The Meaning of Life: Part Five: Live Organ Transplants. [ding dong]

The Meaning of Life: Part Five: Live Organ Transplants. [ding dong]

MR. BROWN: [cough] Don’t worry, dear! I’ll get it! [cough]
[ding dong ding dong]
[ding dong ding dong]
MR. BROWN: Yes?
MAN: Hello. Uhh, can we have your liver?

(in case you miss the context (or miss a good laugh) click here.)

My folks e-mailed me a DSS file (ain’t the internet wonderful?!) of a message left on their machine. Back in '94 I saw an ad pleading for help - someone needed a bone marrow transplant. I matched the general description (ancestry, etc.) signed up, had a few glasses of blood drawn and forgot about it. They sent me a nice note saying I wasn’t a match at the moment, but would I mind if they kept my information in a database? Sure, said I, here are my parent’s phone numbers (much less likely to move) they’ll know where to reach me. Hence, the DSS file.

Who knows what about the procedure? I can find lots and lots of links geared toward the recipient, but very little for the donor. One site said they put needles (AAAAAAAAHHHHH!) into the back of your pelvis. Back in '94 someone gave me the impression that they went into your thigh. Either way, they have to get inside my bone and root around with a melon baller.

I can handle some pretty uncomfortable camping experiences, but I dread doctor’s and their lies… I can barely stand to have my ears cleaned out. (I would make a lousy spy, 'cause I wouldn’t hold up to the slightest hint of torture). So I guess any pretense of being a manly-man is out, I’ll accept condemnation as a sissy-boy, and ask "how bad does it really hurt?

I know I will get lots of information when I call Monday, but that is sooo far away and I am a bit on edge. Any anecdotes / personal knowledge you may have will put my mind to great ease. Is the donor typically expected to pay for anything? Does insurance cover anything? If the recipient is in Kalamazoo (I sure hope so, I love saying Kalamazoo) do I have to travel there, does s/he come here, or can a doc here send it there via UPS? I know MMWV, but any background information or links geared towards the donor you can share will be greatly appreciate.

Oh yeah, and what questions should I ask when I call. I’m sure they’ll have a shpeal ready when I call, but what should I make sure I find out. Thanks!!
Rhythmdvl

Google. “Bone marrow donor procedure”.

Hit #1.
http://www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/1201.html

Hit #2. Scroll way down.
http://www.oncolink.upenn.edu/specialty/med_onc/bmt/basics/bmt_4.html

Hit #3.
http://www.oncolink.upenn.edu/specialty/med_onc/bmt/basics/bmt_1.html

Good luck, you’ll need it–you should see the SIZE of the needle…heh heh heh… [insert evil grin emoticon]

Naw, just kidding. And it doesn’t involve a melon baller, either (who WERE you talking to?), just a big needle. General anesthesia–mostly they need to make sure you lie still, so knocking you out is the first choice. You’ll have skin punctures and a big bruise where they put the needle in (one site describes it as being like what you’d get after falling on ice), and you stay in the hospital overnight, mainly because of possible side effects from the anesthesia, not because you’re too crippled to move.

Whether you’ll have to travel depends on what kind of transplant it is. In one kind they take it right down the hall and pump it into the recipient, in the other kind they freeze what they get and deliver it later. Dunno about the insurance and payment ramifications. You’ll have to find that out yourself, I guess.

And BTW, it’s a “spiel”, pronounced “shpeel”. :slight_smile:

If you’re really afraid of the procedure, when they come to ask you for your bone marrow, just say “But…I’m using it!”