Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ups and Downs

Nate and I seem to put on a good face for everyone and most of the time that reflects our attitude but let's be honest...this recovery thing has turned out to be harder than we expected. It has been a roller coaster of good and bad days and Nate keeps telling me he's waiting for the good ones to outlast the bad ones.
Nate is still being seen in Denver once a week. He will have 2 weeks of good labs and then a hiccup. At his last appointment on Monday his creatinine levels were elevated again. A kidney ultrasound was done and it again shows fluid around the kidney. This is likely to come from the old kidney's being removed. BUT the kidney IS stable. Today Nate is going through a procedure in which they will insert a balloon into the peritoneal cavity to create a "window" in hopes the fluid will drain out the window instead of staying around the kidney. We are in hopes that this procedure works. If not another surgery will be required. One step, one day at a time.
Nate still tires easily and the anti-rejection medications have tons of side effects. (Tremors and irritability to name a few)
This situation reminds me of a quote I have kept written down in my office.
"Every thing's not OK but I am OK with everything."
We struggle, the kids struggle but we push forward to the light at the end of the tunnel.
We continue to thank everyone for your love, support, thoughts and prayers but more than anything for putting up with us. :) :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Our Community AKA Our Family

The words THANK YOU will never be enough to express our gratitude for all the town of Potter and other surrounding communities has done for us. Our community has put together a benefit and fundraisers for us since Nate's transplant. An outpouring of love, donations, cards, thoughts, and prayers have been shown time after time. It is hard to keep up with thanking everyone but Nate, Gunnar, Gabbie, and I want EACH AND EVERYONE of you to know how thankful we are. We are loved and feel blessed that we choose Potter to be our home! 

Monday, October 15, 2012


As I indicated in my last post creatinine levels help indicate how Nate's transplanted kidney is doing. Last week we had a little scare when his levels started to go up. Nate then started steroid treatments to help bring the levels down. On Saturday Nate became sick and was vomiting. Nate was admitted back into the hospital. Several tests were completed. Nate had a lot of fluid build up in his body from where the old kidney's were removed. Thus a drain was put in. Other tests show that the new kidney is NOT leaking. We celebrated Nate's creatinine levels on Sunday as they were 1.99 the lowest they have been and today they are 1.83.  Nate is expected to leave the hospital today and remain with his family in Denver to resume clinic appointments. We pray things continue to go well.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Just small bumps in the road...

I haven't updated for a bit so thought you might like to know how Nate is doing. Everything has been fairly smooth. He attends clinic appointments 2 to 3 times a week. During these appointments they check lab levels, medication doses, and overall health. One of the main things they check is his creatinine levels which lets them know if the kidney is working like its suppose to. Doctors want to see those levels go down until they reach a normal level.
Nate's levels have steadily going down until yesterday when they went up. This can be the first sign of rejection but don't it's treatable. So Nate is getting some IV treatments in the next few days and doctors are checking into a few other things. We had hoped that Nate would come home yesterday and stay for a few days and that was a huge bummer for all of us BUT we know the most important thing is that he is taken care of so as they say....absence makes the heart grow founder. Continue to pray that all goes well.
Looking good!

Friday, September 28, 2012


Nate's recovery continues. Each day he is stronger and feels better. He has lost a total of 20 pounds. The tube in his nose was removed on Wednesday. One IV and his drain tube was removed today. It appears he will leave the hospital tomorrow but he will stay in Denver due to the numerous appointments he will have. The appointments are called "clinic" and this will start with every other day. As Nate improves the clinic appointments will lessen but he is expected to stay close for about 6 to 8 weeks.
We thank you all again for your comments, calls, thoughts, and prayers. I will continue to update.
Day 1 after transplant: Up for his first walk.
Day 2: Resting
Day 3: Today...lookin better!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 so good!

Today Nate had his kidney transplant at University of Colorado Hospital. Everything went as well as could be expected. Nate had a very intense surgery due to removing his kidney's. He is expected to stay in the hospital for 5 to 7 days depending on his recovery. A mid-line incision was made along his stomach.  After the kidney's were removed the new kidney was put in and produced urine right away. Nate's donor is recovering as well. I am overwhelmed and amazing by this entire process. Long days ahead.
I've included some pictures and a few are graphic.
Nate and his donor Bing before surgery
Nate in recovery after surgery. (Looks pretty good I think) :)

The following pictures are of Nate's kidney's. It's no wonder he felt the way he did.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Family Dinner

Tonight approx. 19 of us enjoyed dinner together. This included Nate's family as well as Bing's family. It simply amazing me how 1 act of kindness will forever link so many people together.
As time gets closer we are anxious, nervous, and excited for the process to begin.
Watch for further updates....
Family Picture Before Dinner
Nate, Bing, Chandell

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pre-Op's Complete!

On Tuesday September 18th Bing (donor) had his surgery pre-op and today the 20th Nate had his. So far all tests went well and surgery for Nate is scheduled for 7:30am on the 25th at University of Colorado Hospital in Denver.

A change did occur.

When discussing options for Nate with the surgeon regarding the size of Nate's current kidney's the surgeon stated they are the biggest he has ever seen and they are estimated at 15 pounds each. (PKD cause kidneys to grow in size)

After some research and discussion with the surgical team Nate's surgeon decided he would remove both of his kidney's before the transplant takes place. The intention is to still do the entire procedure (including transplant) at the same time.

This change will increase the surgery time from 3-4 hours to 7 hours and may require a longer stay in the hospital. Nate will also have a larger incision along his stomach rather than the one that would have been on his side.

Normally, the kidney's would have been removed during a later surgery. 

Nate is excited for this to happen as the size of his kidney's has caused great discomfort.

I am a bit nervous but know that the doctor's know best. We ask for continued prayers and thank all of you for your love and support.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Round 2 and Feeling Blessed...

In May of 2011, Nate was scheduled to have his kidney transplant but due to unforeseen circumstances it did not happen. In July of 2011 (a month after we welcomed a baby girl) :) Nate went on Peritoneal Dialysis which he continues to be on today. Peritoneal Dialysis has allowed Nate to do dialysis from home and return to work. We are very thankful for medical technology and it's advancements.

In June of 2012, we received a call from a distant family member Tad wanting to discuss his options for being a donor. During his testing process Tad's father Bing stepped up also wanting to be tested. Thus the process of "Round 2" began...

Both Tad and Bing have been through the testing process and Bing is scheduled to give his kidney to Nate on September 25th. We are excited, nervous but also cautious. We know well the "let down" we experienced last time. So as of right now we have faith things will go as planned.

This past weekend Tad and Bing came to the house. I had not met either of them. How do you entertain angels? Well we decided to go for lunch, head to Cabela's, make homemade salsa, brats, chocolate chip cookies, and watch Big Red football. :)

We are blessed! I have decided that through the next couple weeks I will update the blog to inform everyone of the progress. We have many caring people who want to know and this is the easiest way I know how.

Tad, Nate, Bing (holding Gabbie)
Until next time....