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2005-08-07 - 2:45 p.m.

Just so you don't have to read one, long, rambling entry, I've done it this way.

Jump back to June. Surgery is called off. Doctor and transplant team are fired. Family flies back to South Carolina. I am asked if I can be tested with the new transplant team. Of course, I agree. I am very familiar with the new hospital and the transplant team because it is the hospital my husband has worked at for four years. I feel good about it.

On June 21, I was contacted by the transplant staff and they asked me a few questions and faxed me a few forms. It is mostly information about my health and former surgeries (I have had a few) and my general health issues (of which I have none). I am not on any medication, and I don't have any allergy to medication, and I don't have any diseases. I was a good candidate for testing.

On July 1st, we were shocked that they got in touch we me again for my first test! The other transplant center would not even return my calls! This was a good sign.

I went in and had the first test on July 12: A simple blood test to match blood types. It didn't matter to them that I knew my blood type. They did the test and told me what I already knew - Type O+.

On July 28, they had me come in and do my first urine collection test. This is called 24-hour collection and it means just that: You keep your urine for a 24-hour period and return it to them for testing. When you turn in the collection, you give a vial of blood. Easy enough. Apparently not. I got a phone call the next day telling me that they lost the blood. I was nervous then that they might be screw-ups. But they were really apologetic and when I went back in, it was drawn quickly and I was on my way.

On August 4, (one week later is the rule) they had me come in and do a second urine collection test. This one went smoothly until I brought back the collection and sat to wait for the blood draw.

"You're just dropping off, you can go," said the nurse in the lab.

"No, I have to give a vial of blood," I stated.

"No, it's not on the lab paper, so you don't" she insisted.

"But, yes, I do. Last time they lost the blood. I don't want to go to work and get a call that I have six hours to get back and draw blood." I was not leaving without giving the blood.

"Look. There is nothing checked in the blood test column." She was becoming bored with me.

"Look." I knew I was right. "I am here to be tested for possible kidney donation and I know the serum test requires a blood draw." How's that for looking up stuff on the Internet?

"Oh." She actually looks at the lab order for the first time. "Sit down."

The blood was not lost that time.

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