Monday, August 6, 2012

Stanford Garden of Peace, Joy and Blessings

The beautiful Gardens at Stanford Hospital. A place painted with memories.

Six months have passed by and today we dragged our sleepy bodies out of the house at 4 a.m to head for Stanford. We always hold our breathe, not really consciously or that we would ever admit that out loud. The drive to Stanford is always a bit tense. Old habits die hard and its hard to not be on edge to hear what the doctor will say today.

Marty has been doing his blood work every few weeks and we have reached the stage where things are stable and we just receive a postcard in the mail saying "no changes" . It's really nice and we've slowly slipped into normal life. Somedays I have to remind myself that there is a reason life is normal and to never grow so complacent as to forget.

Ever since our Stanford trip last June and the phone call that shook us up, we are always a bit on edge for this trip. Today we were running a bit behind and barely made it in time for his appointment. The clinic was empty, I sent Marty to get his blood work and started checking in for him. He came back and said they didn't have a lab order for him this time. So we checked in and immediately went back to the room. This is a rare occasion at Stanford, we usually are pretty lucky since we always schedule the early appointments hoping for this.

We asked about Dr.G, our favorite transplant surgeon. Last time we went, we asked and were informed she was now on the liver side of things. We were bummed to hear that and asked again today if she was still doing liver. We were told "yes" and that we would be seeing Dr.M, we like Dr.M. but don't have the same rapport we do with Dr.G and Dr.B.

I walked out of the room to get Marty some water, came back and he said, "Did you see Dr.G, she was right behind you." and I said, "No, maybe we will get to see her after all." 

Sure enough, she came bursting through the door, just as excited to see us as we were her. She immediately said she loved my hair and that Marty looked thinner. We began filling her in on life today, she has only seen him once since he was stablized and so there was a lot to share.

She was thrilled to pieces to hear how transplant changed our lives, all of our lives. She said, " I remember your donor so clearly" and I was able to tell her that we now knew Jerry's story and had been able to contact his mother. She was blown away by that and was so happy that we cherish this gift we've been allowed to have.

Basically the visit was more old friends catching up than a doctor's visit. She said Marty's last blood work was perfect and there was no need to have new labs today. Immediately we took a deep breathe and breathed a sigh of relief.  She told Marty to check his blood sugar every two weeks because "You're not a diabetic anymore". Words that a Type I diabetic thinks are impossible and will never happen.

We drove home singing and laughing all the way. Blessings poured out on us in abundance, the peace that comes from God to remind us "It is finished" was all around us all the way home. The phone just rang and it was Stanford, just clarifying a blood pressure medication change. We don't have to go back for another six months and this may in fact be our last Stanford visit if we move to Georgia this fall. Dr.G kindly recommended a great program in Atlanta for us. As we walked out she said, " I hope to see you again. I want you to all have a really nice life and be happy."

Miracles happen, they are possible, we've lived a miracle and never take that for granted. The paths at Stanford are painted with memories, really good memories in most cases for our family. Places where friends called, came to visit and walked with us. We have a family we followed whose outcome wasn't the same and so we carry a huge knowledge that things could have been different. We are thankful and will never forget why or how.