Listening Skills

Okay, so we all hear what we want to hear, and sometimes what we hear isn’t what was said. And sometimes, we just flat out don’t hear it correctly.
Dad and I both heard the same thing, at different times, so that at least makes me feel better that I’m not operating in the “hear what you want to hear space”. We both understood the information to mean one thing, and the reality is apparently totally different…
I was under the impression that a good portion of the tests and labs being run were to help get Lee better and a side result was that this would help get him on the transplant list.
Boy, I could not have been more wrong.
Mom took the early morning shift yesterday in order to catch all of the doctors. I had volunteered so that she could get some sleep, but she wanted to be the one there when the docs came in and I totally respect that, I would too if it was my kid in there! I came in and it didn’t look like good news, but operating on the cloud of information I had, I wasn’t prepared, none of us were, actually.
As of right now, everything that is being done is not to help get him on the transplant list, but to just help him survive. To try and keep him alive.
His liver enzymes are looking better, meaning they haven’t gotten worse. His kidneys are doing worse, the numbers are a bit better but that is due to dialysis, not because they are functioning in their own. He is running a fever so he does have an infection somewhere in his body. They have him on antibiotics and will take cultures to see if they can identify who, what, when and where. Okay, they don’t have to identify all of that, it just sounded good!
I know that most of this information you don’t need, but in addition to using this blog as a cathartic release, this is a good spot to document and record Lee’s journey. I do have to laugh sometimes, because I will anguish over my Facebook status update, making sure I only put specific information out and try and keep it as positive as possible.  I need to keep family and friends updated and honestly, FB is just much easier than trying to email and text and call everyone, but not everyone needs to know the nitty-gritty information.  So, aren’t you guys the lucky ones?!?! 🙂
listening skills

I’m Out of Clean Clothes

I live in Texas.  I only own two pairs of jeans and you can only wear them so many times before you have to put them in the dirty clothes basket.  I’ve worn them twice (okay, one of them I actually wore three times) but today I was reduced to my track pants.  Yup.  The very loud pants – the ones that announce you are coming into a room minutes before you actually arrive.  But, I paired it with a really cute top!  I totally pulled it off, but that’s not the point – the point is that I must find time to do laundry! I figure if I have time to update you, then I have time to do laundry… 🙂 I’ll have clean jeans tomorrow.

I need more of these - but it would be a waste of money...

I need more of these – but it would be a waste of money…

The weather is finally warming up, but the problem is, I haven’t shaved my legs all week and I’m still as white as a ghost because our winter had dragged on forever.  FOREVER.

Anyway… back to the real story.  If you are tired of updates on Lee, then go ahead and just hit the “like” button and move on.

Lee has responded very well to the dialysis.  This morning we found out that his kidneys are improving.  We also found out that his liver is still congested and is getting worse.  His enzyme count is going up, and going up is bad.  So, a GI doctor was called in and we talked for a bit.  He asked about this and that and was surprised that the heart condition was just diagnosed 8 months ago.  He asked about family history.  I explained to the doctor that Lee was adopted and we don’t have any information about his family history.  (Oh, by the way, for those of you that were surprised yesterday to see that Lee and I don’t look alike, he’s adopted.  We got him when he was 6 months old, from South Korea.  As another side note, I’m really proud of myself for remembering that he’s adopted, cause I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in the doctors office with him and when family history comes up, I start to list off medical issues in the family and he looks at me and goes “I’m adopted”.  Or, when I’m alone and filling out my own paperwork, I can’t tell you how many times I have to stop and tell myself “No, heart issues don’t run in the family, Lee is adopted.”  🙂 I don’t refer to him as my adopted brother, because to me, he’s just my brother.  Plus, it’s really fun to mess with new people “don’t you see the resemblance? ” or even better, and yes, my sister and I have done this “Mom had an affair with the milk man, but don’t say anything, dad doesn’t know.” )

adoption

Okay, where was I?  GI doctor.  He ordered some tests, some blood work and a sonogram.  I’m sure we will have the results tomorrow.  We also saw the Infectious Disease specialist today.  Lee seemed to be running a fever – and apparently it’s very hard to run a fever while on dialysis.  I wasn’t aware, but the process of removing, cleaning and replacing the blood, it cools it down.  Lee is under several blankets and a bear hug blankets – which is pretty cool, it is a blanket of tubes and hot air is blown into the tubes and it “hugs” the body to help it stay warm.  The ID doc says everything looks okay, but they are going to monitor Lee, just in case.

Lee is still in a lot of pain, and one of his doctors pisses him off beyond belief, but that’s the doctor that comes in and presses hard on his belly every morning.  That would upset me, too!  Today he slept a lot today, but when he did wake up, he was very lucid and was able to have a conversation with all of his doctors.  He is drinking now, and the nephrologist is very happy with the urine output – while minimal, he is producing some and that is a good thing!  Lee also requested some fruit, grapes specifically.  When his surgeon came in we asked about that, and he cleared Lee for the fruit.  We were able to have nutrition bring up a fruit platter and Lee ate several bites.  This is great news as it relates to his progress.

Not the actual fruit plate... but it is pretty darn close!

Not the actual fruit plate… but it is pretty darn close!

Right now all of his doctors are thinking that the liver problems are related to his heart condition.  Once the tests are run and everything else is ruled out, then they will do a heart cath and monitor the blood flow on the right side of his heart.  The results of this test will probably mean that the transplant team will be notified and Lee’s file will be pulled and they will start reviewing the tests.  But, that is still a bit in the future, so I’ll save talk of transplant for later!

Happy Friday everyone!

I Learn Something New Everyday

Today I learned about dialysis.  I’ll be honest and let you all know that I really didn’t want to learn about dialysis.  I knew about it vaguely, in the back of my mind, but it was never something that I wanted to actually know about.  Especially since I’m learning about it due to Lee.

I’m sure I mentioned yesterday that his kidneys weren’t working properly, and the goal was that once the gallbladder was removed his kidneys would be able to start processing and filtering his blood.  I may not have mentioned that the gallbladder had been seeping, leaking into his body, and his liver was congested.  The doctors did mention that his insides were goopy, not the most medical of terms, but accurate nevertheless! Since his heart hasn’t been beating very strongly, and the seeping of the gallbladder, congestion of the liver and the kidneys not working, he has some goop in him.

We found out early this morning that his kidney function had not improved, had in fact gone down some.  So, dialysis was the next step.  Now, normal dialysis is where you go in, sit in your chair and they hook you up to the machine for several hours and your blood is cleansed.  (Okay, there are five different types of dialysis, and I’m not going to get that technical.) This process would be too hard on Lee’s body, it wouldn’t be able to handle the stress of the procedure and his blood pressure wouldn’t be able to maintain.

Lee will be getting Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy.  CRRT is much more gentle than regular dialysis.  Instead of doing it in a couple of hours, they will take 24 hours and more to clean his blood.  This is a very slow and gentle process, and for ICU patients, it is the preferred method as it allows the doctors to continue to treat everything else at the same time without having to worry about waste product and fluid build up from the failing kidneys.  Lee has his own machine in his room and he’s going to be hooked up and monitored 24/7 while he is going through this treatment.

In order to undergo the CRRT, Lee had to have another procedure done today – he had local anesthesia and they installed a port.  His blood work came back with indicators that the port they wanted wasn’t going to work, so they have installed a temporary port.  When the nurse told us that was what they were doing, mom and I looked at each other and were like “that works for us, as he shouldn’t be on this long enough for the temporary port to wear out.”.  As they were getting ready to take Lee down to have the port installed, mom asked him if he needed anything else.  He looked at here and nodded and replied “I need the doctors to quit finding stuff wrong with me so that I can go home.”

We are right there with you Lee.  Right there with you!!

As with everything, there are risks.  As such, I’m not going to Google it.  You know how I feel about that (Google Is Not Your Friend!).

Today, during one of his lucid moments, I got in for a picture with him.  He wasn’t all that pleased… 😉

Meet my brother, Lee.

Meet my brother, Lee.

Quick update on today’s surgery

Ok, my Word Press is acting up, and I’ve resorted to doing this on my phone.

First off Kari, it won’t let me comment on your blogs, so I want you to know that I hope it works out for you guys, either with moving or for things to improve at his job!

Secondly, thank you to everyone for their outpouring of support. I’m not usually a needy person, but my baby brother is like my son. With the 10 year age difference, we’ve always been close. It has been hard to see him going through this. His life is not what any one should go through, much less a 28 year old.

Today’s surgery was successful. This morning we were told that his kidneys were shutting down even more and so we really needed surgery to go well. I must tell you that he had a great team of doctors and nurses and staff. I mean, an awesome team. We stayed with Lee until the very end, riding down the elevator with him and then split ways at the OR. We were very blessed and the OR director came and got us out of the waiting room and took us to a private room. Me, dad, mom and Grammy Skeeter (mom’s mom). We were notified that the anesthesiologist said Lee was doing good and then an hour later we were notified that he had come through. We were back in his ICU room just minutes after he was. Again, let me tell you that he had a great team!

Once he was settled in his room, Grammy Skeeter and I left. It would be several hours before he really woke up. And I figured mom and dad could use some time together and with him.

It was so very emotional, and I will admit that I cried on the shoulder of the OR director, but I just love her and she took the tears in stride! I was okay until mom and dad shed tears! Well, I was kinda okay. Lol.

The road of recovery from this surgery will be up and down, and we still have his heart condition, gout and diabetes to contend with, but it feels good to have this part over with. I texted mom a bit ago and she said that he was starting to stir and that his color looked better.

I’ll go sit in ICU with him tomorrow morning and hopefully my mind will settle and I’ll be able to get more accomplished!

Thanks again for all of the prayers and support, I just wanted to give you a heads up that all went well and we are very happy right now. 🙂

I’m trying, I’m really trying

I’m trying to stay on top of everything.  I’m trying to read all of your blogs and offer up my thoughts in your comment sections.  I like the interaction.  I’m trying to stay on top of Facebook and see what is going on in my friends lives, and to like and comment as I need to.  I’m trying to get through all of my emails, both work and personal and answer accordingly.  I’m trying to check my phone frequently and listen to voice mails and answer texts, heck, I’m just trying to answer the phone!

Today it’s hard.  Lee has been in the hospital, in ICU since Sunday night.  Yes, it’s only Tuesday, but it feels like longer.  His gallbladder needs to be removed, and apparently, it is painful.  Those I’ve heard from that have gone through this have told me how painful it is, and Lee is in that pain.  It’s worse for him due to his cardiomyopathy.  And, seriously, they can’t keep him on enough anti-nausea and morphine.  When I’m in the room, the anti-nausea is the most important.  Every time he grabs the pink tub, he looks at me and goes “Sorry Kate.”  I guess it’s good that he knows he’s not allowed to puke in front of me – or at least he understands that I will puke right there next to him if he does… Is that TMI?  It feels like TMI…

Did you know that a kidney doctor is called a nephrologist? Yup, I learned that today, too.  Lee’s kidneys aren’t working.  This is vital for surgery, but after meeting with the doc it was decided that the reduced function is primarily due to his heart condition, not due to dehydration, so we aren’t going to delay surgery due to reduced kidney function.

The hardest part of this is that Lee was doing so very well.  Amazingly well.  And then past couple of months have just been one beating after another.  Gout.  Diabetes.  Gallbladder. It’s hard to see him in the hospital bed and not knowing for sure that he’ll leave it.  It’s hard to see my mom fight back the tears when we get more bad news.  It’s hard to hear my dad say that he just doesn’t think Lee has the fight left in him that he needs.  It’s really hard when I have to agree with him.

So, I’m back home after having spent all morning in the ICU with Lee.  I’m trying to get my work done – and just can’t focus.  So, instead, I’m sharing with you! His surgery is scheduled for tomorrow (Wednesday) at approximately 1 pm.  I’ll go back tomorrow morning, like today.  It worked out well, T and I left at the same time, he walked to the bus stop and I drove to the hospital.  🙂  There are a lot of issues working against him, but he has such a great team of doctors.  Several of these doctors we’ve been working with closely for the last 8 months and the new ones we’ve just encountered come highly recommend and we’ve gotten really good impressions from.  I won’t stay for the surgery, I’ll come home and wait to hear from our parents.  And pray.  I’ll be doing a lot of praying.

On the plus side – Erica had her baby today!!!  Graced my Emilie now has a little baby brother, Landon.  8 lb. 4 oz. 20″.  The funniest part is, last night we all made predictions on the size of the baby on Erica’s FB… and she was spot on!  Her prediction was the right one!  I think she had inside information…

Root Canals Aren’t That Bad!

Never in my life would I expect to utter those words!  I’m not going to lie, today, I really believe it! After the work I’ve had done so far, the root canal was a breeze.  I will tell you that my jaw is very sore, it hurts to talk and yawing about kills me – and I’m running a small fever.  Have no clue why, so I’m chalking it up to stress.

About 20 years ago, I had a root canal done. Well, that is the tooth that a few weeks ago changed my life.  The crown came off, and took the tooth with it.  You know this story.  I had it extracted.  It sucked.  Today was the root canal on the tooth in front of it, in preparation for the permanent bridge.  It wasn’t bad.  If you are squimish about teeth though, do NOT read any further.

happytooth

My mom called me this morning when she realized that the root canal was today. She goes “Who is taking you?”  Ummm, no one? I’m driving myself.  “You can’t do that.  What time is your appointment?”  10:00 am.  “Well, I can take off and come get you.”  Mom, you really don’t have to, I’m pretty sure I can drive myself.  No, really mom, they would have told me if I couldn’t drive.  (Now, as a side note, my mom does NOT do teeth.  We cannot discuss teeth in front of her.  We can’t show her a loose tooth.  Sometimes, we can’t even smile too big in front of her.  She walks into the dentist office and checks in, goes back to the car, takes a couple of Valium and waits for them to come get her, from her car, cause there is no way she’ll sit in the waiting room.)  Now that you know that, you understand how awesome it was that she offered!  That was like a huge deal for her to offer.  Being the awesome daughter I am, I told her that when the office opened, I’d call them and verify that I could drive.  Which I did.  And they confirmed, I’d just be numb, I’d be fine.

I get there and let them know that after breakfast I did brush and floss… but I had pizza for breakfast, so, uh, don’t judge if you find a random piece of dough.  Then they stick me with those awful needles.  My jaw immediately starts hurting when they jab that needle in there.  But, it’s for a good cause.  I’ll tolerate it.  The Price is Right is on the TV above me, so I have fun watching them bid while the entire left side of my face goes numb.

Price is right

Not a bad way to pass the time…

Okay.  It’s time to begin.  Whirl, Buzz, Suction… I’m starting to regret not having brought headphones.  Nah, it’s okay.  I am a big girl, I am tough.  OH MY GOD!  My entire body flinched before I even realized that all of the sudden, it really hurt!  The dentist was awesome – before it had even fully registered to me, she was out of my mouth and going “Kate, I’m going to numb you some more.”  Ya think? I was like – yeah, I felt that.

After a very short delay, we were back at it.  Whirl, Buzz, and then a weird vibrating thing happened.  It was odd.  I’m not even going to go there.  But then, then, oh my goodness, then the Dr. goes “Wow, look at your root. Look how big it is!”  Okay, I don’t want to see this, I don’t want to know this, I keep my eyes shut for a reason, but when you say something like that to me — I’M GOING TO LOOK!!!

don't look

Y’all, there was my root, just sitting on the drill bit.  And the doc is going on and on about how big it is.  I’m nodding and saying what I think is the appropriate response – all the while I have this inner dialog going “oh my goodness, that is so gross… **shudder**.  Wait, go look again.  Look at that, is it big?  It seems big.  Gross, gross, gross, why is she showing this to me?”  Then, I about die, when she wipes it off the drill bit and onto her finger and puts it right in front of me and states again “Look at how big this is.”  I don’t know if I should be proud or ashamed?!? I mean, is it good?  Is it bad?  I don’t know!!

Fortunately, I was saved from further inner dialog as she got back to work.  Very soon I heard the words “Okay, I just have to finish and close you up.”  Oh thank you Lord.  It’s almost over.  My jaw is killing me.  I’ve just seen parts of my body that I never wanted to see – that I never even thought was possible to see.  I’m feeling very traumatized!!

Before I know it, I’m checking out.  They hand me scripts for the usual antibiotics and pain killers and I’m on my way.  I survived.  I was able to come home and get some work done.  Then I took a small nap, I couldn’t help myself.  I think that the dentist office just makes me sleepy.  That or the pain pills!

True to course, my dad called a bit ago to make sure I had food and see how I was feeling.  I was prepared this time!  I didn’t need him to bring me anything, which made me feel good about myself! Of course, as we all know, third time is a charm, because for the first 2 dental issues, I did have to have dad bring me food!  I’m a slow learner sometimes, what can I say? 🙂

So yeah, that happened, I saw the root that was removed from my tooth.  That is an image I will never forget.  Ever.

These are on Clearance, Go Buy Some!

And then send me some! Send me plenty.  While most of my fellow bloggers are touching on important issues, such as a baby due in a week and the fact that they are doing the 45 minute version of Turbo Jam or how they are spending time with their family on hikes… I just want this:

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Heaven in a little blue package!

I’ve never had these, but Monday I picked up one for me and T, cause I’m cool like that, and oh my gosh… heavenly!  So, go buy some while they are on sale and send them to me! Please and thanks!

And now, cause it’s Supernatural Wednesday, here are the images that have hit my Pinterest page related to Supernatural.  Remember, I’m obsessed!

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I’ve actually found some pj’s that say this and come with pants… the moment I have money to blow, I’m buying me some new PJ’s!!!

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Dean Winchester… ***drool*** (Yes, I know his real name, but it’s his character that I love.)

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One more of Dean… Just cause

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Sam Winchester, the younger brother. Master of the puppy dog eyes, which are not represented here at all!

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Dean and Sam, tied up. Yeah… tied up…

Ran across this the other day – and it totally cracked me up – fits in with my Supernatural Obsession and the fact that both Dean AND Sam made the list… well, nerd heaven! Enjoy 3 Chic Geeks blog and Happy Tuesday!

Three Chic Geeks

bad boyfriends

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and it’s time to think about to whom you’re going to profess your undying love. As dedicated fanboys and fangirls, we all have a few characters we are at least a little bit in love with. Or a lot in love with. Or obsessed with. You know, that kind of thing. True love won’t be stopped by the constraints of reality, after all – you are absolutely certain that Dean Winchester is the man for you. Great, but we here at 3 Chic Geeks have extensively gone through every one of our fictional crushes and picked apart all the reasons why they would NOT be good boyfriends. Read on to find out what we think would be the dealbreakers for each of the characters!!

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I Have the Best Friends

Thanks for stopping by my blog! Please feel free to look around and let me know what you think!

Okay, don’t take this post as bragging; take it as me counting my blessings.  Or, take it as bragging, I’m really okay no matter which direction you take now that I think about it.

I do have a lot of blessings in my life.  It is so very easy to get weighed down by everything that seems to go wrong and everything bad in our lives and all of the vampire personalities that seem to be thrown my way, but I like to think that they are all in my life for a reason.  Mainly to teach me a lesson; however, sometimes I have experiences or people in my life so that I can teach them.

best friend

That’s not the point.  The point is that today I’m counting my friend blessings.  I really do have some great people in my life.  In her post Stand Falling Still Karaboo described our Diva group like this: “We have a sweetheart, a redneck, an ordained preacher, the girl-next-door, the wife of an ex-husband and an evil step-mom.” (Just FYI, I’m the sweetheart of the group!!!)

They are all different types, and they all feed my soul one way or another!  Today I want to share how I have the best friends in my life.

My Amy:  She got me a guy.  No joke.  When she was single, this guy found her and she thought that he’d be a better fit for me.  So, she gave him to me.  It worked out well! (She gets called my Amy by me and several of our friends in order to distinguish her from my sister Amy.  It started with my family, they couldn’t tell which Amy I was talking about and so I started calling her “my Amy” so that they would know which Amy…and it carried over. Convoluted, I know, but it works.)

Cook-Islands-Assets-Best-Friend

Holly: My wonderful friend from the blogosphere helps me indulge in my addictions. I posted about my current Supernatural obsession, and she showed me a web site that had the shows I missed… for FREE!  Seriously, friends that feed your addictions are wonderful! (Except when they’re not, some addictions probably shouldn’t be fed.  That’s not the case here – Holly totally gets props for feeding my addiction!!)  (On another note, does anyone say “props” anymore?) I’m all caught up now, by the way, because I know you were all wondering!

best-friends-i

Karaboo:  She runs away with me.  You don’t know how awesome it is to have a friend that will run away with you when you need it.  Our last trip was to a casino in Oklahoma.  It didn’t take long, we did come back, but she gets that sometimes I just need to get away, and she doesn’t judge that I like to wander around and look at the bright shiny games more than I like to play them!

BA:  He’s my chauffeur and my adventure buddy.  Okay, he’s probably my adventure buddy because he’s my chauffeur  When we have industry functions that we both are going to, he doesn’t mind picking me up and driving me.  When I get tickets to the Cowboy games, he drives.  When real adventure calls and it’s time for the Meatloaf concert, he drives.  (He’ll remind me that he’ll even pull over so I can puke on the side of the road.  Okay, it was ONE time!! And it was the morning after the Meatloaf concert, so I’m sure there were some toxins that needed out of me.  I won’t tell you that several hours later we were stopping at Care Now because he thought he was having a heart attack… yeah, it was gas.)

surround myself

Erica: She keeps me honest and makes me cookies that she never really shares.  Erica is the only person I talk to on an almost daily basis and it helps keep me grounded and in touch with reality.  Her latest pregnancy has had her baking almost non-stop.  Every time I turn around she’s making more cookies or cake or breads.  She sends me pictures, but refuses to mail me any.  She’s a tease, but I do love her! (She also encourages me to keep up my craft making, which is a very good thing.  I get distracted pretty… hey look, something shiny!)

Heather: This is a special shout – out, one she’ll probably never see, but the other day I saw an advertisement for Burger King’s new turkey burger, and I posted on FB that I needed someone to go try it for me and let me know how it was.  Heather did it!  She texted me the other day that it was so worth it and now I see a BK Turkey Burger in my future.

my friends live in it

There are so many more wonderful people in my life, and if I’ve left you off, it’s not for lack of love, it’s because I’m running out of space! I just wanted to share some of my blessings with you!  I have great friends who are there for me when I need to laugh, cry, yell or just run away from it all.  They put up with my quirks and eccentricities and personality disorders and still love me anyway!

I’d ask and invite you to share some of your friend blessings with me below, but you all know how much I hate that!   I just want to say thanks to everyone in my life that has been there for me, in big and small ways! I’m truly blessed!