Anything is possible
heart transplant, inspirational story, organ transplant, motivational story, kidney transplant
Today, all I can say is "Man it is cold outside". Good day to stay inside. Love living in New England. My house was cold even with the heat on. It's like the furnace was working overtime just to maintain, getting rid of the arctic cold weather outside. Thank God we have a wood burning stove. As soon as I started burning the wood, nice and comfy cozy inside.
Today Lauren had first, her physical therapy session. We are very lucky our physical therapist comes to the house. We need to keep Lauren's body and muscle strong. No sitting around for her. Then right after that Lauren's visiting nurse came. Time to change her IV bag and have her vitals recorded. My son stopped over and said to me "It's like a revolving door, one leaves and the next comes in". I said "welcome to our world'. I'll take it, all the help is welcome.
On another subject, today is Lauren's second birthday. 4 years ago today we received the call for her new heart. So many thoughts, one being here we are again on the same date waiting for the same call. Lauren was able to get 4 extra years of life with this wonderful heart. That is a night I will never forget. And here we are, praying again for a call for Lauren's gifts of life, a new heart and now a new kidney. I know God will watch over her again, and give us back our daughter, healthy and ready to tackle life again.
Ok, I am going to ask again, "Are you an organ donor"? If now please consider signing up.
Today was a coin toss, Lauren was either going to be admitted or were we going to be able to come home. Driving up to the hospital this morning for Lauren's doctor appointment, was a very quite ride. So many thoughts and emotions, and of course Lauren sleeps. The Teddy bear with Lauren, was a gift from one her great friend Norm. On the Teddy's shirt it says, "Lauren Warrior Girl". He gave it to her for Christmas and said "it was large enough for her to cuddle with in the hospital". She absolutely love it. Norm, your a great friend to Lauren and to our family
When we arrived at the hospital we were early, so something that I have never done in my life, I fell asleep in the waiting room. This pass week I have been running around for Christmas, then preparing for maybe our hospital stay. It caught up with me. Lauren had to wake me up lol I said "were are we?" I guess I finally had a few quite minutes to myself. I have NEVER ever done that before. Lauren and my husband Dean said they were waiting for me to start snoring, nice.
During the appointment the doctor said that Lauren looked great and she was not going to admit Lauren today. What a relief came over all of us. But then she did say, they expect Lauren to be admitted next week. They are going to call us with the date.
Ok, you are probably asking why does she have to be admitted to wait for her heart and kidney transplant? Lauren's body is strong and they want her to stay that way. When she is admitted into the hospital Lauren will have a PA line (Pulmonary Artery Catheter Line), which is placed in her neck into her artery so they can read Lauren's heart functions, and medication goes through the IV to help her heart beat.
Lauren right now is a status 1B, but when we go into the hospital Lauren will be a !A top of the list. Last time when Lauren waited for her gift of life, Lauren became very sick, that is why she ended up with an LVAD, bridge to her heart transplant. It is hard to say this, but this time Lauren does have that opportunity for a LVAD. A transplanted heart cannot have a LVAD implanted into it. So we don't that that cushion. So the sooner we move into the hospital, the chances for Lauren to receive her gifts of life a heart and kidney may come sooner.
With Lauren's health being in a good spot, her surgery and recovery will hopefully be easier for her than last time. If you may remember it took her 5 months to recover from the surgery. So many set backs over and over again.
As it stands right now, we do know we are moving into the hospital after the New Year, next week. Our luggage is packed and ready to go. Took them out of the car when we got home, so they are just going to hang out in the hallway. It is such a hard emotion knowing when we do move in, it will be months. After Lauren had her heart transplant 4 years ago, I said "I could never live that life again". Watching my daughter hooked up to that PA line, (if you remember we referred to it as Lauren's leash) was one of the hardest time of my life. Yet, now we are placed back into the same position. That expression "Never say Never" applies here. Lauren is scared and nervous, she knows what to expect and knows the pain she will have to endure. Time to be her cheerleader again. We did it once, we will do it again.
I would like to end this post by saying we received some GREAT news today . My mother has been hospitalized, for the last couple of days. She was discharged today. My mother had a procedure done at the being of the month for her leg circulation, she was experiencing pain, so my sister Laureen took her to her doctors He then admitted her into the hospital. They were able to find out what was happening and was able to fix the problem. So today no one in my family is in the hospital. How was your Day??
Incase you would like to read about Lauren'a first heart transplant and what it is like to live in the hospital waiting for a heart transplant pick up a copy of our book Strength in a Heartbeat, Diary of a Heart Transplant
We had a wonderful Christmas morning, Santa did show up at our house. Added bonus we had a white Christmas. It looked beautiful outside, the snow was falling and we were comfy cozy in our house. My son Mikey and his family came over and we did our present exchange. Still in our jammies, enjoying the moment. Everyone was happy with all their presents, then working together to clean the cars and clear the driveway. For me it was nice, I didn't have to do it. The girls got to chill in the house (for once).
After getting ourselves organized and dressed we were waiting the arrival of Lauren's nurse to come, Lauren's IV bag needed to be changed. To me it was getting late, it was almost noon time and she hadn't shown up. We were nervous her bag was going to run out, so Lauren and I agreed we could do this. Well, I got everything together and said "we can do this", then my hands could not stop shaking. I was so afraid I'd do something wrong. Every time you change the bag, you have to change the battery in the pump and reset the pump. We saw it done twice, but this is an IV that runs right into her artery for the heart. I was saying to myself "No mother should have to do this on Christmas morning for their chid", but this is life. Right before we started the phone rang, it was the nurse and she said she would be here in 5 minutes. Talk about relief. Lauren said "mom you were shaking so much it made me nervous".
I felt bad that she had to come on Christmas, but she said to me "no problem it goes with the job". I gave her some Christmas candies as a thank you for taking the time to help us.
Nurses are angels, in my eyes.
The rest of the day was perfect. I normally would do a sit down dinner for the family, but this year, it was more like an open house. The day before Lauren and I made all different kinds of appetizer type food so all I had to do was heat it up and put it out. We had so much food, I think there was more food than if we did a big sit down meal. Today I looked in the fridge and said "oh forgot to put that out" and a couple of other things. Trust me no one left hungry, plus everyone was able to take a plate home. It was great.
It was a nice relaxing family day, minus my family that lives in Florida and Virginia. I heard they all had a great day as well.
Top row: me, dean our sons Matt, Dean Jr., Mikey
Sitting: Lauren, Madison, Katie
It's been a long time since we all were together for Christmas.
So with the holiday behind us, reality sets in. Time to focus on getting Lauren healthy again. We go to Boston this Thursday for a clinic visit. I told Lauren to be on the safe side we are bringing our bags. You just never know. I hate being up their with nothing. So I have been packing and tomorrow my granddaughter is going to come over and help Lauren organize and pack her bag. If we get admitted we are there for the long haul.
I have been running around the house to make sure everything is where it should be incase I don't come home. (Dean has a hard time finding stuff, you would think sometimes he doesn't live here right) It's hard on him. He works all week then drives up to Boston for the weekend then back home for a week of work. It hard on the whole family. My son works 2nd shift now and it is killing him that he can't come up like he used to. The only day he can come up is on Sunday's. Before, him and the family would come during the week when he got out of work just to have dinner together. So if anyone is hiring for a first shift job, message me please. Mikey is a great support for Lauren and myself when he comes for visits. He can take a bad day and turn it around for us. The company he works for now has no opening on first shift. It really is important for us as a family. So job offers are welcome. Just tell us where to send the resume.
Looking forward to saying good-bye to 2017- 2018 has to be a better year. New heart and new kidney
Hoping to see my car in the driveway on Thursday evening
Yesterday I was surprised with a beautiful floral arrangement from Angela Grout. The arraignment was designed with a sled base, purple roses plus a crystal strength angel figurine. How special I felt.
I have never met this beautiful lady, but she reached out to me to tell me about her aunt who needed a double lung transplant. She received her gift of life but she was only blessed with three extra years.
We became connected when she selected my book to read. Angela your thoughtfulness was welcomed with love . Thank you so much. It was a surprise that made my day, and reminded me of how much support we have.
Update on Lauren, everything is been going smoothly. Today we had a visit from her nurse to do a dressing change and to place a new medication bag.We found out she lives right down the road from us, which is great. If I need her she is close. Lauren has been feeling good, but last night the emotions got to her.
It is so hard when you want to comfort your child and make everything better, but you are at a loss. When she says to me "Why is this happening to me again?", I am finding myself at a loss for words. I go blank. I think I am still absorbing what is happening. We are all numb, to what is in store for our family. All I have is "we are home for Christmas to be able to spend it with our family and then in the new year we will start fresh with a new heart and new kidneys. You are strong now and you need to stay that way to be able to endure the operation. I will not let you get weak, mentally and physically."
To all my neighbors, this year we will not be able to do our traditional caroling night. Sorry, I know how much you enjoy our family singing (LOL). For the last couple of years, Dean myself and Lauren and last year we took our granddaughter Maddie with us caroling to some of our neighbors. Lauren and I would bake or create a candy to give to our neighbors as a thank you for all your love and support throughout the year.We put on our Santa hats gather our goodies and go door to door singing. That is the only tradition we can't do this year.
Two more days till Snata comes, I'm excited.
Merry Christmas to All
Another beautiful morning waking up at home. Our day was packed with a big to do list. Did our grocery shopping to start, needed to buy foods that are heart healthy. It took us quit a while, reading all the sodium contents to make sure Lauren has a variety of food to pick from. It was defiantly not a relaxing shopping trip, Lauren's Life Vest kept beeping. All I kept thinking was it was going to shock her. She said she felt fine, but that was the first time we heard that alarm. Came home to call the doctor, they were able to read Lauren's heart functions and told us it was Detected arrhythmia where no treatment was given. (Example cord could have been twisted)
**What Is the LifeVest Wearable Defibrillator?The LifeVest wearable defibrillator is a treatment option for sudden cardiac arrest that offers patients advanced protection and monitoring as well as improved quality of life.
The LifeVest is the first wearable defibrillator. Unlike an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), the LifeVest is worn outside the body rather than implanted in the chest. This device continuously monitors the patient's heart with dry, non-adhesive sensing electrodes to detect life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms. If a life-threatening rhythm is detected, the device alerts the patient prior to delivering a treatment shock, and thus allows a conscious patient to delay the treatment shock. If the patient becomes unconscious, the device releases a Blue™ gel over the therapy electrodes and delivers an electrical shock to restore normal rhythm.**
By the time we left the store I was still shaking, reality set in that this vest could give Lauren a shock like a defibrillator, the pads and probes are in the vest. All I wanted to do was get home and feel safe. My comfort zone.
Then we had Lauren's nurse come to change her IV bag, and do blood work. We asked the nurse about the alarms that the vest was doing, but she was not that familiar with it. All Lauren's vital signs were good and also she dropped 2 pounds which is great. That means she is not filling up with fluids.
Next on the to-do-list, make Christmas cookies with Lauren and Maddie. I felt like a little kid, so excited to have fun with flour. We really couldn't get into a good flour toss, had to be careful, didn't want to get flour on Lauren's monitors.
We were able to get everything done today. Great feeling. Nothing better in this world than spending time with my two favorite ladies doing Christmas activities. Lauren told me "I don't know how you got everything done in literally two days". I told her "nothing is imposable, when things are important, you can make it happen".
That was our day, how was yours?
Strength in a Heartbeat, Diary of a Heart Transplant
Read our personal journey on the heart transplant list