Kidney Transplant Updates

Updates on a kidney donor and the recipient

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Home for a weeks now...

I've been home for about a week now, and I'm doing really well. My appetite is up, which is good. Since the surgery, my appetite has been picky, picky, picky. But finally, it seems like more types of food are sounding like they might taste good. I've lost around 10 pounds since the surgery, which is probably good, but I want all food to taste good again. I'll just have to keep portion sizes down.

Aunt Sheryn also is doing well. She called the other day and said that things are getting better for her too. Grandpa said that she told him that food is tasting better to her, too. The kidney is still working like a champ for her, too, so of course that is great.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

H S H Part II

Sheryn came home yesterday and she is doing swimmingly. She is so happy to be home. She is recuperating well, and is feeling good. She'll be having a Visiting nurse coming to her house three times a week for the next couple of weeks to help her out.

I'm doing pretty well myself. My back is getting better. I removed my steri-strips today before I went for my ten day surgical check-up. It went well. Dr. Tuerk (Ah-nold) took about two second to glance at my incisions, said they looked good and told me not to do any heavy lifting or heavy physical activity for a little while. He said that it will take about 6 to 8 weeks to get completely healed, but that I should be able to return to work in a couple of weeks. So it's all good for me.

Thanks again to all of you for your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Home Sweet Home (sort of)

Sorry it has been so long since I've updated, but when Ben flew home on Saturday, his laptop went with him. Technically, I could have blogged on the hotel computers downstairs, but frankly, that was too much work for me. Now I'm at Sher's house, we're staying here a night earlier than she's getting home so we can prep the house for her arrival, and thank God we did.

Jennie's update: I'm doing really well. I'm walking almost normally now. I only hold my belly in as I walk along, it still feels like my guts are going to spill out everywhere. And I made an interesting discovery the other night, I have 7 incisions total!! 6 are very small (around a centimeter long) and the 7th incision is about 7.5 cm long. If any of my kids from school are reading this, I bet your math teacher would love for you to convert those cm to inches!! I still tire pretty easily, and I take a nap almost every day. The naps are getting shorter, though. Today's nap was only about an hour long. I'm not bragging. Please don't hate me, I'm in pain here.... :)

Sher's update: They have told us she will be released from the hospital tomorrow. She is totally diconnected from all hospital machines now, and her central line was removed this morning. She's lost about 16 pounds of fluids over the past couple of days, which sounds bad, but it's actually VERY good. Too much fluid in the body interferes with the heart function. She's feeling OK, but she is really ready to get home. She almost seemed jealous that we were staying at her place tonight. But she's got a cleaner place tonight thanks to Mom and Dad.

Well, thanks for continuing to read up on us. We do appreciate your thoughts and prayers, God knows they are what have gotten us through this whole event. We love you all, see you soon.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Day 2 of Freedom

I've been out now for over 24 hours. I slept better last night than I have in a few nights. When I got up today around 10 a.m., I felt so good. I am still sore around my belly and back, but I'm feeling better. The gas seems to mostly be gone, so there is no more neck and shoulder pain. I took a nap late this afternoon, and I slept on my side. It felt good. I'll probably sleep that way again. I'm feeling stronger everyday.

Sheryn moved to a regular hospital room last night. Mom and Dad went to vist her today, and she's still doing very well. She was retaining some extra fluid, but they have fixed that. They tested her creatinine level today and it was .8! 10 years ago when her kidneys shut down, her level was 16. Before the surgery, she was regularly testing around 7 or 8. Normal is between .5 and 1.5. So my kidney seems to be thriving in her now. I couldn't be happier for her. I'll probably go see her Sunday.

I got some pet therapy today. The owner of the hotel brings his long haired daschund to the hotel every day. Her name is Heidi, and she is SO SWEET and smart. When I saw her downstairs, Ben and I went down to see her. When I got there, she looked up at me like "Pet me, be my friend!!" I told her " I can't bend over to pet you sweetie, I'm sorry." So what does this smart little doggie do? She jumps up on the closest chair and nudges my hand with her nose like "OK, pet me now!" Soon I was sitting in that over stuffed chair with her curled up on my lap while I talked with her owner. Petting her was so calming and it kept me out of the hotel room for a while. I wonder if Lahey has a pet therapy program. It would certainly help their patients get better faster. That's always good. Just a thought.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

I can finally blog!!

Sorry that it has been so long since I blogged. I tried to in the hospital, but their web filter wouldn't let me access the site. My husband has been so great, taking care of me, doing anything I ask of him. I hope all people are lucky enough to have someone in their life like my husband.

On to the real updates. Please forgive any typos, I have a lot of info to share, and I might miss some of them when I proofread.

Jennie: My surgery went very well. I had anticipated being in surgery for almost four hours, but it only took two. My surgeons told me that I did very well. I spent the past few days in the hospital. I was wheeled into my hospital room on Monday afternoon, sometime around 3 p.m. I slept most of the day, when I was awake, I was very groggy and kind of out of it. I find it relatively funny that this is the time that nurses and everyone thought that explaining things to me at that time would be a good idea. I remember very little of it, and had many things re-explained to me the following day. I had a really great group of nurses work with me during the four days I was in the hospital (one of them was even named "Jennie!!"). They attended to my every need, were friendly, made me feel good. Everyone has treated me like a star for doing this.
Now, I'm in a hotel with my husband and parents, close to the hospital where my aunt is still recuperating. My back is a little sore from being bed-ridden for so long. But I am mobile, my dad and husband are making me get up and walk every few hours. The more mobile I am, the faster I will heal. I walk slowly, like a little old lady. It's kind of funny. Speaking of funny, it hurts to laugh, and I happen to be related to very funny people, and married to a guy who knows how to make me laugh. They say laughter is the best medicine, but I bet they wouldn't prescribe laughter for someone who just got out of abdominal surgery! :)

Sheryn: On the day of surgery, she ended up having to go back into the OR within a few hours due to internal bleeding. They were able to stop it, and she's doing VERY well now. I do have to thank a whole lot of people for praying for her, because God's mercy and power are the ONLY reason she got through that second surgery. She ended up needing a whole lot of blood, but she had skilled surgeons whose hands were guided by God. I am so thankful that He saw fit to keep this marvelous woman with us a little while longer.
Sheryn was moved to a regular hospital room earlier this evening. She had been in surgical ICU for the past few days. She was only taken off the respirator yesterday. I got to go see her there yesterday. Hopefully, I'll feel up to making the trip on Sunday to go see her again. For those of you who know Sheryn, as soon as she was off the ventilator, she was running the room! She was asking when she'd be moved to a regular room, when she'd be on solid food, when she could shower, etc. Mom and Dad kept jokingly warning the nurses about taking her off that ventilator, they'd never get a moments peace. Boy, they weren't kidding.
My kidney is doing beautifully in her. Her kindey function is in the normal range for the first time in a very long time. She looks healthier, has more energy, and is in a great mood. God has blessed her.

I miss being home, but I know that traveling would be awful right now. Just the car ride home was difficult. Every bump was torture on my belly. Ben has been so sweet; he told me today that he wanted to suck the pain out of me and suffer through it for me. What a guy.

Thanks to all who have kept us in their thoughts and prayers. Please continue those thoughts and prayers while Sheryn and I keep recuperating. I will keep this updated more often now.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Less than 12 hours

We left Gramma's house this morning, and went to visit my Granpa. We were only able to stay for a little bit, because we had to go get some breakfast for everyone else (I couldn't eat solid food today). While at Dunkin' Donuts (which we SO need in St. Louis), we got The Call. Our luggage had arrived in Hartford. We drove quickly to the airport because I had to get checked into the hotel by a certain time to complete a prep for surgery.

So now the prep is complete. My aunt is here at the hotel, and we're due to meet her in the lobby at 5:30 a.m. Wish us luck, pray, keep us in your thoughts. Whatever it takes.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Safe and Sound

My husband, parents and I all flew out to Hartford, CT, today. We arrived safely, and the flights were good. BUT, our luggage didn't make it with us. So we waited at the airport for a couple of hours. When it still didn't show, we went ahead and left for my Gramma's house with $100 in airline vouchers in hand. I joked with my mom that with all the prayers that people are saying for me, for my aunt and for our pilots, we really needed our baggage handlers prayed for! :)

We had dinner with my Dad's side of the family. Tomorrow we'll head to Massachusetts. 35 hours or so until surgery time.