Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Surgery Day.....I think I have lost count now!

Well we have officially had 2 nights at home. And the days (and nights) have held both ups and downs! But that is part of it! Laurie is being a trooper about it! She is in a good amount of pain and we are still having problems getting her nausea and pain medicines worked out. But hopefully we will get that figured out soon. Please continue to pray for her and her healing. She is a strong woman I know she will get through this but it is really hard on her right now.

Janet is doing good. I talked to her yesterday and she said she had felt bad yesterday but she figured out she has to ask for the pain medicine since they won't just bring it to her every 4 hours. But she is being so strong and pushing through it. Her and Chuck are so thankful every time we talk to them. And I really think they have changed our family's life. It will be a long road for all that have been involved in this and I still ask for your prayers!!

Also, this is a selfish request but I covet everyones prayers for me as I am making some big changes...possibly in the next few weeks! Thanks so much! !

Monday, August 16, 2010

Janet and Laurie's Surgery Day 5: We're Heading Home! (well half of us:()

Well Day 5 held some ups and downs for us! Laurie and I were awaken by 3 Dr's and a nurse at 5:40 AM for them to talk to her and tell her they were going to discharge her today. I was so excited for Laurie until about 7:00 AM when she told me she was really feeling bad. She had gone all night without any pain medicine or nausea medicine. Well that proved to not work very well for us. So after they left we called the nurse in there and boy she was amazing!! She immediately brought Laurie some nausea medicine and pain medicine. Laurie had to wait for a little bit to take the pain medicine til she could eat but ultimately she got the pain medicine through the IV and got a good nap til about noon. After that things seemed to pick up for us. Laurie started feeling better and ate something and took her pain medicine and before long she was up and walking around and talking to Janet again :) So about 4:00 PM we finally got everything together and got to walk, or roll out for Laurie, of the hospital! We were stoked! So the caravan loaded everything up...the caravan being Laurie and I in her car, Louise and mom in Louise's car, and Seth in his truck! :) We got home about 6:45 PM. Laurie is now in bed and settled. She did so good today even though she felt so bad and I couldn't be any prouder of her and everything she has done and given through all this. So bring on the visitors! :)

Janet woke up this morning in some pain also. She was having some cramps so I told her to buzz that nurse button and get some pain she did! :) She got to feeling better a little bit but it's been a rough day for Janet. But she is strong and pushes through it! Janet and Chuck both have been amazing to us and I still covet your prayers for her and the next couple weeks as she will have to stay in Birmingham for the next couple of weeks!

Here is Laurie and Janet visiting today :)

Look at her go!!! She is gettin it! :)
Louise and Dad were helping her on her walk....or supporting her :)

Louise and I got a little bored while Laurie was napping.....I can't imagine why they were probably ready for us to leave! (Side story to the wheel chair....this is what we pushed mom around in since UAB is so so big and well you had to hold a bar down to push it....and well this was Louise trying to let go of the bar and the brakes catching and throwing me out! :) Isn't she so loving!)
And again.....I was very nervous!!! Look at my face! :)

This is one of our favorite Dr.'s!! She was so nice!! Only 26 years old but oh so nice! She really made us feel good!

This was our nurse Bert....she was absolutely GREAT today!! She was so super nice to Laurie and that made all the difference in the world!! :)
Well it's hard to believe that it's over. Well at least the surgery part....feels like we have been trying to schedule this for FOREVER! :) And now it's here and gone and we are at home. I get to sleep in my own bed! I go back to work tomorrow. Mom is here for the week to take care of Laurie. Tomorrow is going to be a long day. Please continue to pray for Laurie and Janet and both of their recoveries! :) They have both been so strong and amazing! I am so proud to know each one of them and I love them oh so much! :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Janet and Laurie's Surgery Day 4: Progress, Progress, and MORE PROGRESS!

Well Day 4 held much better results for us than Day 3! :) Laurie woke up and stayed up most of the day. We got up and walked around a couple of times and had a ton of surprise visitors! :) She is feeling a lot better now with just alittle bit of pain. She is still getting worn out easy but that is to be expected. Dr. Hannaway came in this morning and said that today would be better, they would be taking her off her pump, and she would probably be able to go home tomorrow! :) Which is great news!! Laurie has really pushed herself and I couldn't be prouder of her and how much she has endured and just been such a trooper. And after all of this still says even knowing all of this she would do it again in a heartbeat! What a heart of a servant right?!? I am so glad Laurie is pushing through the pain and making all the progress she is making!

Janet's Day 4 started out a little rougher than Laurie's but she has really pushed through and done such a good job today! Janet has been up and walking a little bit more than Laurie but it is to be expected since it is harder on the donor than it is on the recipient. But I couldn't be happier for Janet and I am so proud of her progress!

I got to take more pictures today even though I didn't get pictures of everyone that visited I tried to get a lot. So enjoy the pictures!

Here is Laurie breathing on her little breathing tube thingy. She has to do this breathing exercise 10 times an hour.

Janet and Laurie walking the halls together!
Laurie and some of her co-workers! (Kelsey, Cassandra, Ariel, Laurie, and Natasha :)) They surprised her first thing this morning and really helped to start her day off right! It was so nice of them to drive and come see her!
Surprise! Bambi came to visit! Bambi is one of Laurie's best friends! She loved having her here!

Mrs. Jo Ann and Mr. Phil came to visit too! They have been such an answered prayer in so many ways!! Those Norton's are good people! And we love their whole family! :)
Dad brought Laurie, Janet and Chuck new Tennessee shirts! Chuck and Janet both said that after the surgery they would both wear Tennessee shirts! :)

Janet really liked hers!! She kept saying "It's so soft!! :)"

Chuck went and put his shirt on right then! That is Laurie's nurse Alan in the back ground! :)

Chuck, Dad, Louise, and Ellie :)

Seth has been amazing! He has ran all our errands for us so we wouldn't have to leave Laurie, not to mention he has stayed up with Laurie for the past 2 nights. :) This picture is of him picking up supper for us....And Milo's gave him this box to carry all this food in!!
Janet was walking all around!!!! :)

Janet getting her FIRST french fry in over a year!! :)

Seth and Janet carried on for a long time out in the hallway! They know we are loud and like to party down at our end of the hall! Janet was pushing Seth in this picture! Well acting like she is pushing him! :)

This is Janet actually pulling Seth in the hallway!! It was hilarious! :)

And here is Laurie after her shower!! Doesn't she look rocking?!?! I mean seriously! This is Laurie and her nurse Seth! :)

Seth, Laurie and Janet! :)

Chuck, Laurie and Janet! :)

And here is the GREAT picture! Laurie holding 1 finger for her one kidney she has left and Janet with 3 fingers up for her 3 kidneys she has now!! :)

Here is Dad, Laurie and Mom! :)

So over all you can tell it's been a pretty good day! Hopefully we will be going home tomorrow and again I say we still covet your prayers! It will still be a long road ahead for Laurie and Janet but I appreciate all the flowers, thoughts, prayers, goody bags, visits, calls, text and cards! They mean so much to not only Laurie but to all of us too!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Janet and Laurie's Surgery Day 3: Let the Healing Begin

Well day 3 has been a bit of a doozie for Laurie...But let's start with Janet. :) Janet was taken straight out of the operating room to a step down room where they have a nurse on duty 24-7. And boy are they sticklers! They do not let people come in unless it's visiting hours! Not even Chuck! But luckily today they moved Janet down to the room right beside Laurie. Good thing because as you can see from yesterday's blog, well we like to party in our rooms! :) But Janet actually WALKED THE WHOLE WAY TO THE ROOM! She looks so GREAT and is doing so incredibly good! I am so proud of her and she totally deserves to have a light pain load after the last year she has endured! So now Janet is resting in her room after staying awake all day and visiting with everyone! I am just so happy for her. She has really been such a trooper and she makes my faith stronger ever day.

Now on to Laurie....I cannot tell you how much I look up to Laurie and admire her tender and selfless attitude. We are family so of course we see each others faults but man it's hard to think of them when I see her in here enduring this. She has been so incredibly strong and positive through all this. Let me go back to last night.....everyone was very worried about me getting sleep but I was NOT going to let anyone else stay in this room with out me in here too! So about 9:30 mom, dad, and Louise headed back to the hotel and left Seth and I in the room with Laurie. Well Seth kept telling me to tell him when I was ready to leave, and finally I said to him "Seth I don't care if you leave at can stay the whole night if you want too!". And he did just that. He let me sleep most the night and he stayed up with Laurie feeding her ice chips and reminding her about her medicine. It was GREAT to get some sleep and I cannot express my gratitude for him doing that. It is hard to find good friends like that who would stay up with your sister so you can sleep. He is probably the closest thing we have ever had to a brother (besides having Dirt now of course!). He is just great! But anyways, about 5 AM Seth and Laurie started talking about Laurie getting up and walking. The dr's told us that the sooner she felt like walking the better off she would be. Well the first walk was very hard. And on top of that they took her off her medicine pump and didn't have the other medicine for pain in her system. So immediately she was nauseated and in a lot of pain. To shorten this....we got put back on the pump. :) About 9:30 AM Dr. Hannaway, who preformed her surgery, came by to check on her and broke this news to her.....That today would inevitably be her worst day. It would hurt more to do anything today but that by tomorrow it would be a faint memory. Well so far he has proved right but Laurie being the trooper she is has pushed through and gotten up and walked 5 TIMES!! Which is great, and by the 4th time she was saying it was getting easier to get in and out of bed and it wasn't hurting as bad!!! That is such a blessing!!

As you can tell I didn't have the chance to take lots of pictures below but I wanted everyone to be able to see some pictures! :) And I think for the most part they are in order too!

This is the 2nd time Laurie got up to walk....on her way to have her and Janet's first time seeing and talking since pre-op the morning before the surgery.

Rachel and Julianna watching Laurie and Janet as they talk.

Janet and Laurie talking :) It was a GREAT moment and I was so glad they got to visit.

This is Nana, Papa, and Aunt Betty. They found out tonight that they might be related somewhere down the line....crazy how things happen. :)

Below are the pictures of all of Laurie's flowers.....
These are from Janet and Chuck and man they are absolutely beautiful!!!

These Orange Roses are from Janet's brother, David. He got orange roses for Tennessee :)

These are from the Young Professionals Class. :) They came yesterday and they were a sweet surprise! Have I mentioned that we have the best church family?!?! :)

These gorgeous Gerber daisies are from Aunt Betty. She has really gone above and beyond for all of us during this surgery.

These are from Mom, Dad, Louise, Dirt, Me, and Nate :)

Leslie and James came by for a visit and it was so nice to get to visit with them. It is nice to have good friends. :)

This is Janet and some of the youth group from University....they are in Birmingham for SEC church thing at Decatur Highway Church of Christ and they decided to stop by and see Laurie and Janet and Rachel, since she is in the youth group at University. It was so sweet of all of them!

Rachel came in later tonight and gave Laurie a present....she had told Louise and I what she was getting Laurie and we were so excited! I love Laurie's face right here. She is genuinely so excited about her orange watch! :)

As you can tell this made her "down" day a TON better. I love that really happy smile. That's my sister. :) I love her.

Well it's now later than last night's post, but it has been a bit busier tonight with the walking. But all in all I am glad it's about to be the start of a new day. Seth and Louise are still in the room with me for now and I am again so thankful for all the calls, text, emails, cards, and messages! We are so blessed with the best friends, family and church in the world!! Hopefully tomorrow's post will be all good news and exciting! Continue to pray for Janet and Laurie's recovery! Goodnight all! :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Janet and Laurie's Surgery Day 2: Going from 2 kidneys to 1 and 2 kidneys to 3!

Well here we are at the close of day 2: Surgery Day, Friday the 13th. I don't think any of us would have ever said it but I think we were all a little nervous today. I didn't sleep a wink last night and i know Laurie was tossing and turning too. Luckily she has exhaustion on her side so even though she may have been nervous she couldn't hold her eyes open. The nurses came in about every 3 hours to take her vitals and the last time at 3:30 am they took blood. I cannot explain what a trooper Laurie has been through all of this. She has been strong when all the rest of us could do was cry. i was beginning to worry about her. :) But about 4:30 am my alarm clock went off and Laurie and I called Mom, Dad, and Louise so we could all go over together. Louise, Mom and Dad were all dressed and in a hurry I just ran out the room without even changing....or putting on things that are necessary when going out in public if you get my drift. :) So after we saw where we were going to be Dad and I came back and let me change and get fresh for the day. Boy I wasn't prepared for the emotional roller coaster that we were all about to experience.

Before we left the room Janet came down to tell Laurie bye....there are pictures below to show the beginning of our emotional day. Laurie got back into surgery about 8:00 am....and was back there for about 3 hours. Dr. Hannaway came out about 11:00 am and told us she was in recovery now and doing great. She has done great through the surgery and now they wanted to get her pain level down so they could get her medicines regulated. About 1:00 pm Janet's Dr. came out and told Chuck that Janet had done great through the surgery and the kidney was actually already working. So as Janet was heading into recovery, Laurie was heading to her room. We got back and Laurie was in a good amount of pain but that was to be expected. So after a couple of hours they got Laurie's pain level regulated and she has been in and out of sleep and visiting with all of the visitors. I know there are alot of pictures but just bear with me. :)

This is the signature pose for them! Both still have 2 kidneys!! This the beginning of an emotional day!

Me, Laurie and Louise before surgery!
All the family before surgery!
All the family plus part of our new addition! The Roberts! Janet! :)
It was an emotional goodbye! Janet has such an amazing heart!
Laurie's last picture with both kidneys!!! :)
Janet was so grateful to Laurie....what an amazing story for all of us to tell! :) They both are amazing people!!
Laurie getting ready to head back! :)

Laurie and Joanna fist-bumping! Joanna is GREAT!! We have loved her! Really all the staff here at UAB has been amazing!

And here is the parade to to the pre-op waiting area! :)
This was an emotional mother/daughter goodbye!! :) Mom has been a little on edge about everything and well we had to say goodbye!

Laurie looks great here!! This is where they are in the holding area before surgery and we got to go back and see her til they took her back....and well when they took her back I just broke did everyone else in my family. This is the perfect picture of an amazing strong beautiful Christian woman!

What faith and courage this woman has had over the past year!! She has been amazingly strong and boy how she has changed our lives forever!

Laurie saying bye to Ellie before they took her back!

This was part of our "little" waiting room group! We are so blessed with such an amazing support group! (From Left to right: Andrea Best, David Alvarez, and
Tiffany Johnson)

More waiting room friends..... Jamie Horn, Chuck Roberts, and Aunt Betty Jones.

Susanne Pope, Betty (Chuck's mom), and Adrienne Bell.
They were all so great!!! :)
Michelle and Morgan showed up and surprised us!!! We absolutely love them! They have been amazing to us and we are so grateful for such amazing friends!!

Morgan was learning the "good stuff" at an early age. Aurie's morphine pump!! (Aurie is what Morgan calls Laurie :))

This girl absolutely makes my heart smile. She makes me happy and is just great!! She really makes my whole family so happy. She is like one of our own!

Michelle, Morgan and Laurie. Have I mentioned what great friends we have?!?!?

Brint and Shanon also showed up and Laurie was moved to tears by them showing up! They have been such good friends to Laurie and just such a blessing!! They came bearing lots of goodies for us to snack on! :) We love them!

Gracie Kate, Karen and Laurie. Gracie Kate and Karen Clifton showed up to see us too! They are such amazing people! We are so incredibly blessed with an amazing church family and people that love us so much! And this family is one of them! And we love them to pieces!

Gracie Kate giving Laurie some loving! :)

Seth came with Michelle and Morgan!! We love him too lots! Seth, Louise and I decided to walk Michelle and Morgan down to their car because well UAB is pretty big and trying to navigate with an 18 month old is pretty hard! Se we went along to help! :)

Seth having fun while pushing Louise and Morgan is just a sipping away on her ice water! :)

Me and Little Mo before they left. I. Love. This. Child. She. Makes. My. Heart. Happy. :)

Well Laurie is sleeping and finally getting settled down. Janet is doing great and the kidney is still working amazingly!!! What a testament of faith this whole process has been and I know it has changed the lives of so many people! Please keep Janet and Laurie in your prayers still and pray for their rest and re cooperation! We are so thankful for all the prayers, thoughts, text, cards, food, and just caring! We are so thankful for all the kind words and encouragement. What an amazing story this and I want to personally thank everyone for their kindness. God is so good! Thanks again! And I will report again tomorrow!!