Hi friends. I have finally found myself on the couch after a marathon day.
My mom flew in on Monday afternoon to spend the week in Charlotte. The reason for her visit was to attend clinic at Duke as routine maintenance/monitoring after her double lung transplant earlier this year. It’s hard to believe that it’s been seven months since her transplant. What an incredible miracle and crazy roller coaster it’s been.
Her clinic was today (Wednesday) so we left Charlotte just before 6a to be there by 8a. Today’s clinic consisted of lab draws, a pulmonary function test, x-ray, an office visit with one of the transplant pulmonologists and a bronchoscopy procedure.
The good news is that clinic went better than we could have hoped. From a lung health/transplant perspective, she’s doing amazingly well. Her chest x-rays and pulmonary function tests were really good and initial impressions from her bronchoscopy showed nothing alarming. We still have to wait on bronch biopsies to come back to know for sure that we’re in the clear on rejection and infection but based on today’s visit, we are hopeful.
The not so fun part is that she’s dealing with a lot of unpleasant side effects that come with her anti-rejection medications. This includes headaches, tremors, brain fog, word recall, moderate kidney disease, hair loss and more. Obviously, she has to take these medications but her care team is vigilantly monitoring side effects and lab values when it comes to dosing. From what we’ve learned, read and heard, this will be a constant dance. It’s such a blessing to be able to fully trust your care team when you’re dealing with something so big. I always leave Duke counting my blessings for both the team and the culture. It’s a special place for sure.
We were in the car for almost five hours today and in clinic for eight. My mom didn’t feel super great today – probably a combination of nerves/anxiety and everything they did to her. She received fentanyl in her last bronch procedure so that pretty much knocked her out for the rest of the day. I got her back to Charlotte around 7p and she’s been sleeping ever since.
This whole transplant journey has been really freaking challenging. I can only imagine difficult and stressful it’s been for my mom to live through it in her body and mind. She has been so brave. I pray finds some comfort in knowing that her lungs are healthy so that she can continue to courageously move forward.
After spending the better part of 13 hours sitting, I needed to walk a little when we got home. I got my mom settled in and then leashed up the pups for a walk around the neighborhood while I checked in with my dad for the third time today and then called my grandmother to give her a full rundown on the day.
My best friend texted me earlier this week and asked what I was going to do to take care of myself this week. My response was, “I don’t know,” but I’ve found myself drawn to my yoga mat and tonight’s walk felt pretty great too.
Finn has been living his best life this week. He’s been to Carowinds twice (he has a summer pass).
And he’s gotten to spend a lot of time with his little BFF!
My mom is staying through Sunday so I am trying to brainstorm some fun and low-key activities that we can do Friday/Saturday once she’s feeling rested and a little better. Let me know if you’re local and have any ideas/suggestions.
The last thing I bring to you is what do I do about these baby birds? My nanny said that Finn found them on the ground in my front yard today. I don’t know whether are fledglings who are developmentally trying to start flying under parental supervision or if they’re nestlings who have fallen from the nest and need intervention. They’re currently in a makeshift nest but haven’t moved from it in the last few hours. Should I call a rescue tomorrow? I read online that most baby bird rescue situations are false alarms and they would have been okay on their own. Help! I am sad.
How has your week been?
How have you been taking care of yourself lately?