Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thursay's musings - 7-28-11 - Rod's bit

Greetings friends and family!

My dad sent me his bit for our blog the day after I posted the last one... this one is from Tuesday of this week.  Sorry for the delay.  Here we go...

I love not having to go to transplant clinic but once a week.  Although this Friday we have to go in for a blood draw for a lipid panel.  But, as soon as they are done drawing the blood we are free to leave.  

Our clinic on Tuesday was good.  In general they are pleased with me, all of them (except the doctor) said they think I need to drink more water.  I know they are right, but, it is hard to drink 4 quarts of water of water a day after being limited to l.5 liters during dialysis for 2.5 years.  But by damn, I’ll do it.  

The head of the Nephrology team was my doctor Tuesday.  In discussing our plan to take the grandsons to Estes Park this weekend and how for years Heidi had to arrange dialysis in Longmont  when we went to Estes, his brilliant mind just wondered why someone doesn’t set up a mobile dialysis unit to service those remote towns.  I just may speak with Davita, whose national headquarters is now in Denver, about doing just that.  Davita is a mega company who sets up and owns the thousands of dialysis facilities around the nation.  Maybe they already have some mobile units, I don’t know.  But, it gives me something to do to find out.  I’ll  keep you posted.


I think all six of us - my family and my mom and dad are excited about going to Estes Park this weekend together.  This will be my family's mini-trip this summer thanks to my folks.  We have one more week of summer vacation.  I will start back to school with meetings on August 8th and the grand opening of the School Year 20011-2012 at St. John's Lutheran School  will begin on August 17th!  Lutheran High School in Parker will also begin that week although at this moment I am unsure on which day.

Prayer requests

  • In order to have happy doctors... both parties involved in the transplant process need to be drinking an acceptable amount of water... ie: A LOT!  Pray that mindsets can be changed and water will be consumed freely.  (Mostly Rod... I think I've got this down now!)
  • Safe travels for us as we vacation in Estes Park this weekend.
  • Thanks for all of our friends and family who make up our support system.  We depend upon all of you so much!
Blessings on your weekend!!


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Happy Sunday everyone!

Hi guys!

This is just a quick update to let you know that everything is still moving forward and time is marching on.  You probably already knew about the time part.

My mom and dad came over to our place for dinner last night.  They haven't been here for dinner since Father's Day.  I noted on Father's Day that my dad had very little strength - even needed help stepping up the two steps from our front yard into our house.

Here we are a month or so later and he was able to do everything with no help.  He even went up and down the stairs inside our house with no help.  He has mastered the stairs in his own home too.  This is a huge milestone in our transplant/recovery journey.  It is something for which to thank God!

We had always heard that the transplant is typically harder on the donor than on the recipient because the donor is a healthy person undergoing major surgery while the recipient is generally someone who is sick - but getting something that will make him feel better - almost immediately.

But you know us Sloans/Riches... we are not typical now nor have we ever been!  It's part of our charm.  I am just grateful that everything is moving in a forward direction now, and that recovery is happening still - for both of us.

Thank you for hanging in there with us.  My dad and I could never express the depth of our appreciation to all of you who cheer us on, pray for us and encourage us!  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

I will continue to update as needed.

Prayer requests

  • Continued strength gain and water drinking for both my dad and I.
  • Continued patience and understanding for my mom.
  • Prayers of thanks for the progress that has been made.
Blessings everyone!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wednesday's news... Good news indeed! 7-20-11

Hello friends and family!

I don't think I have ever waited 5 days in between blogs!  As my dad and I progress (and it IS progress) the recovery just takes time and some days there just isn't much to share.

I had a dream last night about school.  This tells me that my mind is starting to process the fact that I will not get to sleep in until 8am for very much longer.  This also means that maybe I should be less offended when I see school supplies abundantly displayed at places like Target.  The end result is inevitable!  I will be starting to get excited and nervous both at the same time in the very coming days!

My dad has great news and he gave me his bit to put into the blog...

Tuesday was one of the best days since transplant rehab WE DON'T HAVE TO GO BACK ON FRIDAYS ANYMORE, JUST TUESDAYS. 

I lost about 30 pounds of nothing but fluid. That means I am rehabilitating well.  It opens the week for more activities, It is all good.  I am tired of being stuck here and having to watch those miserable Rockies play baseball like a fifth rate high school team.  

I am growing a grey goatee.  I kind of like the idea of seeing what it looks like on me.  Heidi is appalled, consequently it might not last too long. I had only two inquiries as to the whereabouts of the Christmas in July letter. I guess it was time for its demise.  

I need to go for now, Erica and Dax are coming over hang with me this morning, Heidi is taking Susan Kirch to lunch for her birthday.  What a blessing family and friends are.


The goatee part is funny.  My son Tanner who is 13 has been telling us that he wants to grow facial hair so he can shave cool designs into his neck and face... huh.  My dad has NEVER IN MY LIFE had any type of facial hair - EVER... period.  My first thought was that some personality trait that Tanner got from me was transplanted into my dad along with the new kidney!  It's okay... you can blame that one on me!  I like to be a little different anyway!! :)

Prayer requests:
  • Continued healing and recovery for both my dad and I
  • Continued patience and understanding for my dear mom!
  • Continued strength gain for my dad - the goal is to be able to go up and down the stairs in their home.
Thanks for all of your love and support.  It means the world to both of our families!



Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday's post from Rod... 7-15-11

As promised... here is my dad's bit for this blog.  He is being very kind - just remember... I learned from the best. :)

Bump,    * from Monica... Bump is the nickname my dad gave to me when I was very young - you'll have to ask him for an explanation!
So, the week is over, Heidi and I did our second transplant clinic today for this week.  We will have two clinics a week for a couple more weeks.  They are watching this old, tired ticker like a hawk.  I think they are surprised how well it purrs when in sink with the rest of the body.  Quite frankly, I am too.  When they get the heart rhythm in check, we are good, they are happy, i feel better and all is more right with the world. 

I am hearing from dear friends from all over the country Who read this blog and appreciate Monicas efforts.  She is an amazing young lady.  When you say Monica has a writing style like mine, it makes me feel good but actually she is much better than I am.  I need to go get ready for the Rockies Game on T.V.  Keep us all lifted up in prayer. 


I think that sums it all up pretty well for now!  Blessings dear friends and family!  Thanks again for all of your prayers and support!

Monica & Rod

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday is a very good day! 7-14-11

Hello friends and family!

Everything continues to move in a forward motion for both my dad and me.  We are almost at the 6 week mark (this coming Monday).

I visited the vampires at the hospital yesterday - to prove that I AM drinking enough water... and my tests all had good results!!  Whoo Hoo... praise GOD!!

Remember when my dad went to the cardiologist and he put him on a heart monitor and consequently my dad ended up back in the hospital for another week (got out last Friday)?  Well, he went to the cardiologist again today 2 weeks later and, in my dad's own words, "He was happy!" (and God knows we really love happy doctors!!!)  My dad's problem heart rate is more stabilized and... in two week's time - he has lost 30 pounds of water retention!  That is so huge!  I think we have so much to be thankful for!

My dad said he would send me something for the blog tomorrow... so we can be looking forward to that.

Thanks again for all of the prayers and support all of you offer to me and my family!  As you can see... it is working.  We ask that you keep the prayers up!  Thanks so much!

Prayer requests

  • Thanks and praise for the progress happening for my dad!
  • Thanks that my tests all came back with good results!
  • Prayers for continued forward moving, positive healing for my dad and I.
Blessings to you all... you are such a blessing to us!


Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday's news 7-11-11 - Good news to report!

Greetings everyone!

I'm happy to report that all of our prayers have been working!  My dad has had two really good days and last night was also good (he sometimes has trouble sleeping).  When I spoke to my mom today and my dad yesterday - both of them sounded upbeat and happy.

My mom said that NOW she feels like recovery has begun for my dad.  The first month was very hard - especially on my mom, but she is a trooper and both of them feel like things are finally starting to move forward.

My dad even walked around the neighborhood with my mom today... I think this is huge!

SO... Thank you, thank you, thank you from all of us in the Sloan/Rich family for the prayers, well wishes and positive thoughts you all have been sending up on our behalf!  We feel blessed to have such a big network of family and friends who are looking out for us.  Please - don't stop!  We want all of this to continue moving forward!

Prayer requests

  • Thanks be to God for blessing my dad with continued, improved strength and healing!
  • Prayers for both of our recoveries to continue moving forward.
  • Prayers that my dad's kidney continues to do its job.
Blessings friends!


Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday's musings 7-8-11

Hello friends and family!

Today was a good day as they let my dad go home from the hospital.  This means that the swelling he was experiencing throughout his whole body is down to a more acceptable level, and it also means that they have finally taken control of his heartbeat and it is also at a more acceptable level.  Praise God!

He is still working on gaining his strength and has been advised to not use stairs yet (there are 13 of them in their home... he has counted them!)  I think this will all come in time.

My dad told me that my mom has just been awesome throughout this whole ordeal... we praise God for her and her stamina and patience as well!

Here is my dad's take on this - in his own words....

Home from the hospital today (Friday).  It will take all  day springing the dude out.  Doctors move at an exceeding slow pace.  About as fast as a herd of ruptured turtles. One of the lessons The Lord has been hitting me the head to learn is patience.  I have been a good student (to a degree), today will be a test.  I want to refrain from becoming too agitated.  A lot of the swelling in my legs has gone down.  I am on the mend.  I am a happy camper at 6:00 a.m.


Prayer requests for today:

  • Continued strength and healing for my dad.
  • Continued patience for my mom.
  • Continued stamina and strength regaining for me.  Every day I feel better and better.
Thanks for being our prayer warriors!  God bless all of you!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tuesday's blog... somebody must be praying for patience!

Greetings family and friends!

I hope this blog post finds all of you happy and filled with pride to be here in America.  Our 4th of July was a fun day spent with good friends and fireworks!  It was awesome!  In my mind it marks the middle of summer.  This is also the time I feel I need to turn my focus more on what I'm going to do differently (and better) in my class this coming school year.  Don't worry - it's only July 5th... I'm not spending the whole day on these thoughts just yet! :)

So the news about my dad being in the hospital has not changed much.  He is still there and the main goal to get him ready to go home is twofold:

#1. His heart rate is still not stable and his nephrologist (kidney doctor) told my dad that he was going to "work aggressively" with the cardiologist to get his heart to quit dancing around so much.  This is mostly a medication and dosage deal.  The kidney continues to make me proud!

#2. They are also working hard to reduce the fluid retention my dad is experiencing.  I just got off the phone with him and he told me that he doesn't see much difference - but his doctors told him that there is progress being made.  I'm going along with the doctors on this one... the good news is that because of the fluid retention - they are giving my dad lasix which draws the fluid out of the body and makes him pee more - which is exercising the bladder more which was ALSO one of the goals!  (hope that's not too much information!)

In the meantime, while my mom misses having my dad at home - and I'm sure you can imagine that he would rather be at home as well... they both have told me that they are glad he is at the hospital surrounded by the people who know best how to get him back on his feet.  Today he walked at least twice around the hospital floor... not having to stop and rest and not holding on to the rail... baby steps - but for my dad... this is HUGE!  Strength is being gained and God is answering all of our prayers!  Please keep it up my fellow prayer warriors!!  And, thank you again for all of the wonderful support and prayers - they are making a difference for sure!

Prayer requests:

  • Continued strength gain for my dad.
  • Fluid retention and swelling to go down and away for my dad.
  • Patience for my dad who is in the hospital (and not at home) and for his caregivers who are trying their hardest to get him ready to go back home.
  • Continued recovery for both of us.  Tomorrow marks the one month ago mark... can you believe it???
Blessings to all of you!


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sunday's blog - news from Rod

Hi everyone,

My dad sent me a bit to put into our blog - so I'm going to let him have the stage.

I'm feeling patriotic.  

One of my favorite American authors says  You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness.  You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.  ~Erma Bombeck

Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all!
By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall.
~John Dickinson

That's all that's in me this morning.  My swelling is down, that's the goal.


Blessings on your holiday tomorrow.  Cherish your families and your freedom - they are priceless!


p.s. - I have no idea why the font changes sizes like this - It all looks good in my preview! :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Saturday 7-2-11

Hi everyone...

I know in a past blog I mentioned that I would only be posting every other day... and I just posted yesterday - but I've gotten so much feedback about my dad being in the hospital and so many of you praying and keeping us in your thoughts - I really felt the need to update you about my dad's progress.

My mom and dad are both in a very positive place right now.  My dad is still in the hospital and probably will be until after the 4th, but after talking to both of them today - I feel they are both feeling a little bit relieved having him in the hospital until the doctors can work out what they need to for my dad to go home and continue his recovery without the complications he was experiencing last week.

The problem seems still to be stemming from my dad's heart and the medications he takes to keep it ticking.  It seems as if it is a waiting game right now, but we are all okay with the waiting if it is going to take care of the problem.  The kidney continues to work and be happy.  This is a good thing!

I cannot express in words how much your support and prayers mean to us collectively!  I am hearing from people who know my dad but not myself - who are reading my blog.  Friends I have known for years are supportive and positive... thank you to all of you!  It really means a lot to all of us but especially to my dad and me!

I will post again on Monday unless anything else crops up - my prayer for all of you is that you all have a very relaxing holiday weekend filled with family and fun.

Thanks again for all of the support!

Prayer requests

  • Wisdom for the doctors to know what it takes to get my dad stable and ready to go home.
  • Thank you to all of our military past and present who help us keep a reason to celebrate our freedom on Monday, July 4th!


Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday's news 7-1-11 Rod back in the hospital

Happy Friday friends and family!

We have yet another set back concerning my dad.  As I mentioned in the last post he has been struggling with being light-headed and weakness so much so that he has taken to using a walker in the house to get around.  It turns out that this is a symptom of atrial fibrillation going on in his heart.

Twice this week Chris needed to go over to my folks house and help my dad up from falling (once passing out) because of all of this.  He went to his cardiologist yesterday and they put on a heart monitor that they check several times a day over the phone.  After 2 submissions yesterday the cardiologist on call called my dad and told him he wanted him to go to PSL E.R. to be checked.  They kept him overnight for observation but my mom said this morning that he may be there several days until they can get this worked out.

The person my mom talked to at the cardiologist office this morning said that there are two reasons this is happening to my dad.  First - he is coming off of a pretty major surgery, and his body needs to heal from it.  Second - the addition of the anti-rejection meds for the new kidney is messing with the other meds he was already on for his heart.

As you may imagine - this has been one long process for my mom.  When I talked with her this morning, she sounded upbeat.  It is much better on the nerves when he is in the hospital where they can take care of what is wrong and there are many people working to make this right than when my dad is home with my mom and something happens and she doesn't know what to do or can't do it herself.  We will go and see him later this afternoon.

Meanwhile the kidney is doing just what it is supposed to do seemingly oblivious to everything else that is going on around it.  I told my mom it is doing just what I told it to do before the surgery.  I told her I have all sorts of people in my life that I tell what to do and the kidney - so far - has been the best listener! :)

Prayer requests

  • Wisdom for the doctors to know how to fix the a-fibs my dad is experiencing
  • Patience for my dad being in the hospital - yet again
  • Peace and rest for my mom... she is so strong!
  • Release from the hospital only after the problem has been diagnosed and fixed.
Blessings on your holiday weekend!  Be safe!