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You do what you need to for family [Sep. 20th, 2004|11:06 am]
[Current Mood |nervousnervous]

At the end of this week my brother-in-law, Kristi's husband, will be arriving. Ferrett and I talked it over and decided that we needed to fly him out here to see her before she goes into surgery. So we sucked it up, put it on a credit card, and will be paying it off for some time to come. No one else in my family is able to do anything. My mom just started working again after a financially crippling move to the Seattle area and move back to Montana, my brother has been out of work for a year and his family is just barely keeping it together, Michele is doing all that she can as it is. Kris and Jon are struggling on one income when they were just making it on two before. The funds everyone so generously donated here are used up.

But I can't fathom letting a couple who love each other as much as Kris and Jon do be apart while one of them is going through a surgery like this.

On September 30, Kristi's kidney will be removed in a procedure that also requires the removal of a rib. The kidney will be put on ice, and Kristi will be wheeled out of O.R. and be monitored to make certain she is stablized. While this is happening, the operating theatre will be set up a second time, and assuming that everything has gone well during the first surgery, Kris will be wheeled back in, cut open on her other side, the matching rib removed, and her kidney transplanted into her body on that side.

My friend Kat, who is a nurse, assures me that this is not as bad as it sounds. That is small comfort when I think about my sister under anesthesia for that many hours, going through two complete and separate surgeries, one on each side of her body. The doctors told her that she will be in the hospital for 7-9 days, and when you consider how quickly hospitals release patients these days, that alone indicates how serious the procedure is.

Even if everything goes like clockwork, the soonest Kristi can expect to be back home is just before Thanksgiving. That's nearly four months. Even when Jon was in the military, they were never apart for that long. They need to see each other.

And I can't imagine going through something like this without your spouse around. Even my shoulder surgery, minor though it was in comparison, left me in great pain and discomfort. Going through that without Ferrett around would have been ten times more awful. I want her to be able to hear that familiar voice, feel the comfort of that well-known touch. Nor can I imagine letting Jon sit in Montana, feeling helpless, while Kris is undergoing the surgery.

They both need to be with each other during this. He's coming in this Saturday so that the two of them can have a few days together before her surgery, and then flying back the following Saturday, once she's out of the anesthesia and we know she's doing all right. So I don't get to eat out or buy the new seasons of Buffy or Angel for a while. It's worth the tradeoff.

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[User Picture]From: beckyzoole
2004-09-20 03:48 pm (UTC)
Wow. This is such serious stuff. I am so glad for you that you and Ferrett are able to do this for her. Hard as it is to pay off this ticket, it would be even harder to not be able to do that.

I'm curious, though. Why is Kristi's kidney being transplanted back into her body? What is the medical benefit of this procedure?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-09-20 03:56 pm (UTC)
The kidney itself is not damaged; the nerves surrounding the kidney and the area where it is located are sending continual pain signals and the only way to make it stop is to destroy the nerves.

But kidney nerves are the only nerves in the entire body that self-regenerate.

Merely destroying the nerves in place is ineffective because they grow back so quickly. By moving the kidney, the effect is to damage their ability to grow back.

Unfortunately, this is only effective about 70% of the time. The rest of the time, the nerves do grow back and when the pain is severe enough the kidney must be removed entirely.

And then, in the final act of irony, in a percentage of patients pain moves into the other kidney within five years. And then you have to give up and live in the continual narcotic haze required to simply function.

It's thankfully rare, but a dreadful, horrible, condition. And it being rare is little consolation when it happens to you.
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[User Picture]From: suburbfabulous
2004-09-20 03:56 pm (UTC)
What seasons were those, Gini? If you're not terribly picky about format, I might know some folks who'd lend a hand.
It's the least I can do.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-09-20 03:57 pm (UTC)
Naw, I'll wait. They will be good things for my Christmas list, and it's not like I have much time to watch TV anyway!
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[User Picture]From: salix_03
2004-09-20 03:59 pm (UTC)
i am awed by how selfless and beautiful you are hon. you give me hope, for so many reasons
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[User Picture]From: fujerica
2004-09-20 04:23 pm (UTC)
You must be descended from someplace beautiful and full of cotton candy and other wonderful delights.

NOt saying what or where that place is, of course, hehe. Could be the house down the street for all I know...
Seriously though, your sense of compassion absolutely awes me.
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[User Picture]From: ldygwynedd
2004-09-20 04:24 pm (UTC)
You are such a good person... deep down where it counts.

I will keep your sister in my prayers and I am sure her best therapy will be for her husband to be with her. Good for you and Ferret.
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[User Picture]From: crystalrowan
2004-09-20 05:01 pm (UTC)
You guys are such wonderful people. The fact that you understand how horrible it would be for them to be apart during something like this and are willing to make something happen to fix that problem is awe-inspiring. There just aren't enough Ginis and Ferretts in the world. :)

I'll be keeping you and yours in my prayers!
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[User Picture]From: hookncrook
2004-09-20 05:09 pm (UTC)
You are a kind and loving sister. I hoep my kids support each other like you do in your family.
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[User Picture]From: elfwench
2004-09-20 05:10 pm (UTC)
{{Tight hugs}} You are a wonderful sister!
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From: tessbelle
2004-09-20 06:05 pm (UTC)
Hugs and prayers!
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[User Picture]From: ladymeshel
2004-09-20 06:44 pm (UTC)
You are an amazing and caring person.
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[User Picture]From: greybeta
2004-09-20 06:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks for keeping us updated. As always, your family is in my prayers.
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From: iggy182
2004-09-20 07:03 pm (UTC)
My better half beat me to the punch, but you two are surely amassing huge karma points.
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[User Picture]From: apostate_96
2004-09-20 08:46 pm (UTC)
What can I say? You 'n' your man have got good hearts, made o' gold, the size of my home state (Texas).

I'll pray that all goes well with her surgery and that this takes care of all the crap she's been going through.
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[User Picture]From: dream_labyrinth
2004-09-20 08:54 pm (UTC)
You guys are great! I'm sure you are going to be rewarded for being this good. By whatever entitiy you believe in.
I'll keep your family in my prayers.
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[User Picture]From: nuala
2004-09-20 09:40 pm (UTC)
You guys absolutely rock.
And I'm glad to hear you had a lovely anniversary. :D
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