Category Archives: Post-Surgery

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

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!

More News from the UCSF Liver Resort

Heidi and Parm had more victories today.  Heidi stood up and walked for the first time today!  Fantastic!  I believe she has done about 2 laps.  Heidi has also been moved off of a clear liquid diet and onto an all liquids diet.  I have never been more excited to see a berry shake on her food tray!  Parm, on the other hand, is now up to 13 laps on the hospital floor.  He did have another bad day with pain though…  The doctors started weaning him off of the epidural meds, so he is now really starting to feel the effects of the surgery.  They are hoping to take him completely off of it sometime tonight.  As hard as it has been for him today, he has been quite the trooper.  He’s set on getting home ASAP.

Here are some pictures from the resort:

Mom_w_Tshirt

Heidi doing laps

Parm and Heidi Heidi and Greg 6-29-14 Replacement Gallbladders

Thanks Yous

This is my first post since before the surgery.  I have some very big thank yous to give out.

Most importantly, to Wendy for being at my side at nearly every hour.  When she was not at my side, she was usually visiting my mother, clipping her nails, gossiping, or generally keeping her spirits up.  You are my biggest hero right now.

Also Thank Yous to Steve, Kevan, and Connie for subbing in and giving Wendy a much deserved break. Thank you to Ryan, Brian, Mark, and Mio for stopping by to check in on me.

And also equally important, a huge Thank you to the surgeons, doctors, nurses, assistants, staff, even the janitors at UCSF for helping make my mother’s and my Surgeries successful.

Thank you to all of you out there wishing us better, praying, sacrificing large and small animals… It seems to have been working, so keep it up.

I am still on my journey, and today they have been transitioning me off my epidural, which means pain, and lots of it.  Please keep sending the healing juju in the  general direction of UCSF, and I am sure some of it will make my transition much better.

-Parm

Thank Goodness It’s Friday!

It is Friday night.  Such a huge sigh of relief that so much has passed without complication.  I feel very blessed and thankful to have been able to share this moment with the Parmelee family.

As of right now, Parm is in his room.  He is doing better than last night/earlier this morning.  I truly hope he has a good night tonight.  It would be great if he is able to get him some solid shut eye.  Since he started walking, I have been greatly concerned.  Parm likes to push push push (we all know it).  Doctors were hoping for 2-3 laps around the block.  So far, Parm has been done 9.   Showoff.  I’m very proud, though.  He’s sort of pretty amazing.  He’s been okay in spirits too–got a visit from Brian and Ryan today.  Parm’s very determined to keep walking and keep exceeding doctor expectations.  See picture below for his goals for today…

image_1

Heidi is also back in her room, as well.  They moved her from the ICU later in the afternoon.  She was finally stable enough to be taken off the insulin and moved for regular recovery.  Yipee!  The blood pressure did go up a bit, but doctors are watching closely.  She turned on her sound wave/doppler artery monitor for me as well.  The sound of the blood flowing through the new liver was definitely comforting.  Right now, she is fast asleep.  I’m not sure if she’ll be taking visitors yet.  Heidi hasn’t started walking yet.  Please check with Steve if you are planning on visiting.

Oh, and one last thing.  Well, in this instance you don’t need my narration.  Sometimes, a picture says 1,000 words.  🙂

Heidi and Chris share a liver

Second Hurdle: Getting Through the Night

Even though the surgery is now over, the challenges are not yet done for Heidi and Parm.  And it turns out, mother and son both had pretty eventful nights.   It was not an easy night for anyone.  I did check on both this morning, and things are stable and very well.

When I first checked on Heidi last night in the ICU, she was doing well.  Steve said Heidi did not have a mouth tube inserted, and she was responding to sound and voices.  She nodded when Steve mentioned Parm.  Doctors actually told me later, after everyone had left, that Heidi woke up.  I took the elevator upstairs to just say hello, and sure enough, Heidi was awake and talking!  She was very very tired and hooked up to every monitor I could imagine.   Although she was not quite stable enough to be moved back to Parm’s floor, everything seemed, as the doctors reported, well ahead of schedule.

image

This morning, after talking to Heidi, she told me there were some hiccups late last night…  However, things were pretty calm when I walked in.  Heidi told me that her blood sugar actually spiked last night, so they put her on insulin, which they are monitoring.  Heidi also told me that her blood pressure actually dropped as well.  Another hiccup.  She didn’t really complain too much of pain, but she was still tired.  Since I wasn’t sleeping with her in ICU, I can’t really say what is her true pain level.  All I know is, she wasn’t too tired to fit in a few embarrassing stories about Parm as a kid.  She has grand plans to try to stand on her own this afternoon.  There are no pictures of Heidi right now–maybe later.  She’s keeping a low profile until I get her a proper photo shoot.

With Parm, I know a little bit more of what he went through.  He had a hard night.  Things were okay for awhile past midnight, but he started feeling pain around 1:30 or 2 a.m.  His body, his abdomen muscles, were seizing.  A cramp like sensation.  I have never really seen Parm in pain, but it was very hard for me to watch.  Nurses came in multiple times during the night to adjust his medication and his bed position.  It was really hours later until he felt more ease and comfort.  I felt helpless; I couldn’t do much.  I ended up falling asleep, watching him.  When I did wake at 4 a.m., he had hot packs that helped him feel better and drugs were helping to control what he was feeling.  Turns out, he had a fever in the night too.  He didn’t get much rest at all.  Doctors came in later and said nothing sounded out of the ordinary.

A few hours later, Parm insisted he wanted to stand up.image_10

Needed to stand up.  His nurse, Thien, did give Parm a look of, “I don’t think so…”  Especially since Parm went through so much in the night.  I’m not sure if Parm saw it, but Parm was determined to give Thien the credit.  Thien brought in another guy to help shift Parm about the bed.  How fast Parm sat up and stood up definitely made me uneasy, but that feeling soon passed.   He was up!  My Parm was standing!  He looked good standing!  Parm then insisted on getting to walk around the 9th Floor.  We opened the door, and Parm pretty much just started taking off.  He did good!  He did one whole lap around the floor! Check it out! See Parm Go!

I am so relieved that the night is over.  Heidi and Parm are A-OK.  Parm had a great nurse, Thien.  Thanks Thien for getting Parm situated.