January took us to Quartzsite, Arizona for the big RV Event. We stayed in Quartzsite for about a week with several friends to teach them the ropes of the big event. After a week we headed to Yuma to stay the winter with 3 other couples at The Palms Resort. One of the couples have a lot there and they plan on building a house there next year. Alan and Rita (who we spent time with at Estes Park last year if you remember) and Frank and Connie. We had a great 3 months in Yuma, where it was basically short pants and short sleeve shirts for most of that time.
Alan, Rita, Frank and Connie left at the end of February, while we stayed another month and left at the end of March. We planned to meet up with them at the Texas RV Rally in Canton, Texas at the beginning of April.
Sue and I arrived in Canton and met up with Frank and Connie. Unfortunately, Alan and Rita didn’t make it, but we still had a good time. We stayed in Canton a couple weeks and the returned to Houston for my check-up. The check-up went well and we headed to Lake Charles.
We had to get Sue’s mom’s house ready for sale, well more Sue than me!
Sue had a lot of cleaning up to do, painting, get plumbing repairs done, and electrical wiring checked out. It took several months to get it all done and she put it on the market.
Fast forward to the end of October for my check-up. The doctors said the my LAS (lung allocation score) was getting down close to being made active on the transplant list. The doctors also said that I needed to get a prostate biopsy done. I scheduled the biopsy the beginning November. The biopsy showed negative on everything! Great!! But….., there is always a but! I ended up getting a fever the next day from the biopsy. Into the hospital I went while they gave me a bunch of antibiotics to kill the infection. They sent me home after a week with antibiotics to take at home for another week. So we drove to our lot in Lake Charles The infection ended up changing how much oxygen I needed at rest and while moving. I went from no oxygen at rest to 3 Lpm and needing 3 Lpm while moving to 5 Lpm. Not good, but not too bad.
I took the rest of the antibiotics that was prescribed for me, but 2 days after those ran out I started getting a low grade fever. I called transplant team in Houston at Methodist Hospital and they prescribed a different antibiotic to take. After 4 or 5 days of taking the new antibiotic I still had a low grade fever and my oxygen needs had increased to 10Lpm while at rest. NOT good! The transplant team said to head to nearest ER and have them call them for what tests to run. We made the trip to the ER in Lake Charles so they could run some tests. After the transplant team got the results they requested that I be sent to Methodist Hospital in Houston, so I went by ambulance (remember I need 10Lpm of oxygen) while Sue followed in the car.
Now this trip ended up being on Thanksgiving, so I arrived in Houston in time for a Thanksgiving dinner, but got a Sloppy Joe instead! But it was a good Sloppy Joe! They kept me at Methodist for a week (I never got another fever, once I was admitted – go figure!). After being in Methodist for a week they sent me over to Kindred Hospital, which is across the street. Since my infection was over they made me active on the lung transplant list. My oxygen needs did get a little better, needing only 6 Lpm while at rest, but 10 to 15 Lpm while moving around. This hospital is a kind of rehab place to keep you active and exercising while waiting for a transplant.
I stayed at Kindred Hospital until I got “THE CALL”. They called my at 11:00PM on December 21st to say they had some lungs for me. So they moved back over to Methodist Hospital to get me prepped for the transplant. They had to wait to get all the recipients ready that were going to be receiving an organ.
It is so wonderful that while a family is in a tragic situation, they still see the good in life to be able to allow the deceased person to be a donor.
The transplant doctors did the transplant around 4:00 PM on December 22 and they said I got out around 9:30-10:00PM. (I don’t remember)
Normally a lung transplant patient stays in ICU for about a week, but I only stayed in there for 2 days. Great, so far! For my Christmas dinner I was on a liquid diet after the transplant. On January 6th, they sent me home. I was very weak and could hardly get up the stairs in the motorhome. It was the coldest day of the year! Brrrrr!
Continuing the saga on the next posts for 2017!