Monday, January 19, 2015

Incisional hernia surgery

Yes I know, it's been a looooong time since I've updated the blog and I'm sorry. If there had been something new to report I would have! Our family has had a rocky road since transplant for sure, but Danny still has no serious sign of rejection, so it feels ungrateful to even bring up the troubles. On the other hand, I know there are people who care and want to know how to here goes! There are two significant complications that Danny has had so far. The first is an incisional hernia, which he developed after transplant. 

It started as just a few small ones, but now appears to be one huge hernia! It's very painful and Danny is quite relieved that the transplant team cleared him for surgery finally. He wanted to have it repaired around Thanksgiving, but the team wouldn't clear him until after his year from transplant anniversary testing and results came back okay. The hernia repair surgery is tomorrow (2/20/15) at 11:00 at our home away from home hospital in New Orleans. That leads me to complication #2. Danny's body does not like (tries to reject) one of the anti-rejection meds he will take for the rest of his life. The doctors have already switched the med to the other option to see if his body accepted it better, but the side-effects didn't change much. The medicine causes extreme, uncontrollable diarrhea. When Danny is working out of the New Orleans office, there are many days (routine actually) when he has to stop at every exit between Baton Rouge and New Orleans to go to the bathroom. Some nights he cannot even make it from our bed to the bathroom. That's a really hard's physically painful but also emotionally painful I'm sure. Danny has convinced himself that the diarrhea is caused by the hernia and therefore will go away after the surgery tomorrow, but I really don't think that's the case. The doctors and nurses have all told him it's the medicine and his lab work verifies that. However, I'm sure most of us use denial or the "head in the sand" tactic to cope with hard things from time to time. A few days ago I asked Danny what he was going to do if he is wrong and the repair surgery doesn't solve the diarrhea issue and he said that he will just deal with that if and when it's the case. I just don't want him to live the rest of his life being sad about the complications when he could be celebrating his new heart. It's a hard balance to be the supporter and encourage him when he's feeling down while also reminding him that there is joy to be found in all this. There are blessings. The same lesson is for me. People often ask how Danny is doing and it's such a hard question! The answer I assume most people want to hear is that he is doing and feeling great. And if all that's being considered is how his new heart is doing, then it's a truthful answer. However, it's super hard to ignore the negative side-effects he's had. Are we ungrateful? Are we taking this precious gift of a healthy heart and being unappreciative? That's how I feel when I give an honest answer about how Danny is doing. That's why blogging has become hard...I feel like such a complaining jerk. We've been so blessed and we need to focus on that instead of the complications. It's hard! 

Danny has new insurance through his work and it's "comparable" to the previous policy...comparable for healthy people! Though he technically doesn't have a deductible as long as he uses in-network physicians and hospitals, he now has huge co-pays for outpatient hospital procedures and radiology stuff like x-rays and CT scans. Danny has radiology testing on a very routine basis and outpatient procedures fairly often also. These co pays are large enough and impact the budget enough that I'm going to begin looking for a second job. If my excess weight came off in direct proportion to the amount of hours I work, I wouldn't be overweight at all!! LOL...wish it were that easy. 

So to do a quick recap of prayer requests...

  • Hernia surgery successful and without complications
  • Diarrhea gone!!!
  • Money/Tricia 2nd job
Thank you for praying for us! I'll update tomorrow with surgery updates!


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