Sunday, January 31, 2010

Meds, new stuff, whatever....

Well I have been told that I need to keep writing so here we go....

Life is fairly normal. Sean went back on Jan. 18th-only 20 days post transplant! Whoo-hoo for my hubby! He wanted to go back then and he did. Still going to appointments, at first weekly, and now two weeks. All the extra crap is out of his body-stint, dialysis port, etc. He was quite excited when the last thing was removed.

He came home on NO steroids! That was great considering the side effects of them. I think that this wonderful thing is due to Dr. P. Clark for saving the glands when he did the removal. This man was fabulous-a total pleasure! He takes a mess of meds still, but luckily NO steroids.

My sister in law is looking for meds so here they are: Cellcept 500 mg 2 times/day, Prograf 5 mg 2 times/day, Dapsone 1 time/day & Valcyte 1 time/day. He just began taking a low dose of something for his cholesterol. What has not been introduced back and I hope it continues to stay that way is a BP med. I am impressed with the BP since the new kidney!

Sean has done well at managing his meds . However with the snow and fun yesterday he was a few hours tardy in taking his meds. Please for my sake, don't bug him about it! He realizes the issues and was so irritated with himself that I said nothing. I only had him call the service to advise on the next dosing. Very proud-I do not babysit this process, so he now has a back up plan in place. He was in the process of changing over the documentation sheets which is part of the reason. I usually do glance at the pages (honestly, I think the kids do too) to make sure it's being done. Pills are in boxes on the fridge door, so you'd think I would have noticed. Oh well, lesson learned by all.

I am letting go of some things that take me out of the house in the evenings. I will still bowl on Monday nights and reception at Weight Watchers on Wednesdays. I did give up leading my Tuesday night meeting and leading on Wednesday night. I love my groups so it was a difficult choice. Last week in church it just became clear that I needed to find me in all this mess. I've been so focused on one thing and luckily for me I had these things to keep me focused on only the positive things. I credit working WW and bowling for that focus. Now however, I need a little rest. My daughter is getting older and will likely only be here for another 2 1/2 years. (She wants to go to school in FL.) and Garett is getting older too. We only have one life and limited time with our kids. I don't want a "new life" full of regrets-not to mention I kind of like spending time with my hubby. If not, what did I do all this for? So, I'm downsizing my responsibilities outside the house. I am happy with my decision and hope others will at least respect it.

Friday, January 22, 2010

From Zero to Sixty

Well this was the week Sean went back to work. I think he did well at the beginning of the week easing into it, especially since on his first day both of his other teammates were sick. He was on his own the first day.

However, by today, Friday, he was wiped out!!! He said many work orders came in yesterday and they had a lot to do and he even drove much of it by himself. I discussed with him the need to move as slow as he needs. His response was "I didn't lift anything." He is used to busting some butt to get those work orders done within a short period. When he was up to par, this was not a problem. Of course now, he jumped right back in not thinking about it and it caught up with him. As a result, there was a bit of leakage/blood on his shirt today from the incision area. I don't see where it came from, but none the less nerve racking.

Tonight he missed Garett's Blue and Gold because he just couldn't wear pants on that incision any longer. (We need to get him pants that fit better. He said the pants today were too big and he had to pull his belt too tight which is why the blood happened.) I am glad he finally agreed to leave. He came for dinner, but left before the awards. Garett didn't earn much so it wasn't a big deal.

The hardest thing for Sean is how much running we do daily after work. He went from seeing us often to hardly ever. He says he doesn't like it much. Some of it is the mid-week grocery trips, car repair trips and others are carting kids to and from their events. Add to that my working at WW and tutoring and we are going, going. So I guess when you go from nothing to's 0 to 60!

The doctors seem to think things look good with his kidney. It's kind of weird to see the labs weekly having the numbers change. You're up, you're's good, it's bad. His kidney function was at 55 and is now at 45. The doctors don't seem concerned about it, but to us having focused much of our life on this little number for so long, it seems like a big deal to have it go down! We are trying to take one visit at a time and roll with it if they don't worry, we try not to.

They are looking into Sean's headaches. He thinks its a stress sort of headache because of the location. He gave Sean some muscle relaxers to help it work itself out. If they continue, he might have a medication change as Prograf can cause headaches.

The good news this week is that the potassium is finally in a better range. Sean has been watching the foods he eats which I'm sure helped.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Back to Work

Well all,
I've heard that I scared some people with the post about Sean's levels. For that I'm sorry. I didn't post while I was stressed-I waited until we got the new numbers. It was very scary and we know that we need to watch the potassium intake. This is still happening now, but not as high as before. The surgeon said that Prograf is known to have something to do with it, so it might not be "all" about what Sean eats. We plan to ask the kidney doctor about this on Thurs.

Sean is going to try and go back to work on Monday. I think he needs to do this, but figure he'll be tired at the end of the day more so than he is used to. The upside I hope will be a better sleep. Since he is going back to work, he need some new clothes. He went from a XXL or XXXL to a L or XL. He is struggling to get his head around this. He keeps leaning toward the bigger clothes. I've had to remind him that he is not that big anymore!

I am getting caught up-sort of.....I have been weeks ahead all year and now, I'm barely done with next weeks lessons. (I usually have it all set out and that hasn't happened.) I hate that part of this! I want to be weeks ahead in my plans again. You'd think with time off, I could have done that, but I was wiped!

With the transplant done, I will begin to pursue other endeavors in my career. I got my Master in Leadership, so I may as well begin to consider opportunities that present themself. I was hesitant to do this knowing that transplant was looming over us. Now I feel like its time.

Now that he's well (and back to work), I guess I need to see if people are still interested in the blog. Drop a line with your thoughts to let me know.
Thanks for following us on this journey!

PS. My baby girl turned 16 today!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Better Now

I was trying to wait until we got the latest lab results prior to posting something. Tuesday we had the first appointment since release. It was a bit crazy. Apparently it is called "clinic" so that implies a huge wait time. It was nuts!!! They wouldn't do the labs prior to our appointment which proved to be a screw up.

Tues. night Sean got a call about his potassium levels being dangerously high. He was required to drink some prescription medicine (which is nearly impossible to find in Clarkville) to help eliminate potassium. Then off to a local doctor for blood work to check to see if it's back to normal. During the call the doctor kept asking if Sean's heart was well and did he feel okay. It is difficult to go from you are near deadly numbers to complacency as we spent the last two days tracking down results.

So with no one calling us back today, we went to our local doctor that drew the blood and told them we needed the lab results. With those in hand, we know that they are better, but still no input on if he's to maintain a low potassium diet or resume a regular diet. So he called his aunt to get some advise. He will stear clear of beans and potatoes, but will have tomato on sandwhiches. Then on Tues. we will clarify what kind of diet if any he must maintain.

Out of this, we have insisted that labs be done prior to the appointment so we can discuss the results as part of the visit. Otherwise it seems too very stupid to go all the way there. The point is to be relaxed after a visit not relaxed then all in an uproar. When they call at night and you are shocked and think of questions later. The downside if there is one (of drawing labs prior to doctor visit), is that Sean might have to be stuck a second time IF the doctor wants additional labs drawn.

This whole thing is getting confusing. We used to have a doctor and then a coordinator. Now we have so many doctors and one main number to use. I am not quite sure if we are to contact each doctor depending on the issue or this main number. Whatever the procedure, it was not working today. We called all numbers, emailed and got no response until we kept calling. I don't want to be "that" patient, but like I said, near "deadly" (the word they used) is a bit scarey and requires some contact. So you know I'll be asking who gets called and for what so this doesn't happen again. I'd also like to know the time frame for a call back.

Tuesday (12th) they are supposed to remove staples and dialysis port. It's time for the port. It started getting a little red/irritated yesterday and today. The following week on the 21st, Sean will see the kidney doctor, have a bone scan, have a stint removed and see a urologist. That will be a busy day! After that, if things look well, I think he'll go to his appointments without me. I might go to some a little later. Lab work from Vandi goes onto the website so we have access to it almost immediately.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The boys are going home!!!

Whoo-hoo 2010 is looking great!!!! The boys are both being released as I sit and type. Paperwork is under way. Both boys are dressed and ready. Sean is going home with most everything out-he still has the dialysis port in and won't get it out until he sees the surgeon in a few weeks. Sadly they could have taken it out today which upsets him because he wants that out now!!! We just asked the wrong doctor.

Jeremy's paperwork is done and he will see the doors long before us-and he's gone! The nurse said she has to round with meds for all THEN she will release him. We even had the same nurse. We hope that it is soon, but are happy it's today.