Sunday, February 8, 2009

Can't Remember What the Doc Says? Get it on Tape

When I was being evaluated for the liver transplant waiting list, my husband and I visited my transplant center for two days of poking, prodding, scanning, mental evaluation and consultation with a transplant surgeon. Needless to say, the experience was exhausting and when we finally met with the surgeon, Gene and I were mentally spent. Yet the appointment was key for us, because the surgeon was going to share essential transplant information - statistics, short- and long-term health issues, details about donor selection and matching, and more.

My husband is the "memory" in our family (he recalls things verbatim; remembering is NOT my gift); however, given the schedule and our stress level, Gene was uncertain how much he would recall from this critical meeting. Since we couldn't rely on our own ability to recall, we decided to take a micro-cassette recorder with us - it was one of the best decisions we made throughout this experience.

As it turned out, we spent about 45 minutes with the surgeon, who happened to be the head of the liver transplant surgical team (it was our good fortune that he was in clinic that day). We asked permission to tape the conversation and he agreed, so we were able to record not only what he said, but our questions and his answers.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Ask permission before you tape the conversation. There may be legal ramifications if you don't; plus, it's just creepy and wrong. Keep your karma positive because your life is going to be in their hands!

We've listened to our recorded meeting many times, both before AND after my transplant, and pick up something new each time. My liver disease-fogged brain couldn't (and still can't) retain it all. If you don't own a micro-cassette player and can't borrow one, a new one with tapes will cost around $40. It's money very well spent.


pixie said...

Good advice...Also write down any questions to the lead up of many times I forget what to ask...
I was a geno 1b and have cleared the virus, my husband who I met online is a 1a, he is now doing his second round of tx, this time will complete 72 weeks, so fingers crossed he will clear....Could you add the HepC forum we run as a link on your page.?..we only started over a year ago and have 700 members from all over the world seeking support...

the address is

You keep well now, kind regards ChrissyX


Jay, I have read over many of your post and you have educated me in a lot different areas. Thank you so much. I can also relate to many of the things you have written about. I look forward to reading more of your post.
I hope you are doing well and are healthy. Beaux