Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Family Day Trip

This past Thursday I had the itch to get out of town.  Daddy was feeling a little better each day and the weekend was supposed to be gorgeous.  I put a bug in Daddy's ear and after realizing that we haven't been out of Bloomington as a family since September, it was a go.  Saturday around lunch time we headed north to our state capital.  We visited an art museum's beautiful grounds that include gorgeous gardens and a historic mansion.  
 It was a lot of walking and this really wore Daddy out but there were benches all over to enjoy the beautiful grounds.  The flowers were blooming and the scent was incredible.  There is nothing like the scent of lilacs and other spring flowers.  

There were fountains all over the gardens.  We took a moment to make some wishes and throw some pennies in one.  Three of us wished that Daddy would get his new kidney soon.  One of us wished she would become a princess.  We'll let you figure out who wished what.  
The estate was just gorgeous and the home magnificent.  The girls thought it would be really cool to live in a house like this.  All I could think was, that's a lot of cleaning!  I would pick those gardens and ponds over that huge house any day though.  The gardens were so relaxing.  I would spring for a grounds' keeper though.  

 This was incredible.  The picture does it NO justice.  There was a small stream at the top of the hill that wound all the way down with beautiful yellow flowers growing at it's edge.  It ended up going down a waterfall into this pond full of fish.  Gorgeous!

 After this visit we headed just around the corner to 100 Acres which is a park full of sculptures that kids can play on.  There is also a 35 acre lake that bumps up to the White River with a gorgeous trail all of the way around it.  The girls and I hiked the trail while Daddy rested and read in the van.  We stopped at each sculpture for the girls to explore them.  
 This one is a basketball court.  The blue and red beams depict the trajectory of a bouncing basketball in honor of Indiana's love of basketball.
 Pumpkin's favorite things were these yellow bench/slide things that were all along the trail for breaks.  She LOVED them and had to check them all out.  
 Peanut LOVED this enormous swing set that looked like a huge limb.  It was really cool.
 The lake was gorgeous as was the day.  It was really warm but a nice breeze blew all afternoon.  That white thing out in the middle of the lake is Indy Island.  "It is a fully inhabitable experimental living structure that examines the daily needs of contemporary human beings. Each summer, the island will be occupied by one or two commissioned residents." -Idianapolis Museum of Art website
 My little hikers!  I love them so much!

 The head bone's connected to the neck bone.  The neck bone's connected to the back bone.  The back bone's connected to the hip bone.  The girls loved climbing all over this skeletal structure and learning about the bones in our body.

After we were done hiking and playing we headed back to the van only to discover that the van was DEAD!  A very kind and helpful Indianapolis policeman came to our rescue and got us going again.  

We had one more surprise for the girls up our sleeves.  Last fall a friend of ours blessed our family with the coolest, most generous gift basket ever.  In it were two gift cards to Toys R Us.  We hadn't used them yet because we hadn't been to Indy together.  We surprised the girls and took them.  They were ecstatic and announced on the way into the store, "Best Day EVER!"  They did a great job picking out new treasures and we were only in the store maybe 30 minutes.  I was pleasantly shocked.  

Peanut picked out a Playmobile set and face painting kit.  Pumpkin picked out a Safari Barbie set.  She liked it because it was a like a Barbie camping set.  I'm sure Barbie does not camp.  She probably GLAMPS.

We ended our day eating together at Outback Steakhouse.  Yum!  What a fun day with great memories made.  It definitely was different from other family days since Daddy doesn't feel like himself but we are making the most of what we're dealing with!

Gymnastics Field Trip

Last Wednesday the preschool where I work and where Pumpkin goes, took a field trip to a local gymnastics gym.  We had so much fun!  Pumpkin couldn't wait to go.  She had been to this gym before but it had been a long time ago.  She loves it.

Who doesn't love playing with a parachute?
 This was Pumpkin's favorite part of the field trip…the zip line.

 One of the perks of working at the same preschool that my daughter attends is sitting with her on the bus!  She was worn out from the gym so we go to snuggle the whole way back!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Dialysis at Home

We are all set up at home now with the cycler.  This is the machine that does the peritoneal dialysis overnight for Daddy.  These first two weeks are the toughest part.  He has to lay totally flat on his back while the machine is working which is 10 hours each night.  Since he just had surgery a week ago, they want to put the most minimal amount of pressure on the exit site, the place where the catheter exits the body.  This means flat on his back.  

The first week post surgery was really hard.  He slept most of the week and it got worse before it got better.  He did not have dialysis that first week except for two hours while we trained on the machine at Davita.  So we can only imagine how built up the toxins were getting.  He was also taking pain meds for the surgery pain and those make him feel cruddy.  His body was healing from surgery.  AND it has just been a rough time!  So no wonder he slept for a week.  I don't know anyone else that has more of a right to just rest and recuperate.  

So many things have just fallen into place even though it was such a hard week.  My dad, Gigi decided at the last minute to come and see us for Easter since we couldn't travel yet again for a holiday.  A sweet friend told us she was bringing a meal which happened to be the day after our unexpected surgery.  A mom of one of Peanut's good school buddies stepped up and is helping us make sure Peanut gets to school just fine on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays of these two weeks since I have to leave before she goes to school and Daddy is literally tied to the couch.  There are more things but these are the ones on the top of my head right now.  

Each night I set the machine up for Daddy and hook him up.  He can do that part but it makes me feel like I'm actually a part of this all.  There is talk that I'm going to have to start giving him a shot too every two weeks.  I can't believe all of the things I am doing these days.  A few years ago I would have laughed you off if you had told me what my daily routine would become.  

Daddy is doing so much better each day this week.  He has lost quite a bit of weight so we're hoping he can gain some of that back as his appetite increases.  We need to stay on top of his protein intake!

We did find out that his GFR is currently 10.  It was 13 last fall so he has gone down but it wasn't as bad as we thought it might be so that was encouraging.  Dialysis is holding him pretty steady.

On Monday we also discovered that two people have gone through the testing process since February (we had only known of one) and that both could no longer be the donor, one due to medical concerns, not sure why for the other.  This was a huge blow to us but we were encouraged to know that the testing process can be so quick.  On Tuesday the transplant center was already in touch with and proceeding with another one of the matches on the list.  We only know of one other match if this one doesn't work out.  

Many have asked how the girls are doing and from what we can tell, they are doing great.  They really just roll along with everything and have gotten better at changes.  We try to keep them in the loop as much as we feel we should.  We don't want them to be scared of the machine, ALL OF THE BOXES of medical supplies, the tubes, the catheter, the masks, and so on.  Both girls talk about being nurses or doctors so who knows how this experience could shape that future for them. 

This should catch you up with the latest new regarding Daddy.  We so appreciate all of the prayers and encouragement we have received from so many of you.  Thank you!

Anyone who is interested in being tested as a possible match should call the IU Transplant Center in Indianapolis, IN. The number is 1-800-382-4370. Just tell them you are interested in being tested as a living donor for Kevin Flick.

Easter 2014

Easter…it came too fast this year.  So much was going on with Daddy that I just couldn't get my A-game on for it.  I'm so thankful that the girls don't know that.  They don't know I dug through the cabinet praying my eyes hadn't deceived me and I had actually seen a box of egg dye.  I had and it was tie-dye egg coloring, in fact!

They don't know that we missed egg hunts and Easter activities because I was just exhausted and didn't have it in me.

 They didn't know that I used plastic eggs from other Easter activities and filled them with candy we already had on hand for Pumpkin's preschool class.  
 They didn't know that most of the stuff in their Easter basket was stuff I had found a month ago tucked away for REALLY SAFE keeping…like so safe I had forgotten about it.
They didn't know that we were supposed to have Resurrection Rolls the morning of Easter but again…too tired.  Krispy Kreme donuts came to us with Gigi and they were happy as larks.
What they do know is that Gigi came all the way down to see them and he brought lots of Easter eggs and awesome Easter baskets.

 What they do know is that even though Daddy felt horrible and couldn't make it to church with us (or do much with us at all on Easter), Jesus died and the victory over kidney disease has already been won!  
 What they do know is that God sent his ONLY Son for them, for us, for all of us because of the greatest act of love ever shown.   
They do know they are surrounded by people who love them, cherish them, and pray that God will grab hold of their hearts and that He will use this really hard year for our family to do exactly that for all of us.

Happy Easter!
It is finished!
The price has been paid!
The promise of no more sickness, no more tears, no more pain rings loud in my ears this year!

Kindergarten Open House

We did another kindergarten open house so you know what that means?  Pumpkin is big enough to go to kindergarten.  I don't know how it happened.  I can't believe it happened. 
 She was so excited for this open house and ready to check out the school that she's been to frequently to see Peanut.  But this time it was for her.  
 Big sis held little sis' hand as we walked the halls to check out different points of interest.
 She ended the evening with a special panda craft…the school mascot.
Just a few more months and she really will be off.  I'm trying to prepare myself for it.  I'm not one of those moms who can't wait to see them off.  I'm really going to miss this little girl.  I'm trying to squeeze in some last adventures for just the two of us before the end of the year.  Trips on the bus downtown, lunch dates, going to the playground, and so on.  

Love her bunches and so proud of her!