I got a follow-up call from the hospital the week before last, on Monday, November 11, but I wanted to wait to post anything here until I had some more information for you.
In the follow-up call, the donor coordinator mentioned that the social worker wanted to have a conversation with both my wife and my therapist. They wanted to make sure my wife was both capable and up to the task of taking care of me post-surgery. And, because I mentioned previously I had seen a therapist for general mental health, the social worker also wanted an OK from my therapist that she thought I was in a sound state to donate.
The donor coordinator also said that they found a kidney stone on my CT scan. Thankfully it was a small one, only 2 millimeters wide. I have never had a kidney stone before, at least not to my knowledge. So, she said they wanted to do another 24 hour urine collection to test for my future risk of developing more kidney stones. As it stands now, this one stone won’t stop me from donating on its own. It’s also in the kidney that would be donated, so during surgery they could just flush it out and I may never need to pass it. However, the reason they’ve ordered this third urine collection is that if I have a genetic risk for more kidney stones (i.e. risk factors outside of easily changeable ones like diet), it might prevent me from donating. If it’s just a dietary thing, they would have me talk to a nutritionist to lower my risk for future stones and everything will be fine. The coordinator said that she’s never seen someone be precluded from donating because of kidney stones, but she doesn’t want to get my hopes up just for the doctors to say I couldn’t donate. So, not the best news.
It wasn’t until that Friday, November 15 that I got another call from the hospital. The conversations with my wife and my therapist went well, so the coordinator gave me more instructions about the urine collection. This one was being done by a special company, so I needed to call them for instructions, which I did on the 18th. The company mailed me a 24 hour urine collection kit with instructions and it arrived last Thursday, November 21. Unfortunately I couldn’t actually do the collection until yesterday, and I finished up this morning. Because this collection needed to be mailed back, it was slightly different. As part of the kit they mailed me a large jug for the urine and a small bottle of “urine preservative”, which went in the jug before I started. Then, when I finished my collection this morning, I needed to shake everything up to make sure the preservative was well incorporated, then I needed to pour a little bit of the collection into a small vial to be mailed back, and discard the rest. So now I’m waiting for FedEx to come and pick up the package.
I should hear back from the hospital next week or the week after about the results of this (hopefully final) test. Wish me luck. And Happy Thanksgiving!