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A Transplant Journey: The List

Not too long after I had my evaluation, I received a list of things that I needed to work on before they could put me on the transplant list. Some were easy and some are giving me indigestion. Here is the official list: 1. Cardio Testing: EKG and Stress Test 2. Psychiatric Clearance for Transplant 3. Prescription Drug Plan 4. Mammogram 5. Improved Functional Status 6. Solid Post Transplant Caregiver and Transportation Plan 7. Be Switched to Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin Treatment The first was easy-they had it scheduled and I showed up. I will tell you the stress test was unique. You always see people running on a treadmill, and I was anxious. Instead, they do a chemical stress test. Your chest feels like it's about to explode but you are ready to run a marathon. They took scans afterward in a new machine I had never used. It was a close fit. Then an EKG (how many damn EKGs do I need?). The second at first seemed to step over the boundaries. But the goal of the psychotherapy clearance was to ensure I was in sound mind to go through with the transplant. It also lets them know if I am good at taking my medications because they are gonna throw a lot at me. The third one was insurance. I'm gonna leave that one to last. The fourth was my annual mammogram. At first, they were like you're too young. But then I told them that I have fatty tissue so I had a mammogram once a year and then also an MRI. Damn, I could have missed a step-but, not my luck. This was simple to get done though. The fifth one is the exercise requirements. I am using a fitness tracker and walk most every day. I've started some exercises for when I can't walk. I have been keeping a journal so I can show them when I go back. I've hit over 5,000 steps but those days kill me. I'm at an average of over 4,000. I have been walking close to the time period asked (10-15) minutes. So I am proud of that, The aerobics is where they want but the steps are not. Six was weird. They were concerned because I only had my mom to care for me. But I had already told them my boyfriend was coming down to take care of me. When I talked to the social worker after this we worked it and she called the people on my list. So check mark on this one. Seven ties back into 3. It's all about insurance. My insurance is a freaking paradox. The medical side is wonderful. I'll owe only $300 for the surgery itself. But when we get to the medical card, that's when we are in a mess. It's a point-of-pay policy. I pay everything upfront and then they reimburse me—at some point. This is why the third listing is an issue. I am supposed t be on subcutaneous immunoglobulin because of my kidneys. But because I would administer it myself they move it to my prescription side. The for one treatment? $8,000. So now I get IVIG twice a month at a smaller dose. Because a nurse administered the IVIG my medical side covers it. My work can't help me with a new medical card, nor can my current insurance. I am not optimistic. As of this writing, all but three and seven are being addressed. I am going to call an insurance agent and see if I can get a supplemental medical card. If I can do that, I get my item ticked off and get my kidney safe sub-q. While I am frustrated with insurance, I've kept rather cheery mentally. I work on positive thinking, meditation, and the right kind of anxiety medicine for me. Do I still get scared? Yes, but I have a support system there to help me when I fall into fear. I am hoping by next month I can tell you everything on The List is taken care of.

Audrey Elaine Adamson

Instagram: @spoononthewall


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