Then we started the transplant procedure. This is when you meet with the transplant doctor and then have to  go through a whole group of tests. One of the times I was in the hospital  a very nice hospital doctor heard that we were in the process of trying for a transplant. He was filling in for my doctor who was on vacation. Since he was part of the Miami transplant team he told us to contact the hospital we wanted to go to and get a list of tests we would need. My wife called the hospital and got the list.  He then ordered them all done for us while I was in the hospital. Some of these tests were very easy like blood test and blood pressure. Then there were other tests like the stress test and MRIs. Then there were the really bad tests, that was the upper and lower G.I. track. Or in other words and they look down your throat and up your rectum.This is done with the camera on a long feed both ways.  I heard they do this for most operations.

The  hospital where I was to get my transplant suggested that I have my Advanced Directives filled out.  Luckily, My wife doesn’t wait and she fill out my Living Will, Medical Surrogate and Power of Attorney at this time.  The Living Will listed out my wishes in case of a worst case situation happened.  The Medical Surrogate let the hospital know that my spouse was to make my medical decisions for me if I could not.  It also told them that if they could not contact my wife that my adult daughter would make my decisions. This would turn out to be a very important thing for me to have after the transplant operation.  You’ll find out why after the operation. Both the Living Will and the Medical Surrogate papers were available right at the hospital.  After everything we went through, my wife now recommends EVERYONE have whatever Advance Directives are available to you in your state.  You do not want to be at the mercy of whatever the doctors or hospital decide is best for you.

The only other thing you need for the transplant operation is insurance. You will give them all your insurance information  and they will then confirm it. This is when they tell you of the cost of the operation. Before you recover from hearing what the operation costs, they then will tell you of the cost of the medicine you’ll be taking for the rest of your life. All these costs are based on the best case scenario. So again that did not work out in my case and mine were much higher. Luckily my wife’s insurance was very understanding and took care of the extra expenses. If you lived through seeing what the costs will be in you should be okay with the operation.  They did tell us that you do not need to have insurance that covers the cost of the surgery but you must have a certain percentage of the cost set aside before they will put you on the transplant list.  I have no idea how someone without insurance could even begin to start this process.