Chicago Islet Transplant Meeting

In typical style all plans have been changed and updated. I had barely gotten all my local doctor appointments made when the plans had to change. I got a call Thursday from the transplant program coordinator and she wanted to know if I could come up on Friday to meet with the Doctor and the coordination team for my “interview”. It would move me up 6 weeks in the process and get the final approval’s out of the way!!

I said “YES” (after discussing it with my boss…)

With no real time to plan or process, I borrowed my sister’s car and asked RotKnee to walk HIS BEST GIRL, Lucy, for me on Friday. I would drive up in the morning, have my appointments, and then drive back that night. Yes, make it all happen in ONE day. I did it.

After going through the entire Research Study Disclosures, Consents and HIPAA forms (which took an hour), I met with Dr. Oberholzer. He interviews the subjects to see if they are psychologically, physically, and intellectually prepared to make the decision to join the study. He also is the final approval for acceptance into the study. He Has to Approve of ME. He did. We finalized the signatures on the approval forms and he gave me directions on what he expected of me.

His main expectation is - Weight loss. I am to eliminate the bicycle riding (at least don’t count it in the exercise) and walk for over 40 minutes a day EVERY day. Before my first blood work can be done, they want me to lose 5 lbs. That should be easy to do by April 24th… YES, April 24th.

I plan on going up on Thursday night and staying in Chicago so that I can arrive Friday morning fasting for the blood work. After that, I must have 3 more visits for blood work before I am put on the transplant list. Phew. It will be tons of work. The five hour drive to Chicago, finding a place to stay that won’t cost me all my appendages, and then the five hour drive back to Quincy. Herein lies my personal problems…

  1. My car is 15 years old with 150,000 miles on it. While it drives well, I am not really sure how long it would last making 600 mile round trips to Chicago every Thursday night… I also can’t just keep putting miles on my sister’s car. She is nice and kind but it would get kinda old, quick.

  2. Where to stay that is close to the U of I Medical Center but not right in that neighborhood… It is kinda scary… It would be nice to know someone with a guest house or apartment in the Chicago area that doesn’t mind an occasional guest.

  3. Lucy. She would have to go with me and RotKnee sometimes. She LOVES car rides but I am not sure the hotels there would be dog friendly.

Last but not least.
4. My job. So far Titan and my bosses are behind me 100% and have been super generous with time off or sick time. With the economy instability… not sure how long their generosity will last. or could last.

I got a couple of positive things going for me. RotKnee is totally supportive and encouraging. He will be a great asset in my decision making processes. My savings has recently been boosted back up with repayment to me of money loaned. My sister and her kids live close by and would be helpful with Lucy and the house.


ameriasuites hotel in the western suburbs / Lombard area are relatively inexpensive as far as hotels go in Chicago area. you’ll have to drive into the city for you appointments and make sure you either leave early enough to avoid traffic or plan to be on the highway 45min or so. UIC is pretty good about giving parking stickers to people in the study so you wont have to pay outrageous parking fees.

I usually take amtrak to Union Station and stay downtown at Hostel International Chicago. I like the hostel, most people seem intimidated by it but its in a nice area downtown, near the art museums and theatre district and close to the pink line el (library station) which will take you to the polk station directly behind UIC. :slight_smile:

When I had my transplant i stayed in the western suburbs at an extended stay hotel,they have a kitchen, which made meals more affordable and they allow pets for an additional 15dollars a night so I brought my birds with me.

if you need any info about hotels etc, Joan and Lee both are great resources and feel free to email me too.

How did you like Dr. O? He’s one of the best doctor’s I’ve encountered. He’s incredibly thorough and listens to his patients concerns. geh, anyway, I know I’m biased on the whole UIC thing but I have good reason. lol

good luck! emaill me if you have questions.

Dr. O is really way more than a doctor. I think he even listened to me talk… I am worried about hotels and would love to take my dog. You would think there would be a program to help the patients and their families that have to stay at uic for longer terms than normal.

Ok, wow! I’m so excited for you and nervous for me! I am going soon for my first set of bloodwork. I wonder if I’ll have to lose weight - they haven’t said anything about it but I am afraid that I will need to. I also need to get my a1c down a little. OOOh I’m soo nervous!

sami i dont think weight is too much of a prob it just means you may need more islet cells thats why they say you should be a certian bmi I understand that they would like to do it with one transplant rather than 2 or 3