My Journey of Becoming a Living Kidney Donor: Part 2
In Part 1, I told you that I had attempted in the past to learn more about becoming a living kidney donor. I emailed and called a few places, but never received a response. Then something else came along and I would move on. Today, I am in the thick of the process and feeling good about my chances. Again, by blogging, I hope others will take the time to inquire and start the process.
My search was not hard. As I stated in Part 1, I Googled “Live Kidney Donor”. I clicked on the first link which was the National Kidney Registry and I was off to the races. The webpage gives you 3 options: I am considering donating my kidney, I am in need of a kidney transplant, and I am interested in the Voucher Program. We all know which one I clicked. The page opens up and the top of the page states Kidney donation is major surgery. There is also valuable information, like FAQs to answer the major questions. To get started, I completed an initial screening online (5 minutes). After less than a day, I was cleared and was sent a comprehensive medical screening to complete. It contains lots of questions and does take time (60 minutes for me). Let me tell you it was comprehensive. Once you clear this process the next step is fun.
Now I started this process on February 14 and by the 21st I was sent a large orange jug. You ask why would a potential kidney donor need an orange jug? Well, it is to collect my urine. I have to collect my urine for 24 hours and it must be kept cold. My wife stayed away from the outside refrigerator for those 24 hours. Here are the instructions I received:
24-HOUR URINE COLLECTION INSTRUCTIONS
Please collect your urine in the storage container provided.
1.Please keep the storage container cold, either in a cooler or in a refrigerator.
2.The 24-hour collection may start at any time during the day but it is common to start the collection the first thing in the morning.
3. Do not save the urine from your first-time urinating – flush this first specimen.
4. Write down the time of this first specimen on the lab order (i.e. start time).
5. All urine, after the first specimen must be saved and stored for the next 24 hours.
6. Try to do your last urination close to the same time (24 hours after the start time) to finish the collection process.
7. Write down the time of this last specimen on the lab order (i.e. end time).
8. Once the urine collection has been completed, take the urine container to Quest Labs within 24-48 hours.
9. If kept cold the filled urine jug will be viable for at least 24-48 hours.
I started on a Sunday morning, went to a movie (should not have had the large soda or picked a long movie) and went right home after the movie. Monday morning off to the lab to drop off the jug. The lab drew blood and asked for more urine. I complied with both.
What happens now? Stay tuned for Part 3.