Signal Wave

wave.gif

Hey, y'all. I thought today I would finally post a follow-up about how Kate's doing.

I was stressed beyond belief the day she was in surgery. It was worse because I had received the impression that 4 hours was the average length of time spent in surgery. As it got to 5 hours, and 6, and 7, and no call had come, I was outwardly calm and inwardly spitting nails.

It went splendidly. But, of course, it was a major surgery; Kate apparently had tubes coming out of her every which way (I don't know because in a COVID world, a transplant patient can only have one visitor/caretaker, and that was Nick. I was keeping the home fires burning, as they say.) She was in ICU for 4 days, which I thought was great because the ICU was the most sanitized part of the hospital. Did I mention how nervous it made me to have her undergo a transplant in the middle of a pandemic? So yeah, I was happy she stayed in intensive care that long. Afterward, they transferred her to a patient wing called, colloquially, "The Hilton," where each patient got his or her own room. She stayed there for a couple of weeks.

During that time, the question was basically "Will the transplant `take?'" The new kidney did great from the beginning, chugging along without incident. The pancreas had an early problem. There wasn't enough room in there for it. Kate is small of stature, but that wasn't the only issue. Apparently, it's customary in transplant operations NOT to take out the old organs or the old dialysis lines that are put in for peritoneal dialysis. So, they left all those things inside Kate. They had to go back in a couple times, and one of those times was to remove the old dialysis line. It's a good thing they did, because it turned out the dialysis line was wrapped around her intestines and had been for some time. That's why dialysis was so extremely painful for Kate; the ordinary pain of dialysis was magnified by having something wrapped tightly around her intestines.

We were very glad to see the back of dialysis.

So then it became a question of whether the pancreas would settle in and start doing its job. Amazingly, it did. Just as an aside, it's unusual for me to feel wonder at the advance of human technology these days, because the people controlling that technology from inception to marketing are such poisonous rotters that it becomes near-impossible to experience any enthusiasm for their products. I mean, I don't give a shit if they invent tech that can tell what people are saying to each other by measuring the way leaves on nearby plants move when the folks speak, nor if they invent newer and cooler ways of blowing people to smithereens from a great distance. So it was a welcome change to feel how miraculous the technology of organ transplantation is.

I doubt I can convey how amazing it is to Kate that she can eat a full meal and have her blood sugar go no higher than 130. For the first time in 36 years, she is not a diabetic. Can you imagine that?

Since she got home, the pancreas and kidney continue to do well, with only one stutter: for one week, her potassium went up. Apparently, it's not uncommon for new transplanted kidneys to fail to eliminate all the various minerals and other substances they should early on in the process. They tweaked her medication, and we went on. Her potassium came down, and all was well. Since then, her numbers continue to be good--so good that they have moved her to once-a-week labs (from twice-a-week) and have put her on Zoom appointments. They do this to minimize her contacts, but they wouldn't feel free to do it were she not doing really, really well.

The pills are complex, but not more complex than managing diabetes medications AND dialysis; Kate has decades of practice managing multiple medications, and Nick, as her partner, has more than a decade of practice managing them too. At this point, I think Kate's greatest frustration is the limitations placed on her physical activity while she's healing. She's not allowed to bend over. She's not allowed to lift more than 5 lbs. She has to be careful how much sunlight she gets. She was just cleared to get in our pool for the first time since last year (you can't go swimming if you're doing peritoneal dialysis--at least that's my understanding).

So, everything is going really well.

That's my long-promised update on Kate. I'm grateful to be part of a community that cares so much. Thanks especially to those who kept reminding me I hadn't written this!

Share
up
20 users have voted.

Comments

Hearty congratulations to Kate and to your family! Times are tough but I hope you're all able to get some joy from the bits of healing and restored freedoms, may both keep coming.

up
11 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Reverend Jane Ignatowski

up
2 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Dawn's Meta's picture

Hearty congratulations to Kate and to your family and dear ones.

The fright over doing this during COVID must have been horrible. Sounds like her providers are more with it than some we have read about.

Take care.

up
10 users have voted.

A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Dawn's Meta

on top of it--at least when they can be. Luckily, the transplant patients are truly in the luxury side of the hospital, where a COVID level of sanitizing and distancing was almost the norm *before* COVID.
The only thing that I thought was a bit lax is that they were not on top of the button that you had to push to make the doors to the hospital building open--we took care of that by not touching it directly.

up
5 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

FWIW, my father had a kidney transplant and I know how nerve wracking all that was. I can’t imagine how it is now with Covid and all that. I’m really glad to hear all went well. For my father, it made a huge difference and it sounds like it will for Kate too!

up
11 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter

I hope it's been that good for your dad as well.

up
4 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal I couldn’t believe how quickly he felt better! Wishing Kate that luck too!

up
3 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

horror show:

...the dialysis line was wrapped around her intestines and had been for some time.

good on kate, the docs, the nurses, and most especially to you and nick. often being a caregiver is as hard, or even harder, than being 'the patient'.

up
10 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@wendy davis

Kate is very brave and stoical about physical pain, and has a high pain tolerance, but the operation that put the dialysis line in and the subsequent pain of treatment were both bad enough that she was actually overcome. That was scary, and hard to watch.

I guess at least now we know why the treatments were so bad.

up
3 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Lookout's picture

All the best to you all.

Be well and happy!

up
6 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Lookout

By the way, your Weekly Watch is really pertinent to my life today. It's been a bit nuts here because of different people's ideas of what is and isn't appropriate, and I think a lot of the variance in people's opinions on that would not exist if it were not for the crazy mixed messages we've all been getting.

Intellectual independence--to the extent that any of us can attain it--has never been so precious. Perhaps self-reliance is a better term?

I feel like I should re-read Emerson's "Self-Reliance!"

up
6 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Lookout's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
try watching the documentary "The Magic Pill" embedded in today's WW. It ties together lots of health and environmental misunderstandings IMO. Mileage may vary as you know.

up
4 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

magiamma's picture

@Lookout
Wowie zowie

Totally worth watching. I know a lot but learned a bunch. I hope this goes viral.

up
2 users have voted.

Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

Lookout's picture

@magiamma

It ties together so much of what I've blathered about over the last few years.
Here's the link if someone else has interest.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6duhSjYyj0k

up
1 user has voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Sorry to be coming on so late, but it's a bit of a rough morning here. One of my neighbors, who I actually like a lot, has a different concept of social distancing than we do, and it's caused some upset.

up
3 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

magiamma's picture

Thank you. A great relief for all.

Continued good health to all of you.

Stay well and take good care.

up
3 users have voted.

Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@magiamma

You too!

up
1 user has voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

enhydra lutris's picture

around. Sorry that it was so stressful for all involved, but the result sounds well worth it. The fact of suddenly being no longer diabetic sounds amazing, a whole flood of freedoms and abilities in that simple statement. So good to hear.

be well and have a good one.

up
4 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

lotlizard's picture

Kate doing so well is wonderful news!

In such a time it’s important to be reminded that medical miracles and good outcomes are still possible and happening to folks we know and care about.

up
4 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@lotlizard

Every piece of good news is so valuable now.

This one, of course, is more valuable to me than most. Smile

Always good to "see" you, lotlizard.

up
5 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Anja Geitz's picture

Please give Kate our very best and tell her how happy I am she’s doing well. A long journey for all of you. Hope you take the time to celebrate this milestone in her ongoing progress. I’m thinking three cupcakes with a candle for each of you.

0250515E-3530-446E-9ACA-9D24F6AA013F.jpeg

Don’t forget to take good care of yourself too!

up
3 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Anja Geitz

for that phone call the other day. Did me a world of good.

up
2 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Anja Geitz's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

It was nice catching up with you and having a few laughs. We all need it!

up
1 user has voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

travelerxxx's picture

Thank-you, CStMS! Such wonderful news! Gawd knows we all need it, but especially your family ...and particularly in these times.

Please do keep us posted as to progress as much as you feel you can.

up
2 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@travelerxxx

up
2 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Thanks a lot! Great signal to start the day, and it has ended pretty well too. Sonoma County went back on the watch list Friday, tomorrow bars and restaurants close again. Not like I'll miss them but the local headlines are a bummer. Really glad you all are doing okay, what a story! Right on, keep sending. Cheers

peace and love

up
2 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

spotty in regards to getting to log in here, lately, and just now saw your wonderful news!

Very, very happy for you and Kate, and all your loved ones. From what I understand, there are some excellent medical facilities in your state--sounds like you were fortunate to have access to one.

We haven't had a close family member undergo transplant surgery, although, Mr M is being watched very carefully (for just that reason). At least for now, meds are doing a good enough job, thankfully.

Know it had to be a stressful experience. Especially with threat of COVID, to contend with. Know it might take a while for Kate to fully recover, but, sounds as though she has the spunk to do it, and do it well. Pleasantry

Will be thinking of you. Take care. Stay safe.

Mollie

"The leaders of this new movement are replacing traditional liberal beliefs about tolerance, free inquiry, and even racial harmony with ideas so toxic and unattractive that they eschew debate, moving straight to shaming, threats, and intimidation."
~~Matt Taibbi, The American Press Is Destroying Itself, June 12, 2020

"I know, I know. All passion; no street smarts."
~~Captain West, 1992 Rob Reiner/Aaron Sorkin Movie, A Few Good Men

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went.”
~~Will Rogers, Actor & Social Commentator (1856-1950)

up
0 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.