Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Worth a thousand words...

One month to the day and my IV-free body demanded another hook-up. Doesn't it have anything better to do?  Obviously it does not, so off I go to my new bed and breakfast in downtown Denver.

I hope know you are thinking "Wow, I wish I could see Sherri in her new digs."  Well your wish is my command.

Tour Guide Sherri at St. Joseph Hospital

Thought it would be a whole lot easier to show rather than tell and as you can see, telling makes me winded anyway.  I've been here 6 days so far with probably another two weeks to go. Here's hoping all goes well and I'll be picture perfect again soon.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Karma survival...

Believe me, when you hear the words, "Attention: passengers waiting for departure of flight #1353 to Raleigh/Durham, there will be a slight delay as we check a mechanical issue with the plane," it doesn't inspire confidence. That was only the beginning of the bad airplane karma we experienced on our recent trip to Duke. A half hour later we were told that a new plane may be required if the repairs couldn't be completed. Another hour passed until my slightly shaky legs carried me down the walkway and into the now doomed fixed airliner.

Fast forward three hours and said airliner is now descending towards its intended North Carolina target. The only problem now is the plane is pitching violently with the ground rapidly approaching. Holding on tight to my seat, my mind envisioned a lack of runway, foam, slides, safety vehicles, you name it. Evidently I wasn't the only one thinking along those lines since three minutes later, our wheels made bumpy contact with the runway and the entire plane full of passengers erupted in cheers and clapping.

My appointment with Dr. Palmer went very well...too well for a transplant at this time. Yup, not terribly surprised but thought my increased IV usage might put me in my window again. The waiting game goes on.

The Monday Duke visit was to be followed by a Tuesday morning flight home but the entire state was bracing for an ice/snow storm. We checked our flights Monday night and already saw our flight was delayed. We woke up to ice coating the outside world and a cancelled flight. With nothing to do, we ventured out on the roads and hit the mall. It was like a ghost town--only a fourth of the stores were open. Native North Carolinians freak out when it snows (4 days later the kids were still out of school.)

Josh was able to squeeze in on an early Thursday morning non-stop flight but Rheid and I's best option was a longer 4:00 flight routing through Atlanta. How bad could that be, right?  Well, our "plane of deliverance" had an issue with the baggage loading system and we were about an hour late taking off--we are not off to a great start. Then we landed in Atlanta and all but 7 of us deboard the plane. We wait until the fully-booked flight is finally seated and then...nothing.  Finally the captain comes on the speaker and announces the airplane's fuel tank was mistakenly overfilled. He apologizes for the snafu and explains that the plane is now too heavy to take off and if we managed it, we would then be too heavy to land. LOVELY. So we now wait for the plane to be de-fueled and then refueled again. What started out to be a twenty minute delay turned into two hours of being stuck at the gate and unfortunately stuck in our seats as well. By the time we took off from Atlanta, the passengers trying to make connecting flights in Denver were livid. I just wanted to get home.

We finally landed in Denver over 3 hours behind schedule and because of that, there was no empty gate available for us. So we sat, again, on the tarmac waiting. By this time I was ready and willing to go down a slide just to get off the bloomin' airplane.  Sheeesh! With the way our luck was going, we were lucky to be on the ground and not on the nightly news. I barely had any battery left on my O2 concentrator by the time we got to our vehicle. Thank heavens I made it.

The following week we celebrated Rheid's birthday by going out to eat at Bunz and lighting cupcakes afterwards.
Rheid hits the big 52. Love that guy.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Will it or won't it...

What will 2015 bring? Will it bring new lungs, better health? Or will it bring more of the same? Sometimes it would sure be nice to know. After living through two of the hardest months of my life recently, I hope to be prepared mentally and physically for whatever comes.

I started IV's the first of December and was excited to stop them the first week of January. My thrill was short lived as my newly acquired 31% lung function dropped to below 26% only a week and a half later. Back on the meds I went and I'm still on them. Having to be on nearly continuous/continuous IV's can put someone within their transplant window. I am returning to Duke this weekend for my standing appointment with Dr. Palmer. I will probably find out on Tuesday the 17th what the team recommends. Will I be looking out that window once again?

Amazingly it has been 3 years since I first traveled to Duke for my transplant evaluation--it was in February of 2012. I've managed to go longer than they predicted I would before needing to come back for transplant. It's been a long time to worry about process the whole thing.

Although I felt miserable with nausea, weakness, dizziness, and anxiety through the holidays, I still had some great moments with my family.

Christina was able to fly home for
Christmas this year. She just moved up
a rank to Petty Officer Third Class!

Maggie waiting for her turn to play the candy
bar game on Christmas Eve.

Wrapped in tons of saran wrap, candy bars were freed
with glove-covered hands until the next person
rolled doubles on the dice then they got a chance
to unwrap as much candy as possible. It was
wild and crazy fun.

Max demonstrates the next game--
candy cane pick up. It was harder than it looks.

Christmas morning present opening. Santa brought Christina
a pair of Uggs.

We didn't take too many pictures Christmas morning because
we got distracted by gifts. Rheid gave me a massage certificate.

The night after Christmas we took the kids to Candlelight Dinner
Theater to see Miracle on 34th Street-The Musical. Rheid and I
were excited to share the experience with them since we've been
there several times. How were we to know that not every wonderful
movie should be turned into a musical...yeah, not as impressive
as we would have hoped.

Had I been feeling better and the weather more
cooperative, we would have taken a trip to
Utah to see this beautiful couple, my niece, Krista, and
her husband, Logan sealed in the Draper Temple.
Our hearts were there; I was so sad to miss it.

And just cuz it was so cool that I captured this picture, I am
sharing the 1:00 a.m. photo I caught of two marauding raccoons
who had pulled our bird feeder down and were snacking on
our premium birdfood--blast them--until I surprised them and
the more timid one ran over to the flower bed (blob near
top right of photo.) We had caught one raccoon a couple of
times but didn't know we were being tag-teamed.