Hello everyone! Bonnie and I are somewhat settled in up here and the weather is fantastic. I have forgotten how nice cool crisp mornings are and I haven’t had to swipe at a gnat yet. Our apartment is nice, but of course it isn’t home. I think we have found a place for everything we brought with us, save a few pictures that still need hanging. Lucy seems to be getting more comfortable by the day – although she still longs to chase her beloved green ball. Currently all the activity she gets is at the end of a leash held by me. If anyone has any friends or family in the Durham area with a fenced in yard, I would love to call them up and see if we could bring Lucy over for a run.
Duke has definitely kept us busy. I think we had about 5 appointments at Duke Hospital, two lectures, and Bonnie went through 5 rounds of pulmonary rehab. She is still on Tygecycline, the antibiotic that makes her extremely nauseas and fatigued. A few mornings have been hard for her, once at the Hospital we are on a tight schedule and the appointment locations can be pretty far apart. Luckily, I have become an expert at pushing a wheel chair one handed while pulling her oxygen concentrator behind us. Hah! She has met or exceeded every goal the transplant team put before her. This is a miracle. Either God blessed her with a spirit of tenacity and perseverance beyond measure (which I think He did), or he gave her just the amount of courage and adrenaline needed to accomplish the task at hand. It has been an amazing thing to watch and experience.
Pulmonary rehab was something that worried us both a great deal. This rehab is a fancy way of saying “working out” or “hitting the gym”. Bonnie hooks up to one of her IV’s at 1 o’clock in the afternoon. Pulmonary rehab starts at around 1PM. Asking a woman to work out while hooked up to an IV pole infusing medicine that makes her feel terrible seemed both unreasonable and cruel. But that is what they asked her to do. And she once again met every goal and requirement they were requiring of her (to be listed) in the first week! She still must go through the mandatory lectures and attend pulmonary rehab daily, but the timed tests of walking with and without oxygen have been passed. I cannot to put in words how incredible this is.
Moving forward, Bonnie needs to work on her hand strength and some skills the speech and language pathologist taught her. These skills are designed to help her recover post-transplant. Many of the nerves that help us breathe and swallow (that we all take for granted) are often damaged during the surgery. Current research indicates that practicing these skills pre-transplant help patients get off the vent faster, eat and drink more quickly, and often reduces the risk of aspirating into the new lungs.
Thank you all for the prayers, texts, emails, messages, letters, and support that you have given us both. Our spirits are good, the weather is nice, and it turns out that I can cook a pretty mean breakfast sandwich. Please pray the Bonnie is able to keep up the pace her schedule requires, her weight remains steady or increases, and that we can find Lucy a place to run. And that our three cats are okay in South Georgia. Thank ya’ll! Love ya’ll! I will keep you updated,
-Nick Bonnie Griner