Sunday, March 17, 2013

One whole month without a post, no way!

I can't believe that I haven't had to post anything for one month, I think that's the longest we've gone since May 18th, 2011.  You know what that means?  Things have been good, much better.  A few weeks ago we  had a major bout with the stomach flu around this house, Abby started it, then it went through all of us, and Abby still had it.  It took her so much longer to get over it than the rest of us.  I think she thought it was awesome that she passed something to us this time rather than the other way around!  Other than that, Abby has been feeling better.  Her legs haven't gotten swollen since we changed her meds back, now they just turn bright red and become burning hot, like mini heaters.  Sometimes they look like this, mine is the normal colored foot of course.  It's weird because sometimes it goes all the way up her legs, but sometimes just to her knees.  The transplant team asked her to keep a "red leg diary" to see if we can determine what's causing it.  So far, it's just random......just weird.

Her Prograff (anti-rejection med level) came back really high last week too, so we cut back the dose this week and she goes for another lab draw tomorrow.  Abby's creatinine level is still high, but we're still working on pushing the fluids to keep those kidney's healthy.  The only thing I still worry about Abby is her energy level.  She will have one great day where I think she's feeling good and doing great and she has lots of energy, but then the next day she'll sleep most of the day.  It's like it just exhausts her.  It makes me worry, but I'm just trying to make myself think that it's just because she's still recovering from the past year and half.  She has gone through a lot and might just be taking her a little longer to recover.  I won't say that I'm not nervous about her annual biopsy that's coming up in June, I already feel the anxiety.  We decided to push the biopsy back until after our trip to Hawaii, sometimes it's better not knowing, right??  For now, we'll just keep plugging along until clinic on April 8th.  Another thing that worries me a little bit is that in May, since it's been 2 years, Britt and Brock need to get echocardiograms again too.  Just another little thing to stress my little brain.  I will be relieved when their echo reports come back normal and Abby's annual biopsy comes back showing no rejection and and no coronary artery disease!

A couple of weeks ago, Abby and I were able to spend some time volunteering at the Dixie Regional Health Fair at the Intermountain Donor Services booth.  It was a great opportunity for Abby, it was fun for me to hear her talk about her story and to promote organ donation.  We had to laugh at a couple of the old people that came up to us and said, "I'm not a donor, I won't be a donor, I don't know why, but you won't change my mind!"  They couldn't think of any good reasons, they were just against it.  I think that they're too set in their ways to want to change, even though they know it's the right thing to do.  Abby also got to meet another heart recipient.  Dan Martin received his heart only one year ago.  It was neat to hear them compare what they've been through.  I also enjoyed hearing the unique perspective on life that they both have.  They know what's important and how to truly live their lives.  It was a great opportunity for Abby and I hope we have many more chances to give back.  Big thanks goes out to Jordan Woodward who chose to do his Eagle project on promoting organ donation and made it possible for us to have a booth at the fair.

Britt and Brock have both been doing great.  We're all trying to get in shape for Hawaii, so we're working hard.  Brock was so frustrated at his last ankle appointment though.  Dr. Leitze told him he can't do the shot put or discus this year, he doesn't want him putting that much pressure on it yet.  It's been hard for Brock because it feels so good that he thinks he's ready to go full speed ahead.  I think they're being very cautious, the goal was to be ready for the first football camp the end of May, and I think that's exactly when he'll say it's time.  For now, it just frustrates Brock.  Britt is still working hard and doing well at school.  She's been learning all about the heart in her anatomy class this past couple of weeks and she took in the pictures of Abby's old, sick heart and us holding it.  The class thought it was awesome!  Whenever I think about it, it reminds what a surreal experience it was, something we'll never forget.  

Thanks to our friends the Brickey's, I found a company in Salt Lake that's going to help me publish my book.  It's at the copywriters now.  I should get it back next week, then I send it on to a graphic design company.  I'm still working on the cover, I have a couple of ideas, but I haven't settled on anything yet. I think it would be great to have it ready to go by Abby's 2-year anniversary on July 12th.  That might be pushing it a little, but I'm not sure.  I'm trying to think about things step at a time, otherwise, it gets a little overwhelming.  I can't wait until it's ready to sell, I have lots of good ideas about promoting it.  I still can't believe that it's really going to happen!

We just got done with our spring break, and it's back to school tomorrow.  We had a great break filled with lots of fun, relaxing, and spring cleaning!  This spring break I learned that:

- as a family we stink at bowing (Brock is the worst, a total score of 44 is pathetic).  Abby was so excited she beat him, with a whopping score of 45.
-it's worth it to drive to Salt Lake for my sis-in-law's baby shower, even if it was only a 1-day trip.  It was fun to see and catch up with everybody!
-Abby is a major procrastinator.  She's finishing up some science homework right now.  She's had the assignment for how long??  Maybe 2 weeks, arggghhh.  (Sorry Rich-Abby's teacher and uncle!)
-Britt is obsessed with getting perfect grades and will not settle for anything less than an "A".  She's so determined and when Britt is determined, don't get in her way.  Even if it is spring break.
- I was rundown and tired and in need of good rest.  The break was perfect for me, hopefully it will sustain me through the rest of the school year.
-My mom stinks at hearts......actually, we already knew this.
-Brock needs money.  He will do almost anything for money.  He can't find a job, but he likes to go do things on dates and with his friends, and he is in desperate need of money.  If you need anything done, call us.  I'll hire Brock out for a day....or lots of days.
-We HAD a lot of junk in our house.  But, it's all gone now!  I love spring cleaning.
-We like to play games.  Settlers of Catan is our new favorite, but it's not fun if you win every time so sometimes you have to let others win too (right Meri and Rich and mom and Britt?)
-The greatest feeling is when Abby's med cases are filled for the next 2 weeks and all of her prescriptions are full too!
- We are ready for summer break......always
-We still make fun of Britt and how she talked when she had her tonsils out.  If you still can't figure out what it sounded like, go see the movie Jack the Giant Slayer.  She sounded just like the 2-headed giant's second head.  Sorry Britt, we just can't stop.
-I ran out of time.  I got my house done, but need another week for my yard!  Thank goodness for weekends.

We did have a good break.  I can honestly say that our house is cleaner now than when we moved in, and that feels good!  When I was cleaning out drawers I came across a pile of cards and letters that people gave me right after Abby's collapse.  If I didn't thank you then, I'm sorry.  We had so much support, and I know that's what helped me get through those first few weeks.  Reading through those notes made me cry.  We are so very blessed to know so many amazing and thoughtful people.  Thank you for being there and for helping us.  I know that many of you still think about and pray for Abby and my family and we will always be extremely grateful for that.  We've definitely had a rough couple of years, I think we've had our share of trials, but we still feel so grateful for who we are and for the blessings that have been given to us.  

Hopefully, I won't be posting again until after clinic on the 8th.  Last year at this time Abby came down with CMV and she spent 2 weeks, including Easter, in the hospital.  Good thing we can cross that off the list :)