running out of hope…. August 23, 2015Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Uncategorized.
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ON THIS DAY 2 YEARS AGO….
After 13 days of rigorous testing, treatments, IV drips and a 4th possible donor liver the previous evening, , our last dry run at UW Madison was a no go-we were running out of hope. I argued and pleaded with the doctors to find something, do anything to keep him. One. More. Day…..
As they gathered all his stuff, paperwork and prescriptions, I wondered what the hell I was going to do to get Mike back here, I nearly caved as they wheeled him down to the waiting car. Maybe I would pass out and end up in ER and they would have to keep him… pffft…
As the nurse loaded him back in the truck, I told her, “…I don’t know how I will get him back, he’s so weak. How will I get him back here….? She hugged us both wished us luck and said, “call an ambulance, get him to your hospital, we’ll get him here one way or the other…”
With my heart in the pit of my stomach,we spent the next 70 miles in silence as I drove Mike home to wait for one more call. At times I could barely see the road through my tears, and the futility of the situation we were in.
An hour and a half later, we made it home and it was all Mike could do to get upstairs and get to the couch. An hour later, his parents came to see how he was doing. They stayed for a couple hours, then with best wishes left us to try and rest from our long ordeal at UW.
Mike got up and went to the kitchen to make a bag of popcorn, hungry but not. It was just too much to think of all we had gone through, only to be sent back home again, to wait and wonder how long it would be before we ended up back in ER….
We didn’t have to wait long. The popcorn wasn’t even done when the phone rang. It was Aurora St. Luke’s Organ Procurement and they had a possible donor. They would call me back in 40 minutes to let us know when to come in….
As soon as I hung up with St. Luke’s, I called UW, they put me through the Transplant coordinator, and while I was on hold, UW Organ Procurement was calling me on the other end!!!! I put the nurse on speakerphone, and called the neighbors to come over and help me get Mike downstairs and back in the truck for the ride back to UW. Mike asked the nurse if he could come back in the next morning, he had just made popcorn and really wanted to get a good nights sleep. She told him he really should come back in immediately, there was much prep to do, and he would get plenty of sleep at the hospital but he needed to come in NOW. When the neighbors arrived to help him downstairs, he had no choice but to go with them. SUCCESS WAS MINE!!!!
4.30 hours after we got home., we were heading back to UW. We arrived at 11pm and our world was changed forever.
Xmas Craft Marathon has begun June 22, 2015Posted by Stella☆LunaC in A Stitch in Time | Projects, GLM Family.
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One hot fuzzy mess…
Biker Bev heard I was looking for a latchhook for a kit I got one year as a Xmas gift. One day at lunch, she surprised me with an entire KIT! I plan to make it into a pillow or maybe a wall hanging, and then gift it back to her. :-)
Now, if I could just find that kit I got for xmas….. #lostart
The Daughter Comes Home June 6, 2015Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Jake and Natalie.
Happy days, my youngest daughter and her husband and new baby are returning to Wisconsin tomorrow! Soon I will get to meet my newest Gramddaughter, and hold her and smother her in kisses ♡♡♡
It seems almost redunculous that I have not been updating my new job, but I am so loving what I do, that I feel no need to expound upon it. My goal is to bring our Elders happiness in their Golden years when they have little to be happy about. Life has little left to offer them, their world is shrinking, closing in around them, until it is just a handful of caring nurses and aides to make their days a little brighter. I hope to be able to show off my Grandaughter, and see their faces light up. That would be so great!
Good Days are here again! May 4, 2015Posted by Stella☆LunaC in The Greenwoods.
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It’s crazy but I’ve finally found my direction. I always said I was a late bloomer, better later than never. My life has come full circle and I’ve found what truly drives me. Caring for others. SURPRISE!
Last Monday I started a new job. Or I should say, I went back to my beginnings. I am working as an Activities Aide at Geneva Lake Manor in Lake Geneva. Now instead of waking up dreading getting in the car and going to work, I go to bed actually looking forward to going in to work the next day. It almost doesn’t seem right, after having had to put up with a belligerent immature bully at my previous job, just 4 weeks shy of one year. I had even started to have nightmares in which this person infiltrated my peace and quiet. It was then that I realized I was suffering from PTSD. I had reached the end of my rope.
It has taken me nearly a week to finally get 18 of the 24 resident names to stick in my head, that’s big for me :)
Good Night, World, tomorrow comes early. :).
Imma Gramma, and more UW shenanigans April 14, 2015Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Uncategorized.
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She arrived March 25, nearly 2 weeks late. She weighed in at 7lbs 13oz and Momma didn’t do epideral! Everyone is happy, healthy and home now, and looking forward to holding my new GrandBabyGrrl :))
Made a hat for Aubrey, it fits!
In other news, Mike went in for another hernia repair, same day Aubrey was making her grand entrance. I was between two worlds, happy for Nats, and nervous about Mike. Turns out his previous pre transplant umbilical hernia decided to undo itself from the inside. ….UGHS. Dr. D’Alessandro had to put another section of mesh in. Now Mike has a screen door, with a pet door added. :-)
Jellyfish Man finds ways to entertain the staff.
Doc said he saw another possible hernia issue in another spot (wound vac site), but did not want to risk another infection by creating another wound site. We go back April 23 for another consult about where we go next.
Then two weeks ago, I got a call at work from Mike’s sister, Mike was throwing up blood. I ran home and packed us in the truck for another trip to UW. Mike was in for 3 days, throwing up and not eating. They put him on anti nausea meds, which helped stop yhr heaves. They discovered a spot on the back of his thigh, found he had Cellulitis, a spot he didnt know was anything but a little irritating. They completed testing, found no cause for why he threw up blood, or the constant nausea, then sent Mike home with antibiotics. The Cellulitis went away within a week, he’s done with the antibiotics, and now we wait for our consultation.
Oyeah, and Spring has arrived. The deer are hungry, but left me a few Crocus’s
Igor had a haircut recently, the jacket was necessary for chasing squirrels.
Back to UW, 1 year later March 5, 2015Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Uncategorized.
Tags: hernia, liverversary, transplant, UW Madison
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Today we went back for a unexpected hernia repair, the second since Mike’s transplant. It was nearly a year ago March 13th 2014 when we had to come to UW Madison for a double incisional hernia operation
3 weeks ago Mike went to the ER complaining of nausea and vomiting. after labs were drawn they concluded that his liver numbers were good, his kidney function was good, and they could not explain his nausea and vomiting. The house Dr decided to do a CT scan to rule out any unforeseen problems. When he came back to tell us the results, we were surprised. 2 hernias apparently had developed, with no explanation or recall as to how or when they happened. We went home that day, with an appointment scheduled to see our surgeon dr. D’Alessandro. He confirmed there was something going on and send us home with instructions to wait for surgery to call us to schedule ASAP. They couldn’t get us in for another 3 weeks.
So when we went in today, we were very apprehensive about what dr would find when he finally got in to take a look. Mike’s surgery began at 2:18 pm today, so I went and grabbed a coffee and bag’o Sun Chips.
Time went by fairly fast and it wasn’t long before I got the pager message that he was done and sent to recovery. By 5:30 p.m. the bulletin board indicated he was out of recovery and I was given his room number. I quickly ran out to the car and grabbed his overnight bag, he had left his laptop at home in anticipation of a rough night and felt he wouldn’t be able to deal with his laptop so soon after surgery.
We got to our room and got checked in with an evening nurse. they had him hooked up to an IV but they weren’t giving him any meds just yet, instead waiting for his anesthesia to wear off completely. He held up really well for the most part, feeling little discomfort. but by the time 7:30 rolled around, he was starting to feel a little uncomfortable. That’s when the nurse said she would recommend putting him on an IV drip for the night, just to be on the safe side. then she suggested that he try and get up for a walk around 10 p.m., he said he’d be glad to do it!
I was getting pretty tired and was immensely relieved that it was all over with, but not looking forward to the drive home, so I excused myself at 8:30 with a promise to call in as soon as I got home, and quickly headed back home. I ran into one of our old nurses from the transplant days, Muface, from South Africa. he saw me and immediately asked what room Mike was in, I told him number 676. I got a quick hug before he dashed off to go look for Mike!
My daughter Natalie who is expecting her first baby any day now, kept me busy text messaging me via my earbud, to help the time go by. I never once had to look at my phone- I love my Plantronics ear bud!
I got home at exactly 10 o’clock, letting or out to potty and poop, then went back inside and called mike to let him know I was home. He sounded in great spirits although he said he was starting to hurt a little bit, but he had gotten up and walked, with two nurses to assist! I’m pretty sure things were just slow tonight and they were both looking for something to do with Mike LOL!
Nightime at UW Madison
Mike’s room with a view of the Unitarian Church, a place he remembered from his HE days!
Now that this is all done, I am curled up with my buddy Igor on our pallet on the floor in the living room watching 12 O’Clock High on MeTV. It just feels right and I know Mike will be home before we know it!
Look Backs – A Day to Celebrate September 22, 2014Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Mike's Big Adventure in Liver Transplant.
Tags: birthday, liver transplant
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As we continue to move forward, another BIG DAY has come to a close, Mike’s Birthday! It is BIG, given that a year ago, we weren’t sure if we would see this day. Sure as the Sun comes up every morning, we are here, and that is cause for celebration!
While we try not to look back and dwell on those dark and frightening days, we can’t forget how we got here. With a healthy dose of Determination and a LOT of Believing, we can do anything!
Happy Birthday, Mike (and Deter)!
and then there will be 3!!!! August 22, 2014Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Baby Talk, Jake and Natalie.
Tags: Aliena Rose?, Baby Greenwood
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Yep, I’m going to be a GRANDMA again! Brat #4 is expecting her first Bebeh late Feb, early March. The happy couple just celebrated their 2nd anniversary June 28. Wowser what a ride this has been :)
Let the knit’n commence!!! Of course I have way too many project ideas, and not enough time. Bebeh Momma is already 3 months along, having just found out 2 weeks ago!
She just went for her 2nd prenatal visit, and got to hear the heartbeat, 180 bps!!!! hmmmmm, a girl, maybe, baby?
and a baby wash cloth.
whoohoo~really crusin’ here… HA! *snorts!
UW Madison, 1 year anniversary August 16, 2014Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Mike's Big Adventure in Liver Transplant.
Tags: UW Madison
It was exactly one year ago Aug. 13, 2013, when we stepped foot inside UW Madison Hospital for the first time; little did we know it was to become our new Home, with new extended Family. We picked the right place!
Today, we were coming back for our next routine post-op 3 month checkup. We left at precisely 8:33 am, and arrived at 10:10. Once inside, we went straight to Registration, then on to Labs. After labs were drawn, we headed down to the Transplant Clinic, only to find out Dr. Lucey was running a bit late….an hour and a half. So we decided to go visit the Cafeteria, Mike had never been before. It was a pleasant surprise to him, as we sat and enjoyed a Veggie Sub and Hot Italian Sub. NOMS!
We got done and headed over the the H elevators, a good hike across the “Main Street” level, and visited with some of our nurses on B4/6 Transplant wing. We had just stepped through the double doors “Hepa-filter in progress” when one of our dearest nurses, Erika with a K, came around the corner- her face literally lit up! Then Molly heard the commotion and joined in the melee, hugs all around!!!
Dentist David also found us, and had a good laugh at our recounting the night he patiently sat with Mike, swabbing his mouth and coaxing one of many thirst-quenching swabs from Mike’s locked jaws. (the night one wisdom tooth literally crumbled and was presented to us in a tiny tube.) We were so busy talking, we missed his photo-op, but the memories will last a lifetime :)
After teary goodbyes, we headed back to the clinic for the remainder of our visit, to see Dr. Lucey, our Hepatologist, and part of the Transplant Team.
Mike’s labs came back excellent, and had a very nice, educational chat with Dr. Lucey. While talking about Mike’s meds, Mike made a comment about leaving things along and not messing with Mother Nature…..to which Dr. Lucey promptly replied, “Mike, you were the Poster Child for messing with Mother Nature!”
After our chat, Susan Dillon, our Transplant Coordinator, presented us with our Followup to Life folder, congratulations, and our 1-year Transplant pins!
I put mine on my hat as soon as we walked in the door!
We will be back in 6 months for another checkup. Labs will be every 3 months now, and Mike lost 2 pills in his regiment, bringing his new total down to 9 Rx’s a day. YAY!!!
Meanwhile, we will be plugging ahead, looking for more things to enjoy. Mike is rebuilding our front steps, that became a larger project than anticipated, but he is tackling it with renewed vigor!
This huge mess is keeping him busy and out of the kitchen. PieMan was told he needs to lose a little weight…ONO!!!!
Door County Vacation at last! July 25, 2014Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Mike's Big Adventure in Liver Transplant.
Tags: Door County, Fish Creek
I never thought we’d see the day, and never stopped believing it would happen.
Today we drove up to Door County for a long overdue road trip. Mike is finally able to make the 4 hour ride.
Mike packed the truck while I finished dressing and we were out by 8:30 am.
Yep, there it is, the Knitting Bag. All. The. Way. In. The. Back.
Igor is not going to get it.
I started out and got us through the Milwaukee leg, then we switched in Grafton. We passed the worlds tallest flagpole in Sheboygen, there she flies in all her glory!
a sight we haven’t seen in a loooong time
What a day it’s been! We stopped in Fish Creek and saw Mike’s sister’s lot where they were supervising tree trimming before construction.
After a short break at the condo, we went up to the tip of the Thumb to Charlie’s Fish Shack in Gills Rock and got some smoked whitefish and ate at a local county park.
You never know what you’ll spot in Wisconsin, home of everything weird and BIG!
One BIG Gnome! And lots of Shipwreck reference signage
<img src="https://manyhorsesmane.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/20140725-235224-85944999.jpg" alt="20140725-235224-85944999.jpg"
Last stop, a Pioneer Cemetery and a quick stop for a look at the bay