Today, it was back to reality with a visit to the Austin Hospital for Jas’s regular transplant checkup.
Over the many years we have been going into the unit…first as pre-transplant, now thankfully post transplant…we have developed a routine, and learnt a few tricks to survive clinic and be out before lunch!
First trick…we get there early…as close to 7.30am as we can….
The hospital has a system where you swipe your Medicare card, and you get a printed number…but then you also have to go straight to Clinic 5 to “sign in” and let them know you are here.
By getting there early, you have more chance of being near the top of the “running list”….it does depends on a few other factors, but it helps!
Once that is all sorted, you get called up by one of the Liver Unit Co-ordinators…Jas is weighed first, then they ask how he has been, how he is feeling, discuss any of the results from recent blood tests, and if he needs to have any further tests done.
Then you sit and wait…the doctors/surgeons usually arrive from about 8.30am….so its a good time to sneak off to grab a cup of tea.
The day always ends up being longer if Jas has to also go to have blood tests at Pathology…luckily he didn’t have to today as they were short staffed, and other transplant patients were reporting that there was a very long wait….
So there is usually a bit of time to fill in…thank goodness for the invention of the ipad!!
When your number finally comes up on the screen, you can then head off down the corridor to see your allocated doctor or surgeon. It is pot luck who you see, and depends on what day you go, who is available, and who may be doing a transplant at the time…we saw one of our favourites today, which is always good!
After all the waiting, appointments are usually 15 mins or so depending on what needs to be discussed…and the good news is Jas is still doing fine…his blood results are good and he is feeling well!
Next appointment is in three months!
Then its time to go to the pharmacy, for another wait…and time for yet another cup of tea!
If you wondered what keeps this particular liver transplant patient alive and well, check out his med he needs till the next appointment…
In the past, sitting in the waiting room used to be quite social for us, but now the familiar faces are being replaced by new recipients…
Today, we met a young girl with her mum….she had a transplant only a week ago…and in contrast to Jas’s 20 years of liver disease, and fourteen months on the waiting list, she went from healthy to transplant in approximately a month…a very scary journery for her and her family.
But it is always so good to see patients who are now in post transplant…it means that they have made it through transplant, and are hopefully on the road back to good health!
But as we walked down the corridor to the clinic this morning, it struck me as being somewhat ironic that that particular corridor leads to the Olivia Newton John Wellness Centre….a cancer centre..
The irony is that tomorrow we will visit another hospital, and walk down another corridor to another clinic…this time for my Thyroid Cancer…
Unlike the familiar surroundings and staff at the Austin, we have no idea what to expect…fingers crossed that this next hospital doesn’t become a regular destination…one is enough!