Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

This was the BEST Christmas ever for me.  I  celebrated it with my both my wonderful sons, husband and 96 year old father in law.  We had missed Kevan being with us for several years while he was in Hawaii.  Shortly before Christmas we had a wonderful restful week in Hawaii.   I move into 2015 with renewed health and energy.   In February, I will be traveling to San Diego to meet Connie and Gigi who has retired and is now living down there.  I am looking forward to a girls weekend and some great Mexican food!

 

Thanksgiving 2014

My Dear Family and Friends,

Chris Turkey Day with Grandpa BudOn this Thanksgiving Day I have so very much to be thankful for.  First, I would like to thank my wonderful, noble son who unselfishly donated half of his liver to sustain my life.  At the risk of his own life he valiantly prepared himself physically and mentally for the challenge of being my donor.  He is my hero! I will be eternally grateful for his sacrifice and gift of love.

Mom_BirthdayI am thankful for my husband who doggedly suffered and persevered with me through the grueling process from diagnosis to recovery my deepest appreciation and love.  I know there were moments when he was overwhelmed, terrified and exhausted.

Kevan, Heidi & ChrisI am thankful to my son Kevan for returning home from Hawaii to help support and care for me.  I’m sure the fear of losing half his family was terrifying.  I have so appreciated his being here and comforting me in his own quiet way!

I am thankful to my sister and her family who worried so much about Christopher and me.  Many tears were shed by both Anamarie and me talking on the phone.  The sister-to-sister bond is unbreakable, though at times it was emotionally difficult to talk with her.  Her love sustained me, helped me, and gave me strength.

Thelma & Louise_2I am thankful to Connie (Thelma) who held my (Louise) hand when I went into surgery and was there when I woke up in recovery.  

I am thankful to Judy in St. Paul for our long conversations and laughs as we commiserated over out afflictions. Such good therapy!

Jane & HeidiI am thankful to Jane who continually checked in on me organized with my Pixar buds to visit me in the hospital, coordinated food to be delivered to my home for the family and drove me to the emergency room when my back was so very painful and Steve was not available.

I am thankful to Wendy for taking care of Christopher while he was in the hospital and recovering. Since I was unable to comfort and care for him she did a amazing job advocating for him at the hospital and supporting him during his recovery.

I am thankful to all the Bingo girls who sent flowers, cards, prayers, called and visited with me.

I am thankful to all my dear friends for their outpouring of thoughts, prayers and deep concern for Christopher and my wellbeing.  I am so very grateful to you all.

I am thankful for the amazing doctors, nurses and the entire transplant team at UCSF for their skill, dedication and care.  Dr. Robert’s and Dr. Ascher you are geniuses!  They do God’s work on earth!

Now five months after the transplant and a new lease on life, I am thankful to be alive.

With love and deep gratitude,
Heidi

Heidi Turkey Day 2014

Update coming soon…

All,

I am working on getting Heidi set up one the blog so that she can start blogging herself to keep everyone informed as to how her recovery is going.  From my perspective, she seems like she is almost 100% back to normal, but there are some major changes to her lifestyle after a major transplant.  We are all very thankful for everyone’s continued support.

As a treat, here is a picture of my mother and father on her birthday at her Favorite restaurant, Casa Orinda.

Mom_Birthday

Cheers,

Parm

Rocks on the road to Recovery

I am going to start this post with a quote from someone I very much admire:  Éric Abidal, A professional football (soccer) player who himself had to undergo a full liver transplant.

Abidal_Quote_final

The good news is that Heidi and her new liver are still in great condition.  The unfortunate news is that she has been suffering a bit more than usual recently.  Her pain is increasing, because the doctors are tapering down her steroids, which is normal at this stage after a transplant.  This unfortunately causes pain around the incision, which makes her recovery a bit more tricky.  As a direct result of the increased pain, she is having more difficulty sleeping, which makes the recovery difficult.

Heidi has also been suffering from intense muscle spasms in her mid-back, which have kept her prone for the last couple of days.  She is already in contact with her Nurse coordinator who recommended that she get into Kaiser urgent care for treatment.  Steve was able to get her to Urgent care and they prescribed a muscle relaxer to help stop the spasms.  After waiting in the pharmacy for about 15-20 minutes, the pharmacist called Heidi’s name, only to tell us that the script was flagged because the muscle relaxer would conflict with another drug that Heidi had already taken as part of her normal regiment.

So my parents left urgent care empty handed and waited for a call from the pharmacist/doctor.  Luckily a few hours later, Kaiser called and they were able to give the okay for the prescription.  We are now waiting to see if the medication stops the spasms.  Heidi would very much like a comfortable, good, night’s sleep.

Keep sending good vibes, Heidi needs all the help she gets.  Let us all hope she gets a good night’s rest tonight.

Cheers,
Parm

One Month Out

It has been a full month since the surgery, and it has been a few weeks since I have added any updates about our recovery, so I thought I would draft a quick post to inform everyone of how we are all doing.  Both Heidi and Chris have had numerous visitors stopping by with get well wishes, cards, food, and flowers.  There have been too many to list, so I will just say a “Thank You” to everyone who has stopped by.  Some benevolent Pixarites have been kind enough to set up a Dinner Delivery calendar through an online forum called Lotsa Helping Hands.  If you would like to schedule a Monday or Wednesday to drop off food and visit with us, please register for the site and select green day on the calendar.

About 2 weeks ago, Heidi and Chris had their 2nd follow-up at UCSF post-surgery, and everything is healing at a nominal rate.  I have been recovering well, Blood tests show that there is still some damage to the liver, which is totally normal, but the trend is that the liver is healing quickly.  I have also managed to pull apart the sutures at the top of my scar, which means there is a big hole in the center of my chest.  The good news is that it is healing from the inside out, and should be fully closed within the next 2-3 weeks.  I am finally off the intense pain medication and on regular tylenol as needed for pain, which is quite a relief.  I can still feel some slight pains in my liver region but I have a feeling that the sensations will go away within the next few weeks.

Heidi had her JP Drain removed, as well as 62 staples.  Heidi said that the 62 staples were not nearly painful/uncomfortable as the JP tube, as it was so deep inside that it felt very uncomfortable as it was being pulled out. The picture below shows the tube and staples before removal.  After a few days, the drain and staples had healed, and things were back to normal.  Heidi has been recovering steadily, and she is looking fantastic.
Staples_JP_Drain

Overall, we are all doing extremely well.  We have been taking walks when we have the energy.  We have been eating much healthier and more than before the surgery, and most importantly, everyone’s spirits are at their peaks.  As we progress, I will update everyone through the blog.

Thanks for reading!

Cheers,
Parm

Surgery Photos have been Posted

08_Parms_Left_Lobe_2That’s a healthy Liver!

Good news from the Parmelee Household.  We are all home, resting, doing well to recover as quickly as possible.    Heidi and Chris had their first round of blood tests done at Kaiser in preparation for our first post-surgery visit to UCSF on Tuesday morning.  Heidi, Chris, and Kevan all took a walk around the neighborhood this afternoon, and spent some time chatting with visitors.

If you feel inclined to view the photos from the surgery,   I have posted photos from both my liver donation, and my mother’s receipt of the donor liver on the following pages.  Please take a look:

Parm’s Liver Donation

Heidi’s Liver Donation Received

Thank You again to everyone for their continued Love, Prayers, and Support.

Cheers,

Parm

Discharged 2 of 2!

I have great news to report:

Heidi has left the Hospital!

Not even a full week has passed since the her original liver was removed, replaced with a healthy piece of my own, my mother is out of the hospital, home, and sleeping in her own bed.

Mom_at_Home

We are extremely thankful to everyone who took time to visit, pray, well-wish, think-about, even ponder their own choices in life, as that energy has been channeled into a speedy, so-far-successful recovery.

Please hold back the deluge of calls to the house at least until tomorrow.  Give us some time to acclimate and give her some deserved rest in her own home.

I promise to update the blog with more photos, details, and stories about our recovery, but right now, we both need to focus on our health, as we both are still months from being whole again.  The great news is that our recoveries seem to be going much smoother than anyone could possibly have anticipated.

Cheers,

Parm

Discharged 1 of 2

It is a glorious day.  I have left UCSF medical care, and am under the care and supervisory of my father at home.  It was a rough weekend, and I will be sure to post more details of the ordeal after a good night’s rest at home.

Heidi is doing extremely well also, and should be discharged as early as tomorrow.  Thanks again for everyone’s prayers, positive energy, and well wishes.  It has most certainly helped with the recovery process.

Cheers,

Parm

SF Sunny Sunday

Happy Sunday everyone! Parm and Heidi were up early today, and the recovery continues.

Heidi looked good.  She did an ultrasound early this morning to take a peek at the new liver.   She came back, saying that the doctors said all is good.  The nurse came by and took her blood sugar, which also came back normal.  I believe the official word is that she no longer needs insulin.  Yipee!  Heidi’s also on a full diet now; she can have anything under the sun (hospital approved that is).  It was a happy moment when I got to order apple sauce, yogurt, and scrambled eggs for her.  She didn’t eat all of it, but it’s nice that she’s thinking about food again.  In general, Heidi says she feels different and feels very different than when she had the old liver.

Unfortunately, Parm is still feeling pains.  His bodily organs are still trying to wake up from the surgery and drugs, so that is causing him quite some discomfort.  The good news is that Parm has been unhooked from his dance partner, making him pretty much wireless again.  The epidural line was also removed.  It’s nice to know there’s nothing tapped into his spine anymore.  Right now, Parm’s just hoping his body warms up quick so he can feel like himself again.  Good luck Parm!