Saturday, June 17, 2006

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Bloom of Hope

Photographed 4/06

About 12:30 am Saturday I got the "The Call". I wasn't ready for it even though I've been waiting for it for over a year, I still thought I had another year and a half to go. There was much excitement here and a lot of rushing around to get ready. I was on my way to receive my new transplanted kidney at Emory University Hospital.

We arrived at the hospital at just before 2 am and checked in at the 9 E nurse's station where they sent me to another floor due to a lack of bed space on that floor.

In my new room I went through all the routine - tons of questions, blood work and exams. My God, it's really happening - I'm going to get a part of my normal life back. I know there are still risks, all kinds of them, there listed on the consent forms I have to sign. The very first one listed and in bold type is death followed by a long list of unpleasant things.

I'm not really concerned by this. It's a standard thing here to list every possible thing that could happen to cover the liability issue. Its a risky operation and they don't want to be sued if anything goes wrong.

At 6 am the surgeon's assistant comes in - more questions and an exam - things are moving along. He tells us the donor organs are being=eing harvested at this time and will be tested to make sure every thing is clean and clear. Meanwhile they have put me on an IV insulin drip to control my blood sugar during the operation. I'm ready to go.

finally the surgeon comes in to see me. More questions, poking and probing. While he is here my sugar goes low (remember the insulin drip) Now he's worried. He leaves to review old test from my first evaluation almost two years ago.

About an hour later he returns and informs me that due to my still recovering from all the trauma I suffered earlier and my vascular condition the operation would be much longer than the normal 2 to 3 hours - possible as long as 6 to 8 hours and I might no longer be transplantable, They would like a new evaluation before going any further.

NO LONGER TRANSPLANTABLE - The words are numbing to us. Sue starts to cry. I feel empty. I can;t imagine to be on a life on dialysis until I die. He says there may still be some hope although small. That's why they want more test.

We're home now. Great hope dashed. Plans for the future changed forever. I don't really know how I feel now. I need more time and a vacation from this life.


At 5:52 PM, Blogger Annie said...

Ggraph, What devastating news. I can only imagine how low you must have felt, especially after the excitement of the call and all the hurry to get prepped and ready. You have, as always, my best wishes.

At 8:00 PM, Blogger Gudl said...

The Lord is my shepard, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Your prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith" Ephesians 3:13-17 - that is my prayer for you and your wife.

At 7:31 AM, Blogger Lisi said...

Mark, Stephen Hawking was in town a few days ago and said: When there is life, there is hope. Fight!

At 4:20 AM, Blogger Kris said...

i couldnt agree more with what stephen hawking has said. Dont give up, Mark! Take a break from it all, like you say go on vacation, think about what you want and should do next ..
Best wishes & take care

At 1:40 PM, Anonymous Charles Smith said...


I can't imagine the frustration and chaos the weekend brought for you. I can only say you and Sue are two of the strongest people I have ever known. Nothing I can say will make the problem change, but for now I just want to let you know that we love you both.


At 4:59 AM, Blogger Ggraph said...

annie, Yes it wasnot what I wanted to happen and when he said " It may be tou're no longer transplantable" It was devastating. Thank you for your thoughts.

gudi, Thank you for your heart felt prayers and inspiring letter. It was such a nice thing and very personal. I take heart in what you said.

lisi and kris,
Thank you both for yor thoughts. Stephen is right, hope remains as long as you have a breath in your body and I'm still breathing!

We miss you all. Sometimes it seems like only yesterday you were showing me the best place I've ever seen to trout fish. We miss your humor and company. Hope you are all well.
Regards to all,
Mark & Sue

At 7:08 PM, Anonymous wendela said...

Sorry I'm late getting this news. Mark, you and Sue are in our prayers. ((hugs))


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