Do you have any questions?

Every transplant team member that I spoke with at Ochsner Medical Center asked me this question during the pre operative appointments that I had on Tuesday, August 22.  They asked again on the following Monday morning prior to starting the process of prepping for surgery.  Each time I would give them the same answer.  No, I did not have any questions.

Let’s start at the beginning.  In an earlier blog post, Giving Back, I introduced you to some of my closest friends.  I wrote about how I had the immense honor to be a match as a kidney donor for one of those friends.  Learning that your are a match as a donor, however, is only the beginning.

After that comes two days of intensive testing.  Blood tests, specimen samples, heart tests, stress tests, kidney scans, an MRI, and my favorite -psychological testing.  Who knew that there were so many ways to ask if the voices in your head were telling you what to do? Upon completion of these tests, you get to meet the transplant team. Each of these professionals specialize in something different, and all of them gave us lots of information.  Do you have any questions, they would ask.  Maybe I should have!

Clear Communication

It was all worth it when we received the news that I am not only physically healthy, I am also mentally sound. Surgery was scheduled, reschedule, and rescheduled again. Each change and every conversation ended with one query, do you have any questions? And still my answer was no.

I never had a question, because the entire Ochsner team was absolutely meticulous with keeping us informed of what was happening, what could happen, and how they would handle each and every contingency.  Every communication was an opportunity to have an in depth conversation about what could be expected.

The team worked hard to address every aspect of the kidney donation process.

They understood that each of them played an important role in keeping the patients informed and updated.

They delivered a quality of care that we would all do well to emulate.

Do you have any questions?