel a tad concerned about who does. These feelings are probably normal once you’ve posted photos of your own urine online … (My boss is perfectly computer & internet literate!)
For the sake of clarity, this is another kidney post. A lot still has to happen and I want everyone to understand that.
The Cross Test
Once I’ve lost enough weight … fortunately, no one is expecting me to reach bikini model size (which is just as well!) … the next thing will be a cross test.
The way Jan described this to me sounded very exciting. I hope I can convey some of that here.
What happens is, some of my blood is mixed with Jan’s blood. In other words, blood is withdrawn from both of us and then added in the same “container” or whatever lab term there might be. The aim is to see the reaction … which is supposed to be tranquil and calm. It should not look like a witch’s broth, bubbly or boiling.
This is the test for compatibility. Initially, it was a great concern to me, but Jan, who has had several other potential donors, says this cross test has never disqualified any of his former potential donors. (Touch wood, people!)
Apparently, if you are exactly the same blood type, the chances are pretty good that this part will go well. (I really don’t want to sound over-confident about any part of this very delicate matter.)
Blood reacts in cross tests if someone’s immune system is elevated (not sure of my wording here) which happens typically during pregnancy and in a few other instances … which we know (or are reasonably sure) are not present. (Yeah, there is NO way I’m pregnant, OK!)
I used to have a bit of a complex about my useless A+ blood. Only other A+s and AB+s can receive blood from me. Admittedly, this has (wrongly) stifled some of my enthusiasm about donating blood in the past. My new year’s resolution is to change that.
Another word on donating blood: For any organ transplant to take place, quite a few units of blood (depending on the type of transplant) are necessary.
What also makes the cross test exciting, is that I live in the lonely town of Uitenhage and Jan lives in Pretoria. This means that for the cross test, there will literally be blood flying around the country … probably mine!
The Other Tests
Next, I’ll have to undergo an ECG (EKG) … the whole shebang … I’ve only ever had a resting one. And a scan of my abdomen. There is also the annoying matter of convincing a shrink I’m not too crazy to donate a kidney and then there are the transplant panel and some doctors from the state … who all have to be happy, agree, concur etc.
If everything works out, I will fly to Pretoria some time in 2017 with both my kidneys and return with only one.