Sunday, April 28, 2019

Transplant Surgery

Well, I can't believe it's been two years since I have posted on my blog. Life has just generally got in the way of that. Well, let me update. May 29, 2018 we took a job as Houseparents at The North Alabama Christian Childrens Home located in Florence, Alabama. We take care of 6 foster children in the home. We live in the home with them 24/7. It is such a rewarding job. Most of the time, it doesn't even feel like a job. Some times, it can be difficult. But, those times are few and far between. We never could have any children of our own so the setup works very well for us. The houseparents that don't work out so well, are the ones who have children of their own usually. We have made it a year next month and we can't see ourselves going anywhere for several years down the road.

DeWayne has continued to be on dialysis for the last 8 years. He had gotten listed at Vanderbilt Transplant Center 8 years ago. In 2016, he was placed on medical hold due to his prostate surgery. He had continued to be under the care of a urologist. He was finally released from the urologist this February. He was reactivated on the transplant list this March. Last Thursday, April 18th he received a call from a Transplant Coordinator around noon. She said they had a potential donor that the family was going to take care away from their loved one. They said that if DeWayne was a match, would he accept the transplant. She said it was a unique situation due to being a cardiac death. She said that meant when the family decided to end the life, the patient would have to be taken to the OR and life support taken away. If the patient died before 60 minutes was up, then the kidney would be viable. If not, then it wouldn't. So, it was just a wait and see. We were already planning on leaving the next day for Nashville for the weekend. But, they needed him at the clinic for blood work by 5pm. We left our house with the kids at 2pm. We made it to the clinic with 15 minutes to spare. He did the lab work and then called the Transplant Coordinator to see what the next step was. She said don't go home. We were to just stay in Nashville until we heard something else from her. We were coming to Nashville for a youth leadership conference called Lads to Leaders. It was being held at The Opryland Hotel. So, we already had rooms to stay in. About an hour later, we arrived at the hotel. We checked into our rooms to just wait till we got a call. About 10pm, we had already had dinner and settled back into our room. Around 11:30 that night, DeWayne received a call from the Coordinator that said he was a MATCH! We both had already had an ambien. When she called, I was already asleep. DeWayne had not, he was just nervous to even hope I think. But, the adrenaline kicked in. I started packing back what I had unpacked. We got several of the kids, houseparents, youth minister and his wife up and we had prayer before we left. After several hugs and well wishes, we left within 30 minutes. We made it to the hospital about 12:30 am. They started his workup including blood work, chest x-ray and ekg. They did a dialysis treatment on his also. Around 2 am, I fell asleep on the top of the soiled linen cart. At that point, I told him I am going out to the waiting room to try and get some sleep. I pulled two chairs together to sleep. Surprisingly, it worked. The nurse came and woke me up at 6:30 am, to say they had moved him to another room. I went in to check on him and the surgeon had come in. She said, they were taking him to surgery at 8 am. Our preacher, Adam came to the hospital about 9 am. He just came to wait with me during the surgery. That meant more to me than I think he will ever realize. At around 10:30, Dr Forbes his transplant surgeon came out to talk to me. She said the surgery went great. She told me up front that she thought the kidney would be slow about waking up. She said that was the difference with a cardiac death. He did great with his recovery while in the hospital. He did have to have one unit of blood to get his counts up. His pain was minimal. He got up the night of surgery and started walking the halls. The kidney just had not started working 100% due to being slow of waking up. They did an ultrasound to test the blood flow. It was excellent. Before the surgery, DeWayne might have urinated about 100ml daily. Immediately, after surgery he was making a liter of urine. So, those two things proved to the doctors that the surgery was a success. So, it was just a waiting game. The kidney doctors said, until the kidney kicked in completely he would need to do a dialysis treatment every other day. That would keep his electrolytes balanced out. So, he got discharged on Thursday, April 25th to go home. He just had to get lab work at home on Saturday and they would fax them to Vanderbilt. He also had his first clinic visit scheduled for Tuesday, April 30th. They told us he would have one clinic visit per week for the first six weeks. The ride home was very rough. He had a lot of swelling. I attributed that to just the ride and sitting up for two hours. When we got home, I set up his dialysis and he got hooked up thinking it would help with the extra fluid he had on. He did fair the next day. We got up early on Saturday morning for him to go get his lab work done. He was so very weak that morning. I was afraid that his blood counts might be low. I just didn't expect it to be that low. When his Transplant Coordinator called me around 1 pm, she said you need to get back to Vanderbilt. She said Dewayne had to be admitted to receive some blood. Also, they would try to investigate where the blood loss was coming from. I felt terrible about waking him up. But, I knew Nashville was the best place for him to be. So, we got back to the hospital about 5:15 pm. He got admitted about 5:30 pm. So, today he is feeling so much better after that unit of blood. Plus, the dialysis treatment he received helped too. It got two liters of fluid off of him too. So, when all the doctors came in this morning, they said they were going to keep him until they could find a balance for him with the fluid. Plus, make sure to investigate the blood loss. So, I am missing days of work but that is okay. DeWayne is my number one priority. We have extra help at the home to help with the boys. So, getting him well is what is important right now.

I will do my best to update when I get more news. I want to take this blog in the direction of my daily life and that includes my life as a foster mom and updates on DeWayne. That will include the good and the bad.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Gundy the Bear

Most of us as a child, had a blanket or a stuffed animal that psychologists term as a "transitional object". A transitional object is something that children cling to that makes them feel safe and secure. Some people feel that it is a bridge gap between the mother and the child. My object was a Gund bear that I named Gundy. I know very original, huh? Gundy was bought by my parents when I was about 9 months old on my first trip to Walt Disney World.

I carried Gundy everywhere I went up until about the age of 10. My most memorable memory I have with Gundy was on my second trip to Walt Disney World. I was six years old. The morning we left heading home, we had been gone from the hotel for about 30 minutes. I started looking frantically in the car for Gundy. He was nowhere to be found. My dad turned the car around and we drove back to the hotel. As I am wailing in the car, my dad walks back into the hotel and speaks to the manager. They walked back to our room, which of course the linens had already been pulled out and sent to the laundry. The manager took our information and promised my dad that if he was found, he would mail Gundy to us. I was so distraught, I just knew I would never see him again. I thought Gundy would be so lonesome without me. But, what I really knew deep down was that I was lost without him. About two weeks later, who shows up in the mailbox...that's right Gundy had made his way home and was safe at last. Now, that's what I call customer service!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Beauty and The Beast

This seems to be the most watched trailer of the week with over 127 million views. Of course, everyone watches this with memories of seeing the animated version years ago. Except me...I hate animated movies. Well, let me rephrase that I hate the animated movies after the 80's. Give me Fox and The Hound and I can watch it 2 or 3 times a day. But, I did break down and watch this trailer a couple of days ago. I actually liked it. I probably won't see it in the theatre but I see the attraction of the story now.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

General Update

I haven't posted in well over a year. Life has been hectic beyond belief. I started a new job last October. I went to work for a local consignment shop. The name of it is Frugal Frog Consignment & Boutique in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. I loved working there but my feet revolted. Saturday, October 29th was my last day there.  I have neuropathy, stress fractures, gout and arthritis. So, sometimes it's a wonder that I even get out of bed. I have discovered the Wellpatch Medicated Menthol Backache pain patches. I cut them in half and place on my feet before I go to bed. They work wonders. 

My husband, DeWayne had prostate surgery in January 2016. Then, in July he had hernia surgery. So, dealing with his health issues on top of him still being on dialysis it has been a busy year so far. 

Now, the holidays are creeping back up on us. So, busy time approaches again. But, now that I am not working I will have more time to devote to the blog again. See you soon!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day

Father's Day means many things to different people. For my husband and I, it isn't a great day. Neither one of us have our fathers. Usually when you've lost a loved one, most couples have become parents themselves. So, it brings some joy back into their lives that they can celebrate the day with their kids. For those of us that never were able to celebrate the joy of parenthood, it is a hard day! But, as time passes you learn to celebrate the memories you had with your dad and make peace with it that way. Unfortunately, some never are able to make peace with the loss.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Jurassic World Craze

All the craze this past weekend was Jurassic World starring Chris Pratt. It grossed over 208.8 million at the North American box office this weekend. That is more than The Avengers (2012). I actually watched it at home streaming it unofficially. It was good but I don't get all the craze about it. It's just an updated version of Jurassic Park with a sub story in it that the original didn't have.  It did make me want to see the original one again. I won't give any spoilers for those who haven't seen it yet.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Bacon Wrapped Potatoes

I posted this picture on Facebook but was too tired to post on the blog. So, these make it on tonight instead. These are simply Bacon Wrapped New Potatoes.

24 new baby potatoes, washed
12 slices bacon, cut in half

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Take a bacon slice and wrap it around the potato, secure tightly.
3. Cook at 425 degrees for 45 minutes.
4. Voila!