Well, today I had my first set of tests at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton. I went for a blood test first; the nurse asked me who I was donating a kidney to, and I told her I was just hoping I could give one, I didn’t know who it would go to. “Aren’t you a lovely soul!” she said. She took a couple of vials of blood, and sent me on my way. As I left she said, “I hope you get what you want.”
Next I went to meet the transplant co-ordinator, who I had talked to on the phone. She was very nice, and she had me answer a very detailed set of health questions. There were many I expected, about international travel and sexual practices. I was surprised to be asked whether I had ever been in contact with a bat; I hadn’t thought about the risk of rabies!
The glomerular test happens in the nuclear medicine department. It consists of them injecting a small amount of radioactive fluid into my bloodstream. It just looked like clear fluid, and I couldn’t feel it at all when it was injected. The nurse explained that glomeruli filter my blood, and by putting a radioactive substance in my bloodstream, and then measuring my blood, at two, three and four hour periods, they can tell how effectively my kidney is working. So no urine test is involved with this. Apparently it’s quite a small amount of radioactive substance; 1/20 of the amount they would give me for a bone scan. It has a six hour half-life, and she said since I am peeing it out, it will be almost all gone by tomorrow.