Monday, March 31, 2008
It was Dave's last service before his sabbatical, so everybody was there to see him off. As she was welcoming everyone, Heather announced that she had seen Gail and me come into the sanctuary, and that we were back for the first time after Gail's successful kidney and pancreas transplant. The room filled with the sound of people clapping, and then they started stomping their feet (led by the choir, I am sure), and then they all stood up and clapped and cheered some more. They kept clapping for a really long time. It was an incredibly sweet moment and meant so much to us.
We stayed through communion and then left early. Gail was pretty tired but really happy that we went. She rested or slept for the rest of the evening. She was hurting a bit, so she took something stronger than Tylenol, which she rarely does, and that made her feel better. We went out a little this morning, and she has been sleeping most of today.
Tomorrow we go back up to SF for the transplant clinic. I don't think she will get her staples taken out until next week, but her incision is beginning to look very good to me!
Saturday, March 29, 2008
It is wonderful to be home again. It is wonderful to be typing on a full size keyboard again. I did all the blogging for the last two weeks on my phone, and it wasn't the easiest thing to do. On the other hand, it was way easier than carrying even a laptop around.
We're trying to get organized around here! Enormous quantities of new medications to bring in and a surprising amount of old meds to get rid of somehow. We have a bunch of vials of insulin in the refrigerator taking up space that she doesn't need any more! Other diabetic equipment and supplies as well. It's pretty amazing.
Thanks to all of you yet again for your support. I have about 80 emails saved that we got over the last two weeks. I am going to print them out for Gail to read again. It meant so much to both of us to hear from you!
Thursday, March 27, 2008
She looks so good that it is hard to remember that she has undergone such a huge surgery.
When they remove the IV, it will be the first time in 5 years that she hasn't had a tube of some kind inserted in her body.
I am so happy to bring her home. Again. And better than ever.
WWill probably be here till Saturday, but it's fine with us. I have decided that they didn't discharge us on Sunday. They just gave us a 2 day leave for a little R+R. We've come back to finish ourvtour of duty.
Plus we are in a private room and that is infinitely more comfortable.
It's not best hotel we've ever stayed in. But it's not the worst, either!
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
She is a little sad and a little scared, but we are both glad she is here. This way no damage will be done while they figure out what's going on.
Our friend Mary said, That's just what happens.One step forward, one syep backwards, and the tango continues.
And the dance goes on!
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Today we are driving back to San Francisco for her first transplant clinic. We'll do that every week for a couple of weeks and then it will taper off.
We are learning her new medical regimen which mainly involves the ingestion of 17 or 18 different drugs at various times of the day. It is definitely doable, and will soon be second nature. At the moment, it is taking quite a bit of concentration and much fumbling of papers.
And words cannot express our gratitude to the person and his or her family who donated her new kidney and pancreas. The expanse of our joy was deepened by your sacrifice.
She did a good amount of walking around on the floor, building up her strength so she can come home. Everywhere she went, she had to drag the IV pole around, so that sort of slowed her down a little.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
He tild her to be sure not to get dehydrated. "Be sure you eat plenty of salt and drinks lots of fluids" he said, to our amazement and amusement.
I think we wull head home around 6 this evening.
She looks better than she has in a very ling time.
Her blood sugar after brekfast was 120!!! Normal!
We are pretty sure she'll go home today. They are going to to take the dialysis catheter out this afternoon, and we wikk see how she is feeling after that.
Friday, March 21, 2008
After last night's hard time, today was much easier. She got a bed bath and felt much better.
She still isn't taking anything by mouth, but that should happen very soon.
Much progress today along with three visits from three dear friends, right when we needed them the most.
The night nurse was nice but scattered. She was emptying Gail's drains and did something that suddenly hurt her. It surprised her as well as hurt her and that was upsetting.
Then in the middle of the night, she got up to pee and got chilled and couldn't stop shivering. So that scared her.
The euphoria of the transplant is beginning to fade, and the grind of recuperation is beginning.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
They removed the foley catheter, so Gail is more comfortable now. She walked for about 20 minutes and even climbed a short set of stairs. We are feeling very confident about her being able to climb the stairs at home.
The only thing we are worried about now is the puppies trampolining off her belly, as they sometimes do in their doggy excitement.
Her pancreas is still sluggish. She went down for an ultrasound this afternoon to be sure there aren't any problems.
A friend of ours visited who saw Gail a couple of weeks ago. She said she looks much better now than she did then, before the surgery!
I agree. Her color is good, her eyes are bright, and she is sleepy but not exhausted. That's a big change!
They took the bandages off today. It is a very long incision right up the middle of her belly. I took a photo if you want to see. It's interesting in a gruesome sort of way!
One of the nurses began giving us instructions on how to live after transplant, which mostly consists of what meds to take when, and on how to recognise infection and rejection. It's not as complicated as we feared it would be. We can do this.
It was also the first time in many years that we have been the recipients of a presentation about the importance of safe sex. That was fairly amusing.
Lots of you have sent emails and they are wonderful. Thank you so much!
I have been reading your emails to her and she loves them.
Unfortunately, I don't have time to respond to each one, so I hope this thanks will suffice for now.
We are filled with gratitude!
She is still hooked up to lots of tubes doing inscrutable things, but she is in no pain thanks to the wonders of modern day pharmacology.
Her dad and Mary came today, and Cheryl and Kathy and then Dave. It was great to see them but it did wear her out.
She has been sleeping since she got here.
And the second day was good too.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
There we were having a bowl of gumbo (me) and a grill cheese sandwich (Gail) when the transplant center called this afternoon.
We drove to UCSF and we are sitting in a room waiting for things to happen.
it could still be a false alarm, but so far so good.
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