November 12, 2020 – Transitioning to Kaiser

I thought I had until July, but apparently not. My mom got a call and said that now, now is when the transition happens.

Now that I’m 18, I can’t be going to Lucile Packard anymore. My insurance is from Kaiser, and the only reason I had my heart transplant at Lucile Packard instead of at Kaiser was because they didn’t have a pediatric heart transplant program. It’s really abrupt; my doctors at Lucile Packard say that their patients usually stay with them a few years until they’re in their mid-20s and then transfer to the adult program. For Kaiser, they have their patients transition to the adult program right after they turn 18.

I did have a voice in this, though. I’ve told my parents to not switch insurances. They gave me an option to switch from Kaiser to another provider that would allow me to stay with Lucile Packard and I said no. I just feel that this is something I have to do if I want to become a full-functioning member of society. I can’t really stay a kid forever and in the same way, I can’t keep going to a children’s hospital until my mid-20s. My doctors also told me I’ve matured a lot more than other patients and am ready for the transition. I memorized my medications, I receive my medications, I take care of my health, and I understand the importance of my transplant.

All said, I feel scared. Like I’m becoming an adult now and I’m not ready. I think this is normal for teenagers to feel but I’m going to miss my time at Lucile Packard, as weird as that sounds. Even staying in the hospital and looking outside the window is a memory. I’ll miss my doctors, anesthesiologists, nurses, and caretakers that were so nice to me. I’ve been with these doctors my whole life. I feel as if I’m breaking off from my childhood even if it’s not that big of a deal.

I think this is more than just care providers, this is growing up. I’m in college and whether I transfer this year or the next is also something new. I’m still in shock so I don’t know. I’m pretty sure I have a chance to say goodbye to my doctors but I’m going to send them an email. As for my anesthesiologists, nurses, and other caretakers, thank you so much! I hope you have a wonderful time in the future!