Tuesday, November 9, 2010

UC Davis visit

Yesterday we went to UC Davis to get a second opinion for transplant and meet with the transplant team at UC Davis. We have heard nothing but good things about them. We didn't know what to expect at UC Davis, we had no expectations either except we thought it would be very similar to Stanford. We were wrong on that count.

We sat through another transplant education meeting. The only thing we learned is that UC Davis goes on the match system and Stanford goes by time on the list. UC Davis will call you when it is a match regardless of where you are on the list. Stanford will do that also but it is factored with wait time also, someone with a higher wait time will get first chance.  Really that means we have high time at Stanford but Davis could call sooner if there is a good match. The educator said Marty's paperwork was messed up and they had no clue we were there for Kidney/Pancreas evaluation.

We met with the social worker and got cleared by him. Next we met with the transplant nephrologist and that is when the confusion set in. The whole time we were there each person pushed for us to find a living donor, I guess most of their program is based on living donor transplants. We have never looked for a donor since Stanford said cadaver donor was the best option for us. If Marty gets a kidney from a living donor, he would have to have another transplant surgery for the pancreas. Two major surgeries isn't really a good option for a diabetic. Stanford was the one who pushed for us to get pancreas/kidney saying it was the best option for him. Davis wanted to know why we wanted that option? They don't do many kidney/pancreas transplants there, most living donor kidney transplants. He told us the chances for K/P transplant are getting rare since mostly pancreas come from accidently or sudden death.

  Long story short, he basically tried to talk us out of K/P transplant and Stanford wants him to get K/P. So who is right? What is best? What is the purpose in this? Also, the transplant doctor suggested Marty lose twenty pounds, he asked why Stanford hadn't suggested that? Marty has lost weight since going to Stanford because he went on dialysis, he has lost twenty pounds. Marty only has been heavy since his kidney's have failed and with the renal diet eats far less than normal. He will try to lose weight but even eating less he has been maintaining. Also he is carrying about 35 pounds of extra fluid everyday. We have weighed his exchanges from one day and that is what they weighed.

We left feeling very confused. Who is right? what should we do? Why did we have to go to Davis to hear that? They were nice there but seemed very resistant to what we have been told. The said a living donor kidney lasts longer. Marty's dad got a kidney from his sister Sheila and it lasted the same amount of time we have been told a donor kidney lasts. Marty's dad didn't get a pancreas and his outcome wasn't good long term. So we have always agreed getting a pancreas would be the best.

We want to honor God and do what he wants us to do. We want to go where there is the best care possible and get the best treatment. So we don't know what to do. To us it seems pretty clear Stanford seems to be the best option for us. We just can't speed up the timing of God. He has the perfect plan and only he can fix things. We are still going to do the blood work and get the final opinion from Davis, but it seems like more hassle than it's worth.