HOME. We are HOME!! Together. Under one roof for the first time in three long, stressful weeks. They prepared us for a Sunday (the 24th) discharge and we had our hopes up and then transplant and the kidney doctor on call said no. I was crushed. Aaron was crushed. The kids were sad. Monday, it seemed like we might be getting discharged, but the transplant surgeon had the final say and she was coming in at noon. I was so nervous! Luckily, she gave us the green light for HOME!!!
It was no small task getting out of there, let me tell you. Coordinating everything was crazy. The pharmacist going through all of Blake's medications was crazy. To say I am feeling just a tad overwhelmed by learning all of these new meds is an understatement. I think we are at 12 bottles of meds, plus a shot to help him boost his hemoglobin (which he was on prior to transplant). Once we get post-transplant for awhile, some of these will be able to go away. It's just right now I have to tell myself to take a deep breath and take my time and know that Iowa City is just a phone call away.
Blake also has three drains and extra hardware that he came home with. His appendicovesicostomy (fancy word for the type of catheter he will use for the rest of his life) that includes a huge drain bag, plus his nephrostomy (drain coming out of his kidney that will be in until his kidney has healed), plus a JP drain (which is collecting random fluid from his abdominal area while he heals). Eventually, these will come out. Right now, it's hard for him to even walk around because we have to deal with these things. Again, it's just for a small window of time and we know that.
Overall, things are going well. Blake is still in a lot of pain, but he had two major surgeries in two weeks. What he went through would be a lot and very painful for anybody. His blood pressures are good and what makes me happiest – he's peeing like a champ!
The things I have learned the last three weeks has blown my mind. A couple days before discharge I thought that I should have written down in a notebook every time I learned something new. I'm sure I'd have a notebook full of things by now.
I also have to give my hats off to the medical professionals. I don't know how they do it. The PICU was so hard for me. The things I saw. The stories I heard. A one month old they were trying to keep stable long enough to get a heart transplant. The two-year old whose pneumonia took a turn for the worst and she was on life support. Blake's neighbor, who, whatever he was battling, didn't make it. The fact that there are people out there that deal with these things on a daily basis is astounding to me. I couldn't do it. The surgeons who put in at least a 16 hour day on Blake's transplant. I had to trust them with my child's life. I wouldn't want that pressure. Isn't it great that we all have different talents in this world and we can contribute in different ways? Each one of us really is special and does have unique talents. Thank goodness for that. I'm thankful for that.
I'm adjusting to life at home. I came home and was greeted to baskets of laundry (all clean, but unfolded, just like I do things) and it was the best feeling ever! I'm not even kidding. It just seems fitting that we got to come home the week of Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving Enterprise readers! I'm thankful for your support and prayers for our family. I think it's pretty safe to say that there's never been a year that I have been more thankful, but that's just the way I see it.