Friday, March 18, 2011

Preparing for Transplant Evaluation

Yesterday, we had a meeting at the hospital with the Transplant Coordinator, Social Worker, Financial Coordinator and Dietitian.  It was very informative. 

Transplant Coordinator – We talked about getting Angel on the transplant list and what that would mean.  Right now Angel is doing well and looking good.  If he gets on the transplant list right now, and continues to do well, he will not get a liver.  However, if things go bad, he will already be on the list and able to move up.  They will continue to check his bloodwork to see if his results stay around the same or gradually get worse.  The hardest thing is because they do not know the cause, they can not predict what is to come.  They did mention that there are lots of people who die with cirrhosis but not of cirrhosis. 

We talked about live donors.  This is not done within the group mainly because the donor has to have a perfect bill of health.  They have to be roughly the same size and young.  No drinking or smoking.  They would be giving 60% of their liver to the patient.  This has sometimes resulted in the death of the donor.  Very scary stuff. 

After the transplant, Angel would be on 30 pills a day to prevent his body from rejecting the liver.  He would be watched closely for the first month.  Gradually he would be taken off some of the pills however, will have some pills that will need to be taken for life.

Social Worker – We talked about who we have for support.  How would I get to and from the hospital during his stay.  Who would be able to drive him to and from the hospital 2 times a week.  He would need to be under constant care 24/7 for at least a month.  Can I handle that while caring for my daughter and grandson.  Who would be our emotional support.

Dietitian – We went over Angel’s current diet.  She was very impressed.  The only changes she suggests is that Angel have a protein snack in the evenings.  She mentioned that he needs to exceed the protein due to the liver not being able to produce it on it’s own.  The toxins that were in his body in the beginning were due to the ammonia that the liver can not process.  So that is where the lactulose comes in.  It helps the body get rid of the ammonia. 

Exercise was also mentioned and strongly suggested.  Even if it is only 15 min of walking a day.  I was kidding around about purchasing a Wii.  The dietitian said that it was actually a really good idea. 

Financial Coordinator – Of course this meeting was all about the cost.  The prescriptions after surgery will be the huge burden.  It was mentioned that some of the prescriptions he will have to live on, are the most expensive ones. 

We walked away feeling very unsure about this entire procedure.  Right now our prayers are that Angel’s health will be the same.  Of course we will cross the bridge if we come to it. 

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