The night that wasn’t

Well, it was the night that wasn’t ….

We learned a lot one our dry run.  First, there is no pizza place open in Chicago at 4:30 AM but the Cinnabon guys are taking their freshly baked goods out of the oven, which at 4:30 AM is better for you.

I understand there is always a 10-20% chance that the liver isn’t “good enough”, and in my case apparently the blood vessels on the donor organ were not as pliable as they like — so it went back into the organ bank for distribution.  Once NMH had a patient that had eight dry runs!  I bet he was very good at preparation.

The process is very impressive.  They’ve got their protocols and these guys know what they are doing.  From the time I walked into the door it was a finely tuned process – like an orchestra.  Nothing is left for error.  The nurses are very sharp and know their stuff.  It reminds of a checklist for a Citation X.

SO- we walked home and un-did the family process.  We got Dean and Vickie to ORD in time to greet the tropical storm that hit San Antonio, Ann and Will got back to their gig, Vanessa drove back  to St. Norbert for classes, and Rob and Laurie got to the passport agency by the time it opened. (Plug for Swift Passport Services – www.swiftpassportservices.com)

To memorialize our evening we shot a picture of the participants.  From the left to right – Rob, Vanessa, Laurie, Dan, Nancy, Vickie, Dean, and my nurse.  Annie and Will had not arrived when the photo was shot.

As I said before, we were blessed and very grateful to have our friends Dean and Vickie with us.  Dean has his own version of events in his blog at http://deanrush.com/ .  I haven’t read his book yet as the release date is next week, but I ordered a bunch of copies to give away.  He has been an inspiration to many.

I have received notes and E-Mails from a lot of folks.  in the first  hour I think we heard from  all  continents.  I thank you all.  I have been asked  several times – “what can I do to help?” — and my answer is —  please make sure you are an organ donor.  In a earlier blog I told you about a woman with three kids that had only a couple of weeks to live.  That was a month ago and she got a liver and now is back home with her family.  Every day counts…

As for me, I have been busy at the office and plan on being normal. I’ll  just wait for the next call — the fork in the road — and I’ll take it.

5 Responses to “The night that wasn’t”

  1. 1 janell
    September 10, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Yes, now you know the drill. You’ll be more nonchalant the second time and expect to go home untransplanted. That’s when it will really happen. Funny, it’s getting hard to remember all that happened the day of my surgery. Wish I had kept more detailed notes.

    Still praying for you and the family.


  2. September 10, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Your words are very kind and comforting to those of us who are in your corner. Thanks for sharing.

  3. 3 Michael Stern
    September 10, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Practice makes perfect… and only a perfect liver will do for you my friend.

    You’re always in our thoughts.

    Michael and Karen

  4. 4 Barb
    September 12, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    I feel your disappointment. I did not have to go through that going home stage. It will happen. Keep up the great attitude. Super pic!

  5. 5 Keephoping
    September 23, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Keep staying positive. My dad had a false alarm a few months back when he was in good shape. He luckily just got a transplant at another Chicago hospital a few weeks ago and was near death. His MELD score went from the teens to 40 in a week. He is doing great!!! It will come in time and it will be worth the wait for a good liver. It was for us.

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