Friday, February 3, 2012

The Waiting

Kate wrote today about a synopsis of our week was like, and you might be thinking to yourself, well the surgery only got delayed a week why is it so frustrating.  As you read this you will realize where the frustration comes from, also you need to remember that to this point we haven’t told my work yet, and we haven’t gone public with the news.  So for most of you, you have only known about the donation for a couple of months.

Back to the story: December 2011
After Ashley’s insurance approved her we were contacted by the UNC coordinators and they informed me that we would need to go through with the colonoscopy and endoscopy.  To be honest I was trying to get around having to do this, I wasn’t particularly excited about it, and as a man it is something you grow up dreading the thought of.  There is one other problem with this though, UNC knew they were going to make me have this test since June, I asked them on multiple occasions if I should get this done while we had time, and they told me not to do it, they could make it happen quickly when it was time (I honestly wasn’t sure what that meant, I thought maybe they would do it when I went back up there).  But it meant for me to go back to Dr. Gilbert and schedule an appt with a local Gastroenterologist.
Well I don’t know how many of you have had to setup one of these appointments but they don’t take you next day, so I had to go meet with Dr. Gilbert so he could get me a referral to Dr. Niemark. The first available appointment they had was on Dec. 14th, which to be honest seemed fairly quick to me, however this was just to meet him and schedule the procedure at a later date. 
At this point I guess I should mention that for my Tuesday night men’s group we had been reading a book called the mystery of marriage (make your own joke).  I brought the book with me to do some studying and make some notes while I was waiting. Dr. Niemark was an incredibly nice man and when he found out what I was doing he was very interested and immediately suggests that they would waive my co-pay.  It was a huge blessing and totally unexpected but very much appreciated.  This also was the first Dr. appt. where I sat in an actual doctor’s office to discuss what was going on. 
When he walked me down to the examining room I put the book down on the table, he noticed it and remarked that marriage really was a mystery and he asked if he could have it when I was done with it. Kate and I have gone back and forth on this, she says I should have given him the book right then and there, but the copy that I had with me was my copy for the bible study, I had already read it and highlighted all the important points so I couldn’t give it to him. 
We Scheduled the Colonoscopy/Endoscopy for Dec. 21st which 3 of my appointments have been on, including my nephrologist appt. in January and now the surgery is scheduled for that date as well so maybe it is a sign.  He told me that they would do everything they could to make sure that insurance would cover as much as possible; since I was so young he thought insurance might decline to cover the procedure.
Now a colonoscopy itself is not that big a deal, they knock you out for it so you don’t feel anything (this would be the first time I was ever put under) it is the preparation that is the bad part.  My preparation involved something called citrus nitrate you buy it in a 14oz bottle it tastes like cough medicine, followed by 64 ounces of Gatorade mixed with miralax over 2 hours.  Basically you spend a whole night on the toilet, the only redeeming fact is you really aren’t allowed to eat anything the day before so there aren’t many solids coming out; my only piece of advice is to make sure you get the moist toilet wipes, they are a life saver.
The next day Kate took me to the office because you can’t drive home and we waited to go in the room.  It was also my first experience in a hospital gown, which for this particular procedure make perfect sense.  I heard one guy come out and the doctor said everything looked good but there was still some stool so they couldn’t see everything (I thought to myself that guy really didn’t do the prep right cause there is no way there could be anything left in there).   
They rolled me into the room, turned me on my side, told me to take a deep breath and I woke up in another room. (i was going to post the pictures but Kate said that was just wrong) It is crazy what they can do to you without you knowing, when Dr. Niemark came out to check on me I gave him a copy of the book (you didn’t think I would forget did you?) which he appreciated and when we got the bill several weeks later he had written of $140 dollars of the charges.  What an amazing blessing.
All of the tests  from the procedures came back negative and we were once again cleared to donate at least that’s what we thought, but there is always more to the story.

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