Friday, February 25, 2011

happy,happy, happy

It's weird going to the doctor and hearing only good things! It's so unreal and mind boggling really.

Dr.G is so cute, she came rushing into the room anxious to see Marty. She knew sending him home would be the best thing and was so pleased to see how much better he was! The nurse coordinator M had to kick her out because he was still working on the file. We get to the clinic before the doctors and she rushed in as soon as she got there!

They are so happy. Everything is doing very well and they couldn't be more pleased. He does have a bit of insulin resistance and the best thing for that is weight loss and working out. This week, we are going to start pushing it. This will be a good thing. I told him, just think you are helping Conner and I out by working out with us. We are looking for a treadmill to help get things moving and utilizing the wonderful walking path behind our house.

The labs came back the best yet! He went into surgery with creatnine of 15 and now it is down to 1.2, normal is 1.0, life is good. ( that is a kidney function marker)

It;s so nice to go and hear good things. It will never get old. Even Elizabeth was saying this week, " I have to pinch myself to make sure this is real sometimes." we are still in shock our life has changed for the better.

Thanks for praying for us and supporting us. We are so thankful.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Adjusting to our new life

This has been a week of adjustments. Back to reality and real life has been exciting and daunting at the same time. Juggling meds, vitals, cleaning, schooling, running kids has been challenging. It's really nothing different than what we were doing, it is actually less work.

In fact, one of the adjustments is no dialysis. Several times we have been on a errand only to catch ourselves thinking, "We need to get home to do a exchange." so weird. We didn't start feeling that way until we came home. Also, more than once I have caught myself jumping at the phone, I remind myself that we aren't waiting anymore.

There is a bit of fear, that is something we both have to get past. Worry of rejection and this all being taken away. It might not be something we outright say, but it is in the back of our mind. Also, re-learning how to live. Our lives have been on hold for three years, now we can live again. In some ways, we have forgotten how to live freely. It's going to take some time to remember. We need to decompress and move forward, pressing on to the future and enjoying each day. We don't know how long this will last but we need to make the most of every minute.

It has been so nice to be home and be back together as a family. We have been re-arranging cabinets and getting rid of medical supplies. Getting the kids back on track in school, they did a lot while they were gone but there are some areas that need work. I now can fully focus on those areas and spend time getting things going full steam again. We are schooling this summer to do some heavy duty work we put on hold in case the call came.

Marty's blood sugars are so much better. He went down on Predisone this week and immediately his sugars went down. His blood pressures have been low, much lower than before. They did spike a bit today, not sure why and nothing like before. The nausea and vomiting are gone, he is feeling so much better and eating again. He is up to 35 pounds lost so far. We are starting to walk farther each day. He is making progress physically.

We are headed to Stanford on Thursday for our weekly visit. We are excited to go back and show them the progress since he has been home. Anxious to get the labs and see how things are going. I will blog when we get back and let you all know.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Busy week

I know it has been a week since I updated, a lot has happened in the past week. Marty and I enjoyed Friday together, our last day in Palo Alto. The weather was sunny and warm the entire time we were there. We stopped by Stacey's to say goodbye to her and the girls. Just a generally good day.

Saturday my cousin Sarah drove the kids from LA to Palo Alto, we hadn't seen them for two weeks.  Poor Sarah had to haul Conner's stash. He had more stuff than we had in the apartment for the two of us. We're all still scratching our heads over the need for a unicycle??? ( I'm sure Andrea will love that!)

On Sunday morning Sarah, the kids, and I toured Stanford. Marty had been there done that and stayed home to relax. We enjoyed seeing the sites at Stanford, there is so much history there which is rare in California. We toured Hoover Tower, a tribute to President Hoover a graduate of Stanford. We enjoyed the breath taking view from the top. We toured the Memorial church which was a stunning piece of old world architecture recrafted in California. Then on to the largest collection of Rodin in North America, even seeing a small version of the Thinker.

Monday morning we went to the doctors, they are pleased with Marty's progress, told us to carefully watch for signs of rejection and sent us on our merry way home. We packed up the apartment, barely fitting our stuff in with Conner's stuff and headed home.

We got home to find our table full of groceries. Our friends from church wanted to make sure our house was stocked and there was no need to go to the store. What a amazing blessing to come home and just be able to relax and get back on track.

We are slowly settling into routine and getting life back in order. It feels so surreal to be home and realize it is all over. Going through a months worth of mail. We did have a little scare that his disability was denied, but good news, I just read the paper wrong and all is fine!

 Weird not needing to do dialysis exchanges. No more waiting for the call to come. It is going to take a long time to process what has happened. We are so thankful to God for healing Marty. Now we begin our new life and waiting to see where God takes us next.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Transplant surgeons free us to go home!

Dr.B,Marty,Dr.G and Julie

After a bit of begging, the doctors agreed to let us go home on Monday.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Stanford rocks!

 Our good friend Eric said those words to me this morning. I thought it was a apt blog title for the month anniversary. That's right, one month ago today our lives changed forever. We are so thankful for this gift our family has been given and amazed by God's grace and mercy.

The kidney has definitely woke up, they kept telling us it would happen but now we see it. His ankles are skinny everyday, he relishes the loss of his cankles. He is now off almost all of his blood pressure medications, taking none unless it spikes. He has lost more weight bringing him to a total of 35 pounds so far. AMAZING!

The pancreas has been working good until this week. We aren't sure what is going on, it is frustrating. He took the insulin last night and his blood sugar was still up in the afternoon. It was 145 this morning, which was the highest in the morning since transplant. We are trusting God to work this out.

We are so thankful to God for bringing our family out of the pit and setting our feet on the rock.

We are so glad we ended up at Stanford. It was the right place for us. The doctors have been amazing and the care, par none. We are so impressed by the hospital, their staff and doctors. We love the area even though it is far from home,family and friends. It was definitely worth the wait.

We are so thankful to our family, church family and many friends in this world. There have been so many people praying for us, helping us and just flat out loving us. I want to thank you all by name and shout out but there are so many of you! Someday when it is all said and done.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Dr.s aren't worried, so we aren't worried

I have fielded several worried phone calls after yesterdays blog. I guess everyone hit the panic button when they read it. I hope to alleviate  those worries with this blog.

Marty is okay, he is not in rejection. His pancreas is working just fine. The predisone and anti-rejection meds are causing the high blood sugar, not diet or pancreas failure. The insulin is just to help the pancreas and isn't a permanent thing. We hope he will only be on it a month or so.

Excercise can also help and we need to get moving. We are hoping to get home where we can walk on the St.John's or ride our bikes. We are walking here also.

They have run every culture and blood test to check for infection. There is no infection. They said there was another case where the patient just ran a fever for months. Also, the drain and incisions are still healing, maybe that is why the fever.

The nausea, we hope that will go away with the boost of insulin. That is being caused by long term damage from diabetes. There is still damage from being a diabetic for 21 plus years, that will never go away or take a very long time to go away.

If the doctors aren't worried, we aren't worried. We feel peace knowing, he is receiving excellent care from the top doctors in the field. So don't worry either, just pray and ask God to heal these things. That is what we are doing.

We are so thankful for my family, they have been caring for E who is sick/homesick and Conner who is homesick. The kids have been being really good but having a hard time being with anyone but mom and dad. We are thankful for the patience our family is having with them.

Thanks for praying and supporting us, please don't stop. We still need it!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday clinic update

This weekend a new issue cropped up. Marty's blood sugar jumped to the 200 range after dinners. We called and watched the blood sugars. They come down on their own but still very concerning. Also, the fever still is a issue. The nausea is better, only happening once a day if he doesn't eat small meals.

So today, in clinic Dr.G brought up the "R" word. Thinking it might be a touch of rejection. All of his cultures and labs are clear, but the fever and sudden blood sugar spike make her think it might be. She isn't worried yet and is watching closely.

Dr.B thinks the pancreas is working but the anti-rejection meds and predisone are making it high. Also, since he is slightly overweight doesn't help. So, for a while he will have to take one shot a day of insulin until things level out. Only 10 units compared to 60, but still is discouraging. This won't be forever and doesn't mean the transplant has failed. In fact, it is quite normal. Marty takes a higher amount of insulin compared to most diabetics, he tends to be insulin resistant. So this is working against him.

So pray for Marty to get off insulin permanently and for these issues to resolve. Other than those two things, the doctors are thrilled and everything is going well.

Also pray for Elizabeth, she was running a high fever last night and really was missing us. She just has some sort of bug, but is having a hard time since we aren't there to care for her. My aunts and dad's tried to calm her, she ended up with my mom. She tends to be this way when she is sick and it just is excerbated by being away. We hope soon, we can all be back together.

Friday, February 4, 2011

In the home stretch, maybe

Doctors were happy at yesterday's clinic. They told Marty to start eating smaller meals more frequently to combat the stomach issue. They are still watching the temperature problem closely and it is still ongoing. The good news is, they said next week will be our last full week of clinic! They said we can start talking to Dr.B next week about going home!!!

My thinking is, on Monday the 14th he will have clinic and we can leave after that. We won't have to return until the next Monday.We are very excited at this prospect and the kids are thrilled!! We are praying for this to be a possibility.

The kids are doing great. This week and next they are in Southern California with my family. They spend the daytime hours with my Aunt Maggie or Aunt Al. Then my mom picks them up for school time in the afternoon and takes them to my Dad's in the evening. So far it is working out great. They are enjoying spending time with family. I think my cousin Sarah is driving them up next weekend to visit. This weekend they are just staying in So.Cal to try to keep them on a routine.

Thanks for praying and supporting us. It means the world to us!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My mentor Pauline

Today is a hard day, I won't be able to be at a funeral for a good friend. She passed away this weekend and I cannot make the trip home at this time, since Marty has clinic.

I met Pauline in 2002 when I joined Parkside Chapel. I started to really get to know her via Alliance women's ministries. She served as our secretary. She was set to take over my jobs in the group this year and is leaving a huge void in our little group.

 After a few years, I joined her thursday morning bible studies. She was a wonderful teacher, always picking a great book and using scripture to teach the finer points. She always had a packed study, women brought friends because it was so great. During 2006 when my grandparents died, her study group prayed me through and supported me during a difficult time. Her husband Jerry would homeschool Conner so that I could go to group.

She mentored me over the phone in times of crisis. She also honored me by letting me become a confidant to her. She really taught me how to minister to women and was instrumental in the founding of my ministry MPG. She came and shared with the moms about the loss of her son Steven. She helped plan the meetings and attended every one. She steadfastly supported me in ministry and life. In fact, it was through her prayers that we ended up going to UC Davis to be evaluated for transplant. She had a nephew transplanted there and really wanted Marty to check it out.

She never gave up on someone, even if you weren't in her group anymore she was always checking on you. She always had a listening ear and would point you back to Jesus. She really believed in mission work, she always was making sure we were looking out for her adopted daughter and friends on the field. She was thrilled when last year her good friends the Mindek's were able to come speak for missions week. She was good friends with Becky's mom and when she passed away, took on the mom role. She also did that for my friend Stacy as well. She only had sons by birth, but many daughters through adoption!

You never are prepared for something like this. There was no goodbye. I take great joy in knowing the last time I talked with her, I was able to tell her something to thrill her. What a great memory to know, we blessed her in some of her last days. She is leaving a huge void in our church and women's ministry. She loved Jesus and loved serving him.  I know she met him and was told, "Well done good and faithful servant."

My heart goes out to Jerry, whom the Timms all love dearly. He is a good friend to us also. We also are praying for her sons Jerry and David. I guess there never is a goodbye, but a see you again. I know someday, I will see her again and hug her once more.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Three weeks and counting

We have hit the hard part of recovery. He is still recovering very well, on paper everything looks great. His creatnine was 1.3 his best yet. Blood sugars are great, blood pressure is much better and stable and his weight is great. The doctors continued to be very pleased.

Unfortunately, his stomach is giving him a hard time. He eats but the food just sits there and then he gets sick. He is on a medication for this. The doctors seem  to think the Cellcept is contributing to this problem. They lowered his dose but it will take a few days to even out.

He has been tired because most of the issues come up at night. The temp is being caused by some fluid under his skin near the incision. They are closely watching him but aren't overly concerned at this point. It has never gone above 100.6, so it is considered low grade.

They do want him out walking and moving. Being sedentary can affect the temperature and cause it to rise.  So moving and being active is really a high priority at this point.

Overall things are going well. He has recovered so fast and is doing really well. We are just taking it slow and taking this time to get him better. Please pray for the nausea to go away and for him to be able to eat better.

Happy birthday Aunt Al!!

It's my aunt Alison's birthday and I wrote Aunt Mag's a birthday blog. I better keep it fair!

Aunt Al is the second mom aunt. She was the only stay at home mom in my family growing up. Not only did she take care of her own three kids, but the rest of her nieces also. She forever had us at her house, spending the night, making messes and being loud.

She was always driving us around in her little station wagons or van. One of our favorite memories is her driving us up to Big Bear in her Taurus station wagon. We broke down on the side of the mountain. There were so many of us in the car, only her and Andy could ride with the tow truck driver. They left the rest of us in the car on the back of the tow truck. She said she looked out the back window and we were singing and head bobbing.

We would spend every New Year's at her house, she would buy us tons of snacks and let us have a party. She doesn't know of the atrocities we made in her microwave. She just let us have fun and be kids. When I was a teenager she would let me drive her car everywhere and gave me freedom.

She watched us and never complained. Most mom's get antsy with their own kids, let alone all of their siblings children....all the time. We spent 7 days a week together during the summers but also weekends during the school year. Plus, sometimes if we were sick, she would have to take care of us too. She never complained, she never said no. That is really amazing.

When I got married, she picked out my bridesmaid dresses and helped my bridemaids get them altered. She helped me out with many things during that time.

My kids love Aunt Al for being cuckoolikeabuckoo. She always makes them laugh when they see her. In fact, as I type this blog, they are with her and aunt Maggie. She and Mags are helping my Dad care for them during the week.

I often think of her when I see my own piles of laundry. She was always doing laundry, now I totally understand why!

Thanks for being such a great aunt. Thanks for taking care of us girls and always being there for us. You are loved and appreciated. Happy birthday!