Friday, October 2, 2009

2 Week Follow-up

Yikes!! I'm getting lazy at updating this blog again.

Today marks the second week since I've been home...yaaaahhhh!!! I continue to mend and my progress improves daily!! a point. My scar is healing really good! It's wierd, the scar itself is numb to the touch, but it gets super itchy and painful! Another good thing I can report is pretty much all of the food going in my system, has no trouble coming out! No more stool softeners or laxatives for this guy!! I never thought I would get so excited to pinch off a solid turd! The only pain medication I'm taking now is the occasional Tylenol..and that's just to take the edge off and as of today, I only have 20 more of the blood thinner shots to give myself. I guess the only real complaint I would have is I'm still having trouble sleeping and finding a comfortable spot to sleep in. The really strange thing is just how incredibly fast I tire! Seriously!! I eat some toast and eggs and I'm winded, I need a nap. I make a smoothie and drink half of it, I need a nap. Climb the stairs to the bathroom and my hearts a beatin'!! I don't even have the energy to stand when I pee!! Sitting isn't too bad, but I do get fidgety after a while. But all in all, things are progressing quite smoothly!

So I had my first follow-up appointment on Wednesday. I was to have some blood drawn at the hospital lab and then visit with Dr. Lesley Adcock in the transplant clinic. When I got to the blood lab, it was packed! I registered at the desk and went to find a seat in the waiting room. I didn't have to wait long before they called my name and the coolest thing was both myself and the blood tech recognized one another the moment our eyes met! We chatted for a bit and she drew three vials of blood. I asked if that was normal because usually, they take more. She said 3 vials was all they needed and if something bad shows up from those three vials, they would take more. When I got up to leave, I got a hug from the tech and headed up for my visit with Dr. Adcock.

The transplant clinic is on the 12th floor. I'd been there for meetings in the past and the place was fairly void of people. This day however, it was pretty active! I took a seat and started reading a magazine when someone tapped me on the shoulder. I looked around and there was my sweet angel Cailin. She sat with me for a while and we chatted for a bit. I promised I would drop by her office on my way out.

Dr. Adcock, (Lesley) called me in shortly after and lead me to an examination room. Now, Toronto General is a teaching hospital, so from time to time students will sit in with Dr's during an examination....this examination included a student! The exam itself was pretty straight forward, lots of poking and pressing around my incision site and some standard blood pressure and temperature checks. The funny thing about the exam was every question Lesley asked me, was a question I had for her. For example, before I could ask her when to expect my appetite to return, she would ask me how my appetite was doing! This went on for every question! End results? My incision is healing well, the itchy feeling will be there for quite some time but it looks good. My blood work came back fine, blood pressure was normal and my chest sounds clear.

Her final question to me was totally unexpected and it caught me off guard. She asked me if there was anything she, or any other transplant team member could have said or done to better prepare me for the donor experience. Of course there was absolutely nothing anyone could have said or done to better prepare me or anyone for this experience. I was warned at every meeting about pain levels and how uncomfortable I would be. I knew the healing process would be long and I knew I wouldn't be 'RiverDancing' to the washroom anytime soon. Every individual experience would be uniquely different, yet I was so amazed and impressed they would even ask that question! All I could think was just how amazing this hospital is! Every staff member has been courteous and friendly, and I've been treated with dignity and respect every step of the way. The miracles they perform here save lives and they want to know if they could have done anything more to better prepare me?? Sheesh!!

Just before I left, I dropped by Cailins office for a chat. I also talked for a bit with Bryan Whitehead, an administrative assistant with the transplant office. I need to explain something here. While I was healing, I never took the compression stockings off. Sure they were tight, but man were they warm! The best part of them was if they got too warm, you could slip your foot out of them and cool down! My outfit of choice was the stockings, Curious George boxers and an open front robe. I wore this in my room, I wore this when I walked the halls and I even wore this once to get coffee at the Tim Hortons on the ground floor! I also told Cailin & Bryan I would wear this outfit at home. Needless to say, I got a fair bit of ribbing for this! A hug from Cailin topped my day and I headed for the exit. As I made my way to the elevators I realized just how much I miss this place! Not the hospital, but the staff. I go back in two weeks for more follow-up appointments but I will post more pictures and stuff before then.

''As is my custom, I decided to drop into the Lindt Chocolate Outlet store on Kennedy Road before my appointments. Now, I'm no stranger to the Lindt building, but I have had to stay away from the place in recent months because of my testing. (Yes, I gave up chocolate for the transplant) In any case, most of the staff there know me by name and I get a lot of hugs when I visit there. One of the women, Rose-Marie, is a true sweetheart. She greets everyone in the store with a smile and is always friendly. Very easy to chat with and always genuine. I had told her in a recent visit of my organ donor transplant plan and she's been supportive of me from the get-go. So I gather up a whack of chocolatey treats (for the hospital staff) and am waiting in line to pay for them. I figured Rose-Marie was on break, I asked the girl at the register if she was around. I was then informed that Rose-Marie had lost her husband suddenly the week before. Not the kind of news I wanted to hear, my thoughts are with Rose-Marie today.''

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