Saturday, May 28, 2016

Good Morning! Our lovely sunny morning has now turned cloudy. I'm so tired of rain, but we haven't gotten near the rain that's been in Texas, so I'm thankful for that.

We had a huge surprise Saturday afternoon! We received a letter from Bill's donor family! Until now we knew nothing about his donor and since there are very strict rules of privacy, we don't know a lot more, but it's more than we knew before! He received the heart of a woman with 3 grown children who was originally from Honduras! They knew that a grandfather had received the heart, but that's all. They have met some of the families of recipients, especially a young woman who received both lungs. We were told they donated all her organs, eyes, skin, whatever could be donated. I'm working on a letter back to them, but it's very hard, especially since I can't refer to Bill by name, or let them know where we live. All the correspondence has to go through the social workers at Mayo to be approved before they send it on. We both cried as we read the letter.

Sunday we decided to take a drive and headed east into Tennessee. We were going to go to Reelfoot Lake, but when I got off the highway, I said to Bill, "I wonder where this road goes". Well, the answer to that question is...Kentucky! It wasn't a bad drive and if we had wanted to be really adventurous we could have taken a ferry into Missouri and come home that way, but we just backtracked. We stopped for lunch at Cracker Barrel and got home about 3 in the afternoon. It was a lovely day, comfortable temps and fairly light traffic. I would imagine that this week-end would be a different story! I told Bill we should have taken the Thunderbird instead of the Journey and cruised with the top down!

Bill didn't feel well for a couple of days this week. He started coughing and had a lot of sinus drainage and low grade fever, so it was back on the cold meds. They worked quickly and he bounce back in a day. He's also had some stomach cramps, but he only complains about them in the night, or at bedtime. There has been a stomach virus going around so maybe he was trying to get that, too.

He did get up before me a couple of days this week, which is odd. I was up right after him, even if it did feel good to lay awhile. But, he had the coffee made when I got up.

The surgeries/tests went well Monday. Amanda has an infection in her stomach but her colon is fine. They did biopsy her stomach and she gets the results the end of this week. I imagine that if there was a cancer, she would have been called by now. She did find something alarming Wednesday. Her skull incision has come open in one place. The surgeon just said to keep her head covered and to be careful and watch it, but if it opens more, or starts seeping to call him back. Emily's surgery went well and she came home right on schedule. She's done pretty well and was finally able to sleep in her bed last night. She's had a lot of help and meals brought in.

My sister-in-law also had an outpatient surgery Monday and that went well. So, we're thankful for all the positive outcomes.

I woke up with a headache this morning, the first one in a long time. It's gone away some, but not altogether. I'm hoping it's just because this front is lingering and the air is so heavy. We're staying in as much as possible. We were going to go out to breakfast this morning but I just didn't feel up to it. Maybe we'll be able to go out tonight instead. 

School is out now and Brianna is officially a Senior! It doesn't seem possible that this time has come. One of Emily's nurses was the nurse who gave Brianna her first bath in the nursery. She was also Emily's nurse when she was hospitalized for 3 weeks before she was sent to Memphis to have McKenna because her blood pressure was sky high. I remember Em had to take Kenna to see the nurse after she was born so she could inspect her! She was probably surprised to see them now, especially McKenna who is all legs!

We have no plans for the holiday. When I was a kid I would go to the cemetery with my grandmother. We would get there really early and be there for the military salute. Then we would clean around and decorate the graves, We would then move on to the other cemeteries and do the same. My mother has become the "keeper of the graves" and Bill and I went with her when we were home a couple of years ago. I told Bill I wondered who would do it this year. Mom's having trouble with a leg and I don't know if she is up to it. I told him if we were there we could have done it for her.

That's about it for now. Enjoy your holiday!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Another completely normal week! These normal weeks make it hard to find something to actual write about. But, since I see how many people do read these posts, I'll keep trying to find something. Maybe something that seems normal to us will help someone else in the same situation.

One thing we have to keep an eye on are wounds. Bill's skin is pretty fragile. Part of it is medication and some of it is age. Anyway, as he was taking the trash out the other day, the security door caught his arm above his elbow. It is mostly just a skin tear, and he washed it up before he even told me about it. But, it's something else to keep watch.

It was very cool here this week. We actually had to turn the heat on again. Hopefully it will be warmer in the days ahead. We finally have some sun, but it's not going to last. Most of the coming week is rainy.

The last day of school for our kids is next week. It seems like this year has gone by really fast. Next year, Brianna will be a Senior, McKenna will be in Jr. High, Kayden will be in 6th grade, and Kiyann in 4th. Where have those babies gone?

I get to do some major worrying Monday. Emily, my daughter is having a partial hysterectomy Monday. It could turn into a full one depending on what the surgeon finds at the time. One the same day, Amanda, our daughter-in-law is having a lower GI and EDG. It would be so nice if they were done at the same facility, but one is here in town, and the other one is 45 miles away. I've made the decision not to go to either hospital for the actual events. Amanda's is outpatient and Emily will be in hospital for at least 2 nights. Bill doesn't need to sit at the hospital. So, Bri and Kenna are coming here after school and I'll take them to the hospital. I'm feeding them Monday night. My ex and his wife are coming for the surgery and I'm going to invite them to eat too. It's really kind of crazy since they live in the town where Amanda's procedures are going to be done, yet they are coming to Em's surgery. And yes, hers is a little more serious. So, prayers for both of these to go smoothly, please!

All for this week. I need to get some clothes on and start doing...something. I don't know what yet, just something. Have a good week ahead!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

We are pretty much back to normal! Our week was pretty quiet, with nothing major going on.

We finally had the large oxygen concentrator and tanks picked up this week and I was really glad to get all of that out. Everyone kept telling me to keep them as a back-up but I just couldn't see it.

Bill has walked just about every day, sometimes twice a day. He's also back to working his word search puzzles and this morning he made the bed for the first time in a very long time. He's also gotten up earlier this week than he has for a long time. I don't know just what the difference is but I'm glad he's going more on his own.

The memories that have been popping up on my Facebook page have all been from the transplant time. The first one was about the heart starting to beat on its own. These have all brought back a lot of memories, some of them not too pleasant. 

We have a granddaughter graduating from high school next week. The graduation is in Oklahoma and Bill has made the decision not to go. He realizes that he doesn't do well in crowds and with a lot of commotion going on. I hope his daughter will understand. But, we haven't gone to all of the others either. But, times change as we age, and sometimes we don't always get to do what we want to do.

My brother's oldest son is getting married in July in north Arkansas and I'm hoping we can go to that. We're going to wait until the last minute to make any reservations and will probably forego all of the meet and greet functions and just get there for the wedding. And then again, we may just wish them well.

It is sometimes frustrating to decline a lot of invitations and they can lead to wishing things were different, but, it doesn't do any good to dwell on those. This is the direction our lives have taken. When you consider that it could have been so very different, you take what you can get and be happy with it!

That's about it for this week, nothing special, and that's good.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Not much to post since everything important has already been said.

We were not able to see a dermatologist this trip so I don't know what they will want us to do. Dermatologists are few and far between here and I don't know if they will want us to find one or wait until either November or next May. I'm sure they'll let us know.

We had a lovely lunch and visit with our friend Faith Tuesday. We ate at a little Italian restaurant downtown (good thing Faith drove) that is owned by Greeks! The food was fantastic and very filling. We each took some home and we had enough that we didn't have to go out to eat that evening.

We had an uneventful drive home, just long. It seems like it gets longer each time. I might have to find another route to see if that changes things.

We still have to do the stool sample tests and mail them back, so Monday we are starting the special diet he has to be on for 3 days prior and then the 3 days of the test. It's not a really strict diet but I'm going to get awfully tired of chicken!

We haven't done much of anything since we got home. Bill has been walking on his treadmill both days, but I haven't had much energy yet. Woke up with a headache this morning. The weather is trying to change again.

That's about it. Happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers reading this, especially my mom. Of course I will call her either today or tomorrow! Remember to call yours if she is still living, and I hope you get called by your children!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Boy are we least I am! We got to the clinic at 7 and got back to the hotel at 4. We were able to snag some food about 9:30 and a donut stick at 2. So, we're tired and hungry and I know Bill is tired of being poked and prodded.

All of his tests were good, lab numbers were good, echo and stress echo both good. His resting ejection fraction (force that blood is pushed through the heart) was 66% and went to 80% when stressed which is excellent. Shows that the heart is functioning really well.

His bone scan didn't show any change and since he's been on Fosamax for 3 years, it is being discontinued. Dr. Patel said that it starts doing more harm than good after 3 years, mainly causing some cancers. So, no more weekly pills.

He would like to have a pulmonary function test be done in June, which is when we see Dr. Burbeck and it's also 6 months post pneumonia. He also would like the sleep telemetry redone at that time to see if he still needs the O2 at night. He thinks that since he is able to exercise more and is getting some stamina back that when he's back to "normal" on his exercise his level will not drop too low at night again.

We didn't see a dermatologist this time and Dr. Patel is going to see if we can be fit in tomorrow sometime. If not, I'll see if I can find one in Jonesboro or Memphis. There is a higher risk of skin cancer due to the anti-rejection drugs and since he spent a lot of time in the sun when he was younger he still wants to keep an eye on things. But, we don't know if we can be fit in tomorrow or not.

We want to see a friend tomorrow for lunch or an early dinner, or dinner tomorrow so we're kind of in limbo until we hear from Stephanie. After that we'll head home Wednesday and get home Thursday.

I don't know where we're going to dinner tonight, but I'm kind of thinking the beach. It's calling my name! The sea breeze yesterday when we got here felt sooo good! And it has picked up again this afternoon so walking on the pier would be wonderful!

All for now. I'll update this after we get home on Friday or Saturday...unless something happens and it needs updated sooner.