Sunday, March 29, 2009

Izzy B got her liver!!!

Amazing news - after being on the transplant list for only a very short time, Isabella got her new liver, on March 24. After a relatively short hospital stay, she and mommy Chasity got to go home. She is doing really well and they are all glad to be back at home. The road ahead will still have bumps and they will still need help. Here are some things folks can do to help out:


COTA direct donation page
http://cota.donorpages.com/PatientOnlineDonation/COTAforIsabellaG/

Magazine fundraiser:
http://www.magfundraising.com/isabella

Shop or search at iGive -- choose COTA for Isabella Gwinn as your charity
www.igive.com

Here is a brief explanation COTA, courtesy of my friend Bec . . . the way it works is that you can make a tax-deductible donation and it can be used by Chasity for transplant-related expenses. There are guidelines, like no using it for magazines or paying for grandparents to travel (unless they are going to help). There is about a 10-day turnaround where Chasity has to pay, and then submit the receipts for reimbursement -- so she needs to stay about 2 weeks ahead in money. Bills, like her mortgage, can be paid directly by COTA, assuming there is enough money there. It looks to me like the fund gets a grant based on what it raises in a year, and as other transplant families can tell you, the expenses do continue well into the future.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

She's in

And now for something completely different...

As you may recall from last year, making the decision about where to enroll Rebecca for Kindergarten was pretty difficult and stressful for us. Since we ended up not enrolling her in our public district, I knew we'd have to go through the enrollment process for first grade. Technically, we could continue to send her to the private elementary she's attending now, or could enroll her in our parish's school, but the school district is one of the reasons we moved here. Back in early 2008 when I called to cancel the K registration appointment, I asked the registrar when I should contact the district in 2009 to enroll R in first grade. She said it varied, but to give her a call in early February. I did so, and was asked to call back in March. So, I called Monday and got an appointment for today. Since the district has all the forms online, I didn't have to wait for anything to be mailed, or have to go to the Board of Education office to pick anything up. The registrar asked if I wanted to gather my documents (R's birth certificate and proof of our residency) before making the appointment, but I know myself well enough to know that I needed the appointment to force myself to get everything together. Our accountant isn't doing sit-down appointments for taxes this year unless you want or need to see him. Instead the firm has a drop off service this year. Their carrot to encourage clients to use the drop off is to keep the fee the same as last year unless you have a face to face appointment. Great! Every year going to see him feels like going to the principal's office, even though he doesn't yell at us or anything; he's just a gruff character. Anyhow, I kept putting off getting everything together to drop off, even though I've known about it for a month. For some reason it's my job to do this; I guess I initially volunteered myself and now Jim isn't offering to take over this task. I FINALLY got the paperwork up to the office on Wednesday. Now we're crossing our fingers that we're getting a refund and not a bill.

Back to school... I chuckled at the number of forms in the packet. The last time I filled out so many at one time was when we bought our house. The registrar looked everything over and approved it. She can't guarantee that Rebecca will get into our neighborhood school; if it's at capacity, she will be enrolled in one of the other 3 elementaries. But it's likely fine. The plan is for her to take the bus from our house to school in the morning, then the bus from school to Chaperon (where she and Carly are now) for after school. I had originally wanted to see if having her attend after-school at her elementary would be less expensive, but one day she very emphatically told me that she HAD to go to Chaperon after school. "I want to go to TWO schools, Mommy!" It will be easier on us that way, so even if it's a bit more expensive, the time saved by not having two pick-up points will make up for it. There's no point in enrolling her in before-school at Chaperon, as the bus goes past our house before we even leave in the morning! Adding before-school is an additional $20 per week which would be fine if she got breakfast there but she wouldn't, so I'll gladly use that money to feed her at home.

My baby in elementary school; it's only a few months away but still hard for me to believe. She's a little nervous about not knowing people there but I know she'll do well. Carly is so excited about first grade that she keeps telling us SHE wants to go! (once she gets out of kindergarten, that is)

Rebecca cracked me up tonight. We were in the car and she was talking about kids in her class. They have a colored card system for discipline, with green being "good" and progressing to yellow, blue then red as misbehavior escalates. R had one yellow day early in the year, when a boy in the class goaded her in to talking during nap time. But she's been green ever since. Tonight she told me that there are two boys in her class who have had no yellows at all. She said rather sadly, "D hasn't had a yellow, and neither has A." Then under her breath she muttered, "someday... someday..." ROTFL!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Mending

On the mend still, getting better and really looking forward to when I no longer have a hole in my side/back. Jim's mom has been doing a fantastic job of dressing it for me. There are still my "gross" moments, like when I have to unpack it to shower each morning, and when I forget and move at a funny angle, only to hear air-suction from it. (Ewwww) I'm still sore and it's hard for me to keep from over-doing. Figures that now I get the cleaning bug. Luckily Jim has caught it too and so we're starting to clear some junk out of the house.

I did get out for a little bit on Saturday; I took Becky to ballet and then we hit Kohl's because I had a 30% off "everything" coupon. We have needed some new small rugs for the kitchen and entry, so I was able to get nice replacements cheaply. Of course as some of you know, those coupons are really Kohl's Krack and so I got other stuff too. Didn't do too badly though; Becky got an Easter sundress, with a matching dress for "18 inch doll" (aka American Girl size), which thrilled her. I let her pick a Littlest Pet Shop toy for herself and one for Carly; I've been slowly feeding this small toy craze out of Mommy Guilt (1). We ended up stopping in the Women's section (plus size clothes for those of you who don't know the euphemism). I picked out a top to try on and Becky asked me to try another, in a pattern. I thought it would be too loud for me, so I also picked the same shirt in a solid blue. In the fitting room my picks did not look good but the patterned shirt did! Then on our way out of the department I saw a cute patterned dress. It came in a blue or green design with black and I liked both. When I tried them on I decided the green was a better color, but best of all, it fit... which I have not been able to say about dresses at Kohl's before. And with the discounts, the blouse was about $15 and the dress, $26. They were my congrats to myself for continuing my slow weight loss. I would show you a picture of the dress but Kohl's website is flaking out, so maybe later...

Tomorrow I will go into the office for the first time since the Great Monahan Flood of 2009. I liked working from home and this experience just added to my desire to tele-work more regularly; a subject that has come up briefly at work but I hope to pursue further this year. My direct supervisor, Deb, is scheduled to come back tomorrow from her brain surgery, so it will be a good day for all of us, as we've really missed her.

I have an appointment with my surgeon on Tuesday, and my "home care nurse" is planning to come with me, which will be great as she can discuss my wound far more intelligently than I can. In the midst of all this chaos, I set up an appointment to see the gynecologist/reproductive endocrinologist who helped me achieve my pregnancies. She had diagnosed me with PCOS back when I was trying to conceive Carly, but between my quick success in getting pregnant with Caraly, and my more pressing health issues, I never followed up on it. When I had my annual physical in January, my nurse practitioner encouraged me to see the Gyn. I was going to wait to see how I felt after surgery before scheduling an appointment, but then my Pap test result showed endometrial cells. This added to my mild freak-out state at first, though research and discussion with friends who have PCOS eased my concerns that the test result necessarily meant something serious.

Looking forward to healing, to being able to do things, like, oh, bend down all the way, etc. Actually I want to take the girls to an indoor waterpark so healing is very necessary!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

What Liz is up to this week

Monday 3/2 - Back to work . Sore but ok. Good to see caring coworkers. Want to get back in groove and put this episode in the past.

Tuesday 3/3 - see Dr to have staples removed. Ah, relief. Taped up with steristrips and sent home. "Call me if you have any issues." Also given pathology repot - Spot was cancer, damn him. Liz prays that Spot was the last to leave the building, and that he shut off the cancer lights before he went.

Tue night - "you will have some drainage" says Dr. This was like a flood. Gross yet amazing. Finally slows down, Jim calls Dr, who is at son's cub scout meeting. He says this is normal but if you have prob call me tomorrow.

Bedtime - Incision is open about 3/4" per Jim. Liz worried that family is upset - Becky says no. Carly later says she dreamed of blood coming out of Mommy. Mommy feels bad. :-(

Overnight - incision opens completely. Greaaaat. Liz doesn't sleep - waking up every hour due to emotional upset. Jim claims not be driven crazy by Liz's rantings, but she wonders...

Wed 6:45am - Liz calls Dr b4 he goes to OR for the morning. He says come in after 1 PM and I will fix you up.

10:00 - Liz verifies time with his secretary - yes, 1:15 today.

Liz emails work team - have complication, going to dr, requests to work from home rest of week. Boss approves. (good man!)

12:30 - Marianne aka MIL/Grandma picks Liz up to take to Dr. He looks at wound. Hm. Pretty deep though is healing. Could do a couple of stitches then re-tape. Marianne asks to take a look (she is a retired nurse of 48 years). He says other option is to pack wound. It's decided to do that - Marianne will come out of retirement to help Liz by packing the wound 2x daily. Liz asks Dr how long does he anticipate it will take to heal. She expects him to say a month but he says 2 wks, plus (hemming a bit). Marianne later says a month for sure.
Liz feels better but still upset - finally eats lunch after appt but can't stomach supper. Sleep goes much better - Liz wakes a few times, checks to make sure bandages are not leaking and falls back asleep.
Thu 3/5 - Liz discovers that Aunt Flo has arrived. Where most people would say "what else could happen to you?" Liz is relieved because it explains her extreme emotional swings over the past few days. Liz logs on to work for a bit, stops to help family get out the door, then back to work. Many reports to be run, many re-runs need to be made. Tiring.
10:00 - Marianne and Annaliese come by for AM wound care. (A is niece; Grandma watches her on some weekdays.) A is enchanted by girls' toys, not so much by the dogs but she holds her own with them by saying "NO! AWAY!" when they come to sniff. Marianne gets Liz fixed up for the day, and notes that she sees new growth already in wound.

Rest of day - sitting and working. Next wound care after supper.