Thursday, April 12, 2012

Change, change, what else is new?

Tashi watching out for change
This has been a really tough, emotional week, starting last Thursday with having to call the squad for Tom's father, and now all the things that can arise with elderly parents have arisen, so Tom and his siblings are putting many hours into working the problems.

This morning we finally met with the kidney surgeon, the same guy who took a kidney from my donor, Laurie Brown, and with whom we met last year.  This year we were ready to tell him to schedule the removal of my native kidneys.  A big decision.  It might stop these increasingly dangerous UTIs; there's no way to be sure.  But it is sure that well-evolved e-coli kills people every day - bacteria that are outstripping our ability to invent antibiotics. And don't ask - we've done everything, talked to everyone from ID to our private kidney doc and our transplant center kidney doc and our family doc, done scans, and this is what it comes to.  Taking a chance.  If you follow this blog you know I've had something like 15 UTIs in 16 months.

I knew I was anxious about this meeting when I had acid reflux last night, then when I woke up at 5:00 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep.  Yet I was surprised to find myself exhaling as we walked out of the transplant center.  A lot.  And then, in a comic touch, burping several times; apparently my stomach was holding its breath too.  I still feel good, almost high with relief.

Who did I tell? Maybe yesterday I talked a little with my physical therapist about this, and said, "I've been sick most of the time since 2005," and felt tears well up.  It's true.  And I had to laugh this morning when the nurse asked me the various screening questions they do before the doctor comes in:  "Are you in any pain today?"  Well, the usual, left ankle, right rotator cuff, flare-up of the sciatic nerve.  Nothing significant to them, as long as my abdomen feels good.

Change, change.  It's really weird to be a carbon-based life form.  It could be good to be silicon-based next time, or a tree, or a river, the kind made of water.

6 comments:

  1. Do you keep Aloe Vera juice in case you have reflux?
    It usually helps soothe.

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    1. I'll make a point of getting some. Thanks.

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  2. Oh Jeanne, I wish I could be there to hold your hand--literally. Keep us posted!

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    1. You will be - I'll be connected, except for the few hours in the operating room. They're funny about that.

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  3. Sending strength. These are tough decisions since it seems not making a change is clearly also fraught with risk.

    Your conclusion makes me think of the old song, swingin' on a star: "or would you rather be a fish?"

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    1. Thank you. It feels like most of the struggle was in making the decision, and is over.

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