They say it’s your birthday…

I have to apologize for going incognito these past few weeks… it’s been a bit crazy in Berta-world lately!  However, I want to start off by celebrating Kirby’s One-Month Birthday!!!  One month ago today, I had my transplant…I can’t believe it’s already been a whole month!  I know it’s not exactly a big benchmark date for my docs yet (I think they say you’re more “in the clear” after 6 months or so…not sure), but I’m going to acknowledge it as an accomplishment.  🙂  Also, I have to laugh… I went back to read the post I made when I got the call, and I think I was in such a “let’s get this done” mode, I didn’t really show my excitement much, so knowing I’ve gotten this far, and knowing how well things have gone, I’m going to go ahead and let out a huge “WWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!”  😀

Of course, though, as is always the case, there’s a few tumbles along the way, and that’s kind of what we’ve been getting through this last week or so.  Last Wednesday, I went in for one of my clinic/lab work appointments, when they told me that some of the phosphorus and magnesium levels in my blood work were way too low…ok, by now, you’re thinking, “so eat something!”  I was thinking just that myself.  How difficult can it be to bring up your minerals, right?  Well, last laugh on me… it’s not as easy as I’d think, and the doctor told me he couldn’t let me leave the hospital without admitting me to get them all balanced out.  What?  I know, I’m having to go back to 5th grade nutrition classes to relearn all the things that are so important with everyday vitamins and minerals, and what foods have which minerals, but apparently, it’s a pretty big deal when you have too much/too little of something.  Enough of a big deal, that had they not admitted me, they said I was at risk of having a heart attack!  My kidney has been working so well, it’s basically become this black hole just sucking out everything from my blood and spitting it out, not paying attention to what it is… that’s normal, and it’s supposed to eventually balance out, esp as they get my meds tweaked to fit me.  It’s just a huge balance-game right now, and I know to expect a few ups and downs as we figure this out.   So, I was in the hospital for about 3 days as they monitored me and gave me all sorts of IV fun.

After they released me, I was scheduled to go back into surgery on Tuesday (yesterday) to get my dialysis catheter removed! The surgery went really well and I was able to go home the same day, but I pretty much slept off the anesthesia and pain meds most of yesterday and this morning.  I can’t tell you how happy, relieved, and excited I was to look down at my belly and NOT see that ugly 2 foot tube hanging there anymore!!!  I literally cried with joy!  I’m slowly, step-by-step, getting back to normal!!  I was just telling a friend of mine yesterday, although my stomach is going to be all marked up with ugly scars, I’m going to look at them proudly as a badge I had to fight for.  I EARNED those things dammit!  🙂 In the meantime, I’ve had to take a small step backwards in my progress… I’m back to walking stooped over and slow like a grandpa b/c of this surgery, and I won’t lie, this surgery seems a lot more painful healing than the transplant was, but I’m trying to take things easy and let my body do it’s thing.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share a visual documentary of a few things in my “new” life, as well as a few things I’d like to say “goodbye” to….

New life:

bruises from bloodwork

No, these are not tracks…I’m just glad it’s the season to wear long sleeves! (FYI, these are from the blood draws I have to do every other day…sometimes multiple sticks/day…ugh)

Pillbox

The almost 35 pills I have to take everyday…I’m giving grandpa a run for his money! This pillbox is HUGE! LOL!

Life on dialysis…these, I will NOT miss!

Boxes

The many, many boxes we have stashed in our dining room! I had to use one box every night.

Boxes 2

More boxes…they’re EVERYWHERE!

IV stand

The beautiful IV pole I had to use for my manual exchanges (every afternoon).

The cycler

My cycler…had to hook up to this machine every night. I had to get a mini fridge to keep sodas/juice in case I had a sugar low…being connected, I couldn’t run to the kitchen!

My "station"

Another part of my “grandma” bedroom… the “station” where I had to check my blood pressure, temp, weight, take my pills, etc… sexy, huh? 😉

heating pad

The heating pad…the dialysis fluid had to be heated up before using. Usually there are three of the manual bags on this thing…I just haven’t had to restock.

Sorry, these pics made the post so long…I haven’t figured out how to post them side by side!  LOL!  Anyway, hopefully that gives you a small glimpse into what I’ve had to work around these past few years.  Some of this stuff is still around because I’m awaiting clearance to return them (the dialysis fluid/cycler, etc.), and I’m still having to use the “station” as we balance out the meds, but soon, they will all be gone.  I’m counting down the days!  🙂

************

Things I’m thankful for today:

1.  NO MORE TUBE!!!!!

2.  My friend in Australia is getting HER kidney tomorrow!  Good luck Maria!!!

3.  I didn’t have to stay longer than 3 days in the hospital… no more hospital food!

4.  My mom for sneaking me in some yummy Mexican food while there… you can only eat so many Amy’s GF mac and cheese dinners before your taste goes numb.

5.  Magazines.  I think I read every single magazine on the rack while in the hospital… I told my friend Steve I was going to end up the most stylish patient on the floor!

6.  Retail therapy.  Even if it’s just a quick stop to CVS, sometimes buying something new really does lift your spirits when you need it!

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2 responses

  1. Sacrifice is the secret to happiness hey? Well we certainly have seen both sides. Day 2 post transplant and I’m feeling amazing. Slow, but so grateful. X

  2. I can completely relate to what you are saying about having the boxes disappear. I was on PD until I had my kidney/pancreas surgery on November 28. It really is a feeling of liberation

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