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Countdown to Kidneys Being Included.......

Saturday, July 16, 2011

New Blog Address

My new blog site is www.kidneysnowincluded.blogspot.com
I hope all of my readers from this blog will now follow me on my new journey with my new life. It promises to be an uplifting blog celebrating life.

Launching of a New Blog

I have been using this blog, kidneysnotincluded for years now. And honestly, it is very difficult and bitter to type those words "not included". The fact is, kidneys are included and I feel it is time to start a new blog celebrating the transplant, recovery and new life that I have so graciously be given. I haven't decided on the official new blog name yet, but as soon as I do I will post it here. I will continue to check this blog and might transfer new posts from the new blog to this one as well. I don't want to lose any readers because you all have been so supportive and uplifting to me throughout the entire process. So as soon as I get the new blog up and running I will post it here and on facebook too! Thank you for your continued support and prayers!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

3 Week Anniversary!

Wow 3 weeks already! It is flying by. I cannot believe this time 3 weeks ago, I had spent half the day in the OR and was beginning the recovery process. What a glorious day June 23rd was! And I think I have lived more in the last 3 weeks than I have in the last 3 years. I still am amazed at how much that tiny, bean shaped organ is responsible for. It is so essential to life. I have been working hard this week at raising my potassium and phosphorus levels. They have been low since the transplant. It is understandable though. For three years I couldn't have either one so now I am trying to build them back up in my body. So I am enjoying a variety of foods. I have my meds down to a science now. I take approx 15 in the morning and 9 at night. That's not bad at all! And that is all I have to worry about doing all day....well I pee a lot but that is a blessing! Every time I go, I thank God. When I sit back and reflect on the long journey that got me to this point it actually brings a smile to my face. Someone asked me if I could rewrite history, would I delete kidney failure from my story? Absolutely not! Don't get me wrong it was a long and hard three years, but I learned so much. And I look at life very differently now. It has changed every aspect of me. I have grown spiritually and developed a closer relationship with God. I don't know that all of that would have happened without the kidney failure. It made my family tighter and I gained a sister! Just far too many blessings to name so I would not change a thing about the last three years. God had a plan all along. So to my beautiful Lindsey, Happy 3 Week Anniversary! You have given me more in three weeks, than I could every have imagined!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Post Transplant Pics

It just keeps getting better and better....

So we are home and settled back into normal life. It feels really good. Better than I could have ever imagined. I knew it would be good but I had no idea it would be this good, this fast. It's all the work of God. There is no other way to explain it or try to understand it. He helped align everything so perfectly. During dialysis, I felt impatient and that I wanted thing to move faster at times, but looking back He was fast at work setting everything up. I couldn't have planned it any better if I had tried. Now that we are home and not in Iowa, I don't have that safety net of seeing Dr. Thomas regularly. But he is still very much a part of my life. I get labs drawn every Monday, Wednesday and Friday by a Home Health Company. I have a fabulous nurse who comes to my house and she accesses my portacath and gets the labs to the hospital for me. The lab there processes it and gets the results to Iowa. It is very convenient and is helping keep me well. It saves me from being exposed to lots of sick people at a clinic or infusion center. I really appreciate that. The same nurse will also be administering my Soliris treatments every other week. So, everything is going smooth and I don't think I have every felt this healthy before. I am enjoying so many things that I took for granted pre kidney failure. I can eat whatever I want (minus sushi), I can stay up past 8 o'clock, I have energy to play with Madeline, I am not sick when Chris comes home from work and soon I will be returning to work! Life is so amazing. You never know how wonderful it is until you are hanging on to life by a thread. The smallest, simplest things in life can bring so much pleasure and happiness. It is truly an amazing gift that Lindsey has given to me. And not only have I changed, but my entire family is different. It's like we have all been holding our breath for 3 years and on June 23rd we all breathed a sigh of relief. Madeline is happier, Chris is more relaxed, my Mom and Dad seem more relaxed and my brother looks like a huge weight has been lifted. We are all changed and affected by Lindsey's blessing. Words will never convey how life changing this kidney transplant has been, but as she says, "it's a game changer!" Yes, Lindsey, I'm back in the game!!! A million thank yous!!! xoxo

Friday, July 8, 2011

My Dream Team

It took a lot of people to make this transplant happen. There were people directly involved and then there were others who helped out with Madeline and my fur babies while we are gone. Thank you to The Fryes, The Sams, Matt and Kasey and my Mom and Dad for watching Madeline. Thank you to Marcia for keeping Georgia. Thank you to Matt and Kasey for keeping Greta. Thank you to Mom and Dad for keeping Gus and Gracie. Thank you to Candy for helping with the dogs when Mom and Dad came to Iowa. Thank you to Dr. Sara and Jonesboro Family Pet Hospital for keeping our Meow Meow, Claire!

Thank you does not even begin to show my appreciation for my transplant team in Iowa. Dr. Alan Reed is the Chief of Transplant and led my transplant surgery. Apparently a few things didn't go so smooth in the OR but with his talents and wisdom, he was able to make it a successful surgery. Nothing is textbook when it come to ahus, but he transplanted a beautiful and healthy kidney into my body. He is one of the nicest and most sincere people I have ever met and I am so blessed to have had him as my surgeon. In fact, he is probably the only person in the world I would trust to transplant me. He is so knowledgable about the ahus and I was truly blessed to have found him!

Dr. Christie Thomas is the ringleader of my transplant protocol. He has the most calming and compassionate personality of any doctor I have ever met. His knowledge of ahus is so comforting and I know at all times he has my best interest in mind. He visited me everyday in the hospital and even when I was hyped up on steriods and out of my mind, he was the only person who could console me and make me feel better. I trust him with my life. I am so blessed to have had such a brilliant doctor on my team.

All the nurses on the transplant floor were awesome. They were very compassionate, yet pushed me to try harder when I felt like I couldn't do anything. There were so many of them but they all took the best care of Lindsey and I and I couldn't have asked for a better hospital experience.....well, maybe not be so crazy when I first got on steriods. It was so funny. When I woke up from surgery, I had been give a 500 mg dose of steriods, which is alot! And I kept talking about my mom and saying she was trying to kill Tupac! Everyone got a kick out of that!!!!

There are so many behind the scenes peole who made this transplant happen. Some I don't even know. Trisha, my pre-transplant coordinator, Luann and Kim, most post transplant coordinators. The nurses on the infusion floor who gave me my Soliris, so many people worked to make this successful. And I am forever grateful to all of them! Especially Trisha, who has put up with me for almost two years of phone calls, worrying and questions!

And Last but not Least, my Lindsey! Without your generosity and truly miraculous gift, none of this would have happened. I still think about it daily and am amazed by your brvery and your kindness. People like you are a rarity and I am so blessed to know you. You have changed and saved my life. I feel reborn and can't wait to do good things with my life. I call you my angel and hero and yet that doesn't even begin to describe how wonderful you are. But you have stolen my heart in a way nobody else ever can. You literally laid your life on the line to save mine and I am forever grateful and humbled at your generosity. I hope someday I can change someones life for the better in the way you have changed mine. You are my hero, my angel here on earth! And I truly love you with all my kidney!!!!!

And God! He was in that OR and been by my side for the last 3 years. After hearing what went on in that OR, there is no doubt He was there and guiding my surgeons hands and decisions. He has been by my side through it all and I know He was the true leader of this endeavor. This whole thing is a miracle. We have all witnessed a miracle and the glorious works of our God.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

No Foreign Tubes In My Body

YAY!!!! All foreign tubes, caths and stents have been removed from my body. Yesterday (7-6-11) I had the stent in my bladder removed and the drain in my side is out! It feels really nice to not have any tubes coming out of my body. I look like a normal person again! 3 years of having some weird tube or cath coming out of me is finally over! Having the stent out didn't hurt although it wasa embarrassing and looked like it should have hurt. And oddly the drain did not hurt coming out either. My nurse in the infusion center was also able to access my portacath yesterday too. I have a special cream I rub on it 30 minutes before Soliris, and it numbs it. I felt the needle prick my skin but it didn't hurt. I am glad to know that it works. I will be getting Soliris at home every two weeks.

Friday, July 1, 2011

First Pee!!!!!

Well, it is offically offical! The foley cath was removed and I have peed in the potty! I absolutely love the sound of MY urine hitting the water in the toilet. Music to my ears! I have already peed twice within the hour so I am sure I will pee at least 15 times today!!!! It is so exciting! I don't think I have ever been so excited about a body function. This is truly an amazing time in my life and the lives of those closest to me. Again, thank you Lindsey! You have given me such a sweet and miraculous gift! I will never be able to thank you enough for this. And to God be the Glory, who had this whole thing figured out and planned just perfectly. He knew Lindsey would be my angel to the rescue even before I went into kidney failure. To me, that is such an amazing event and anyone who doesn't believe that God is in total control, well I just don't know how anyone doesn't believe! Praise God from whom all blessings flow! And now my urine flows!!!!

Friday July 1. 2011

Today is a pretty big day. I go back to the hospital to have labs drawn this morning. After that, this very uncomfortable foley cath FINALLY gets to be removed. I have been peeing like a race horse but today will be the first day I actually pee in a tiolet. I am a little nervous about it because my bladder has not had to work for three years! I hope I remember how to do it. I bet it will feel really good! Then this afternoon, I have my Hickman cath in my chest/nect area removed and my permanant port placed. This is what we will use from now on to draw labs and administer my infusion drug Soliris. So please keep me in your prayers today! Best part about today though, my brother and his girlfriend are on their way to see us in Iowa and are bringing my sweet Madeline! I haven't seen my baby in three weeks!!!! Can't wait to hug and love on her!!! I pray todays procedures don't wipe me out and make soreor tired. I just want to enjoy having my family here!!!!