Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Not a fan

Jim had an appointment with the dialysis surgeon today and they are suggesting to place both the port for PD dialysis (in his belly) and a fistula in his wrist. Jim is not a fan of this idea. Unfortunately he does not have much of a choice, considering the surgeon made a really good argument. His argument was that when Jim gets his transplant they are going to wear out his veins and arteries with blood draws and we may end up losing an access that he could need down the road. This is a very good point, one that neither one of us had ever really considered, so with that being said it looks like Jim will be getting both placed, a fact that he is not very thrilled about. We have to talk with the nephrologist and start setting up our classes to learn how to work all of this dialysis business and also ask her when she would like us to schedule the surgery for the port placement. We are planning on trying to ask her this tomorrow when we call for our lab results however not sure if we will get all of these questions answered tomorrow or not.

Jim will be getting stat labs pulled again tomorrow to make sure his kidneys are still holding after the angiogram last week. His blood pressure is very slowly coming down which is something we are pleased with. He still has an appetite and his swelling is reducing as well so these are good things.

Prayer requests: Blood work comes back reporting that his kidneys are holding. Jim finds peace with having these ports placed.

Bible Verse: "Your love, O Lord reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies." Psalm 36:5

Monday, August 30, 2010

And the answer is.... they loved him!!!

YEA!! Step 1 of the pre-approval process completed, Jim was accepted by the transplant committee and now his paperwork is getting shipped to Baylor!! After the hospital receives his information they will send it off to the insurance for pre-certification. This pre-cert period can last anywhere from 1-6 weeks, ugh...let's hope for one!!! After Baylor receives the certification from our insurance we will receive a letter via snail mail and then Jim will be officially listed. I am starting to see a light at the end of this very long tunnel! (:

Prayer requests: Pre-cert process takes a short amount of time to approve Jim for listing. That Jim's kidneys are still holding for his Wednesday labs.

Bible Verse: "This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalms 118:24

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hospital...not this weekend!!

Jim had his labs pulled again yesterday and they are holding. They were not as good as Monday with a creatinine level of 5.5 but stable enough she didn't want to admit us! Praise the Lord! I don't think she believes it herself because she wants him to get more labs next Wednesday. So, continued prayers for holding kidneys would be very much appreciated.

Although currently Jim's kidneys are trying to behave themselves, Jim's blood pressure is being a little bratty. Since the surgery on Monday it has decided that it no longer wants to stay in the 120/80 range. We spoke with the nephrologist yesterday and she wants us to just keep an eye on it and let her know what it is doing next week.She didn't seemed surprised by it's bad behavior. From what I understand the further down his kidneys go the more problems we will have with his blood pressure. This being said, Jim and I still do not appreciate any bad behavior from any of his organs or inner workings! If only I could do behavior modification on blood pressure- we would be back in line in no time. (:

Next week we have the last of his dental appointments, appointment with the dialysis surgeon, and more labs. Hopefully we will also find out if we were approved for the list by Monday afternoon. Based on Jim's tests results he should have been approved, but my faith in the paperwork system is a little lacking so I am trying to be optimistic that the correct forms made it into their hands!

Prayer Requests: Kidneys continue to hold for next weeks labs. We get approved for the list! Jim's blood pressure begins behaving itself!

Bible Verse: "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him and I am helped." Psalms 28:7

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

up, down, who knows!

Well, we received good news, however slightly confusing at the same time. What I mean is Jim's creatinine number was lower today than it was on Monday which equals that his kidneys improved. On Monday his number was 6.1 which means that his kidneys had declined even from 1 week prior when it was 5.59. Today his number was 5.1- who knows?! I think the Lord just likes to keep us guessing! Whatever the reason- I will take 5.1 any day!!!

Other news...drum roll please...All of Jim's information is being sent to committee on Friday and we should know something on Monday- meaning hopefully Jim will officially be on the pancreas kidney list as of Monday!!!

Prayer Requests: Friday's labs are as good as today's. Committee loves Jim and says "OF COURSE WE WILL APPROVE HIM"

Bible Verse: "Therefore I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing praises to your name." 2 Samuel 22:50

Monday, August 23, 2010

lub dub, lub dub...

Lub dub, lub dub is the sound that a heart makes, so we thought it only appropriate to speak the language of our visit to Baylor today. After a 3:45AM wake up call, Jim and I were both impressed that we somehow found our check in point without much distress. (arriving 15 minutes ahead of schedule- that is impressive knowing Jim in the morning) After labs, EKG, and vitals were taken, we hurried up and waited. The surgeons were running on schedule so he was taken into surgery around 8:45AM. The surgeon came and spoke to Darrin and I in the waiting room and said that everything went GREAT and that he already wrote the letter to the transplant committee clearing Jim's heart for a transplant!!!!! The LORD was answering prayers today in Dallas TX!

Now, Jim is resting and we are trying to get his blood pressure under control before we are discharged to go home today. He is in good spirits even after turning into a Man-O-Lantern from getting his EKG stickers removed.

Jim will have follow up labs both on Wed and Fri and based upon the numbers we will see whether we have to get admitted for an emergency port. We are praying and hoping that his little kidneys will hold and we can proceed with dialysis as planned down the road.

I can not thank our friends and family enough! We are truly blessed to be surrounded by such a great support system. Thank you all so very much for your thoughts and prayers!

Prayer Request: One of thanksgiving...for friends, family, and for his positive test results today!

Verse: "I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you ..." Romans 1:8

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Marshmallow Man

It is official, Jim is slowing increasing in size, I can't help but feel for him. We had to stop some of his medicines and start different ones in preparation for his cardiac cath this week and the poor guy is swelling. Last night we could barely get his wedding ring off! Luckily, these medication changes are short lived and we will be back to our normal regimen by mid-week so he can get back to feeling better hopefully. Please keep Jim in your thoughts and prayers this week as he has this procedure and we pray that his kidneys pull through so no emergency port has to be placed.

Prayers: Cardiac cath goes well and that Jim's kidneys hold strong! That we both have peace knowing that we are in the Lords hands

Verse: "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you...The Lord is my helperl I will not be afraid." Hebrews 13:5 &6

Monday, August 16, 2010

ADHD is not just for kids

Jim and I had a nephrology (kidney doc) appointment today and it went alright. Our nephrologist, is a great physician, however she talks so fast that it takes two of us to follow her train of thought. I can only hope on a good day to process information half as quickly as she does. Knowing Jim, and his general speed in life, the two in the same room is quite comical...picture the tortoise and then picture the hare with a stethoscope.
Tortoise racing hareAfter asking her to repeat herself several times I think that we pieced together the plan for the next week or two. She wasn't extremely pleased with the fact that we have a cardio-angiogram scheduled without having a dialysis port in place, so we had to be creative in trying to work around her asking us to push the angiogram back. The plan is this, angiogram next week, STAT labs on Wed- call for results, STAT labs on Fri-call for results, and pending upon what the numbers are saying and/or how Jim is feeling we possibly get admitted for a emergency port to be placed and Jim begins dialysis. She has Jim coming off of some medications this weekend and going on a couple others to try and protect his kidneys the best we can prior to and after the angiogram. The best scenario is his kidneys pull through enough to not be admitted and we continue on with appointments for peritoneal port placement and begin as needed. Worst case scenario Jim's kidneys bite it with this angiogram and he starts having symptoms, we get admitted, and he begins dialysis in the next 2 weeks. This would mean he would have to do hemo-dialysis for a short period of time prior to getting his placement for peritoneal dialysis.

Great things we learned from this appointment- The cardboard diet that Jim is on is working, his potassium and phosphorus levels were within normal range. This may not sound like a great thing however Jim has been working really hard to stay within the recommended diet restrictions and it is paying off. No extra medications were added to his regimen to correct these levels. Second great thing-kidneys only dropped a small amount to 12%!

Prayers: Angiogram goes well and his heart is cleared so he can be placed on the PK transplant list. Kidneys hold their own or only take a small hit from the angiogram and no emergency port is needed.

Verse: "Trust in the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal." Isaiah 26:4

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dentists should offer complimentary bibs

I think this because when I called Jim today at lunch it sounded like he had just stuffed about 12 tator tots in his mouth at once and was trying to talk. As you may have guessed Jim has completed one more appointment at the dentists and we have one more to go to get things squared away for the transplant. It is not required that he have all his dental work completed prior to being listed however it is strongly recommended so if it will give us a running start on something we will do it!

He also had his labs pulled today for our nephrology (kidney doctor) appointment next week. We are hoping and praying that his kidneys are holding at 13% . We plan to speak with her about dialysis and the ever nearing angiogram appointment. As I have mentioned before it is very likely that the angiogram will push his kidneys over the edge so we are trying to be pro-active on any dialysis catheter that we have to get placed so it doesn't become an emergency surgery after the angiogram. (As you may or may not know, I tend to be a planner and a little over controlling when it comes to Jim's health-hehe)

Prayers: Jim's kidneys are holding at 13%. Peace for Jim and I for the upcoming angiogram.

Verse: "He will call upon me and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble." Psalms 91:5

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Finally...a quiet week!

This is the first week that Jim and I have not had any appointments, so things have been pretty quiet on the transplant front. I honestly can not remember the last time we had a week without cardiology, nephrology, or some other kind of "ology"appointment.

Since I have no updates on any appointments I thought I would take this week to write about the foundation that we are connected with for fundraising. It was a strange idea to me to fundraise for organs but after learning about all of the expenses I started to understand. We have good insurance however we will still be responsible for a large portion of the initial surgery and will have a lifetime of anti-rejection medications... so there is no time like the present for raising money. During the meeting with our social worker it was highly recommended to us to become affiliated with a foundation to help us with fundraising so we, with the help of my sister Kirsten, researched several of the organizations out there. We decided upon NTAF, a foundation that has been around helping transplant recipients for years. With this foundation we have created an account that is under Jim's name for people to contribute to help us with medical and medication expenses. Any money that is donated is tax deductible and will go straight to Jim. We are only allowed to utilize the money for transplant related expenses. We are also going to hopefully hold a couple of fundraising events which I will keep everyone posted on. These events are only in their infant stages however we are looking into a silent/dinner auction for one and a sand volleyball tournament for another. We have been very blessed to have family and friends helping us plan these events so that we can concentrate on our appointments.

So, we would love for you to check out his fundraising page at ntafund.org
Go to find a patient and put in Jim Boren.
It should take you to his page. Please feel free to email it on to anyone you think may be interested in contributing.

Prayer requests: Prayers of thanks for all of our family and friends! Prayers that Jims' angiogram goes well and no further tests will be needed.