I think back to the classes we sat in. Do you remember we had to go to classes so Jamey could be placed on the transplant list? They told us that transplant is not a cure. Transplant is NOT a cure. Some people get a new kidney and bounce right back. Some people don’t. We happen to fall in that group right in the middle. When we sat in the classes they discussed all of the meds. All of the doctor visits. All of the things that will get better quickly (almost immediately). And all of the things that could go wrong or be a challenge.
We haven’t shared everything these last several months. We have had some challenges. Jamey still goes to the hospital once a week for labs. This isn’t typical at this stage of the game. But it is indeed our reality. He also still goes to the hospital every four weeks for a seven hour infusion.
I am thankful for science and medicine. I am thankful for the teams of doctors that watch him like a hawk. I am thankful there are no more bags of dialisate. I am thankful there are no more machines in our bedroom keeping my husband alive. I am thankful for our living donor, Ryan.
I miss normal. And I know – this – is our new normal. And I have lists of things to be thankful for. But the worry that we face every single week between labs is taxing. The hours spent in the car going to and from the hospital are long. The entire day spent in infusion is exhausting. I long for the day when he can have a healthy kidney. When his body can stay healthy with a handful of meds and maybe just one appointment a month or even quarter.
For many of the last several months Jamey has been fighting two viruses. The first one was bad and wasn’t going away as quickly as we had hoped. But then he got a second one. This one was worse. A couple months ago he had a kidney biopsy. They discovered this new virus had moved into his kidney. The kidney was inflamed and his creatinine had creeped up a bit. The GOOD NEWS is that his creatinine is coming back down and the virus copies per million are also decreasing significantly. The first virus is no longer detectable in his labs. It feels like we are over the hump of these two nasty viruses and just working on cleanup.
How did he get the viruses? Well, they are common for transplant patients. They have such suppressed immune systems that they are just very succeptible to things that you and I fight off without even knowing it. The way they treat the viruses is by lowering his immunosuppressants – meaning – giving him back his immune system. Of course this is a very fine balance of his immune system being strong enough to attack the virus and not the new kidney. Labs every week help the transplant team closely follow every detail.
We are at the hospital again today. Labs and clinic. We are 11 months post transplant.
Please pray Jamey’s body continues to fight the viruses and not the new kidney. Please pray for the doctors and pharmacists that keep this man healthy.