Update 4/22/17

Update: It’s kind of hard to put a positive spin on waiting… but I will do my best. Basically, waiting is hard. It is hard to sleep, plan, and think about everyday tasks that need to be accomplished. I know it must be extremely difficult for Bonnie as she grapples with the thought that at any moment her life could change forever. We both struggle with how to pray for the eventual donor and their family. It is weird not putting my phone on silent when I go to bed. Every time a phone rings we both jump a little. According to the transplant team, they were extremely busy 2-3 weeks ago. From speaking with them, it sounds like they did close to 15 transplants in a 3-week period. Since she has been listed, we haven’t heard of one. The mandatory lectures are full – when we started the program there were only about 3 candidates in the classes. There are now over 10.

On a positive note, Bonnie’s weight is holding steady. This is a major accomplishment for her. She is still on tigecycline. This is such an answer to prayer. She was adamantly opposed to a feeding tube pre-transplant and she has worked hard to ensure they did not have a reason to require one.

I am continuously amazed by the love and support our local community, family, and friends continue to show us. Bonnie really enjoys the pictures from the events, so please take some pictures and post them. It does make the waiting easier.

A quick story about unexplainable miracles. I brought some work clothes that I washed the day before we left South Georgia. Even though I was in the military, went to basic training, and spent three years at a military college, I never learned how to proficiently iron. Maybe it is a genetic predisposition, but my hand eye coordination is not world class. In fact, if I am in a hurry I can be downright clumsy. Couple this with the knowledge that ironing is not an activity that I find pleasurable or mentally stimulating; basically, there is a distinct possibility that if I get distracted I could ruin a perfectly good pair of khaki’s – or worse burn the apartment complex down. Anyway, I found a dry cleaner in the same strip mall that Bonnie’s pulmonary rehab takes place. These clothes have been in a garbage bag in the closet since we got here so I figured I better do something with them before they become dish rags or get thrown out. If Bonnie is feeling good she takes great pleasure in purging things that don’t look like they’ve been used in a while. Especially clothes in a garbage bag. This has been a point of contention between us since we met over 15 years ago. I guess she finally won (trained me), so I put the clothes in the car when I took her to pulmonary rehab. After dropping her off, I park in front of the building and walk in. It looks like a reputable place. Not as nice as Modern Cleaners in Moultrie but I felt comfortable leaving a weeks’ worth of pants and shirts there.

As close as I can recall, there were no other customers in the building. I had on my new Duke hat, gave them my cell # etc. I told them the clothes were clean. They did not understand. They will only press clothes that they clean. I did not understand but I said okay (maybe their pressing equipment/iron is sensitive to different types of laundry detergent?). I left a little confused but still smiling (another lesson – forcing myself to smile makes the worrying less crippling). My cynical side was telling me this was just a way for them to glean a few more dollars off a displaced country boy. At a minimum, I could sleep easy knowing they were safe from Bonnie’s affinity for purging.

A few days later I follow the same routine. We (she) have a rough time since I dropped the clothes off and I had honestly almost forgotten about them. Drop her off at rehab and head over to the cleaners. All new employees in there. No customers around. I give them my name and ticket and they hit the button and my clothes appear on the two-story clothes carousel. The lady takes the clothes from the carousel and hangs them up over the cash register. I ask how much I owe her, honestly a little worried (with the required cleaning expense and all). She said the bill had been taken care of already. I told her to check again – I didn’t want to end up on the Durham news for stealing my own clothes from the dry cleaners. She obliged and said she was sure the bill was settled. I asked her who did it. She said she didn’t know – the receipt just said Pd. in full. I got chills. It was a moment of clarity and grace that put me in a better mood when I went to pick Bonnie up. Long story even longer, it re-affirmed my belief in the power of good people. I honestly have no idea who it could have been. Part of me wants to believe it was supernatural – that Mr. Lewis, Bonnie’s dad, saw me struggling and pulled some strings in heaven to make my day. Either way it was a miracle to me.

If you ever hear of anybody paying for a strangers dry cleaning in North Carolina please tell them thank you – they were a bright spot during a hard time.

It is my earnest prayer that my next update will include transplant related activities. I can feel it in my bones – the call is coming soon. I have a feeling we will definitely be in the hospital for Bonnie’s birthday, May 1st. What a birthday present that will be, lungs. You all are truly a blessing. We could not be here preparing mentally, physically, and spiritually, without the love and support you have shown us. Thank you all and I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Until next time,

-Nick 

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