Wednesday, June 27, 2012

T-13: It Takes a Village

As the familiar saying goes, "it takes a village to raise a child", it honestly takes a village to have a transplant.  Mayo Clinic knows this and has named their transplant residence "The Village at Mayo Clinic".  We know this to be true as well.  So many of you have helped out in so many ways.  From those who have taken time off work to be with us.  Some have taken the boys in, while Joe is on dialysis.  Some have brought meals.  Some celebrated with us at the Kidney Benefit Dinner.  One person brings in our trash can (not sure who, but have a few "suspects").  And all have prayed for us.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  You are a source of such comfort.

Yesterday was a big day.  A day full of testing and more training.  We came away overwhelmed.  I'm not sure if up until now we have been in a state of self-preservation or if it was naivete, but we didn't realize how big this whole transplant process is.  Here's what we know (and don't know) at this point:

  • We still don't know about Joe's infection.  The doctor wanted one more urine test, but by the time we got out of the office, the lab was closed.  In fact, we were the last to leave.  Joe will have to take the test today and we will have the results on Friday.  Please continue to pray about this.
  • Joe most definitely will need to be in Phoenix for at last 4 weeks.  Longer if there are any complications.  We were hoping he could come home to recover and just drive to Phoenix for follow-up appointments.  No chance.  While there, he will need 24 hour supervision.  I asked about the possibility of making a 20 minute run to Wal-Mart in case we get low on groceries.  She said that by no means can I leave him for even 20 minutes, even after 4 weeks.  Please pray for clarity while I pack that I remember EVERYTHING.  To say that my memory has suffered lately is an understatement.  
  • We wanted to show the boys the Transplant House, so they would know where mommy and daddy would be staying.  We attempted to make our reservation for the night before the surgery and the following 4-6 weeks.  They appear to be full now and have placed us on a wait list.  Please pray for a place to stay.  It doesn't have to be the Transplant House, but that would be nice as it is on the Mayo Clinic campus, is VERY low cost, and is close to the pharmacy (I'll talk about that next).  We are looking into other avenues at this time.
  • The kidney nurse talked to us about medications.  We knew that Joe would be on at least 6 pills post-op.  We just had no idea of side-effects.  We just had to tell each other that the side-effects are worth it.  Dialysis or pills?  I think we all know how he feels about dialysis.  
Our bright spots:
  • The boys did very well.  It was a grueling 10 hours in the doctor's office.  Ok, even I got tired.  But, we sought out nooks and let the boys spread out and play.  
  • Joe's fistula is reversible.  The fistula is a connection of an artery and a vein to create a super vein for dialysis.  The vein is very large and uncomfortable for Joe.  It is also very loud and makes it hard for him to sleep at night.  The doctor said that one year post-op, he will reverse it.  Praise the Lord.
  • The fact that we are even having this conversation is a blessing.  No one knew 3 years ago that we would be standing here right now.  No one knew 8 months ago that we would be accepted by Mayo Clinic and receiving a kidney from a friend.  This is how I see it:
The two hikers knew they still had at least one more peak to crest.  Yet, they couldn't see the peak while hiking to this point.  Yesterday, they took an exploratory walk and glimpsed the enormity of the climb.  Alone, it is daunting.  However, they aren't alone.  "Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid, for the Lord God is the One who goes with you.  He will not leave you, nor forsake you" Deuteronomy 31:6  They have returned to base camp to prepare for the ascent.  

Please join us in prayer.  It takes a village.

where Glory meets my suffering