Friday, May 30, 2008

A man named Carl

I totally do not know this man (or his wife, Dawn) at all. I randomly found their blog after googling "liver transplant blogs". I figured that there had to be other people out there with a similar situation to ours. I find it very interesting and cathartic to read other people's stories. So, I am now stalking Carl's blog. :)

Carl was diagnosed with PSC just like Geoff and had a liver transplant last August. I guess what has really drawn me to their story is that Carl is young. It is not very often that you find "younger " people like Geoff and Carl who need transplants. Most of the people that Geoff met at the Baylor orientation a few months ago were all at least in their sixties-Geoff was the youngest one (and he has already had 1 transplant), so I definitely feel a connection with Carl and his wife. The best thing about Carl's story is that he is doing so well and is now healthy.

His wife and I have exchanged a few e-mails back and forth sharing parts of our stories. One thing that has been awesome for me is that I have been able to show Dawn and Carl that life does go on. One of the best things I have shared with her is that you can have children, be a family, and share in all of those wonderful moments that children bring.

So if you want to be a stalker like me feel free to follow Carl and Dawn's journey too!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Life is good

You're all shocked, right? I'm not sure I have much to say other than "life is good". I woke up this morning feeling like things could be a lot worse. For example, Forever 21 could have never been created and then I would have no wear to shop for cheap clothes. I could have 4 dogs that shed their hair all over my floors all day long (instead of one). Sprouts could stop putting their wine on sale (hello! 3 bottles for $10) or even worse all pedicure shops could shut down at a moments notice.

Seriously though life is good and I am very grateful for what I have.

Princess Playdate

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hot off the press

Geoff says that "I'm faster than CNN" on my updates....

#6 in Fort Worth
#9 in Dallas

Not much movement but we'll take it!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The long weekend...

Going into the long weekend it is very hard for Geoff and I not to think of the obvious when it comes to the transplant world-more available organs by Tuesday. Please don't misunderstand...we obviously do not wish that people get in accidents or that others get hurt, but the reality of it is that in order for Geoff to live someone else must die.

I often wonder if we will have a relationship with Geoff's new donor family. You always see these wonderful stories on 60 minutes or the Today show where the recipients and the donor families are close friends, apart of each other's live, etc. but that doesn't always happen. With Geoff's first transplant he contacted the family to thank them and express his appreciation, but there was never a great relationship formed. I believe it was the sister of the donor that has responded to Geoff a few times, but even to this day the family has a hard time accepting the woman's death (mainly because it was so unexpected). But even though we don't swap Christmas cards on an annual basis there will always be an unspoken bond between the two families.

Some of you have asked if we have told the donor family that Geoff is in need of another liver. The answer is no. We don't see any point in doing that. That liver has given Geoff many, many wonderful gifts throughout the last 9 years and we wouldn't want the family to think anything less.

So, enjoy your families this weekend and please remember to drive safe.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

He's so happy to have friends

That's what they look like? You've got to be joking!

I'll keep this short and as un-detailed as possible because my family reads this blog (including Geoff's) but SERIOUSLY they should really consider hanging a full-size poster of what boobs look like after two kids in the labor and delivery room. I'm pretty sure this whole over populated country thing would be significantly reduced.

Sorry, no pictures today.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Are we there yet?

First things first...Geoff is #6 on the list in Fort Worth and #10 on the list in Dallas. Yes, he has moved down a few spots, but that's just the way things go. Keep praying, singing, dancing, and doing whatever it is you do!

So how does one husband, one mother-in-law, one 8 week old, one almost-3 year old, 1 Honda pilot, and 1 eight hour car ride to San Antonio sound? Super fun, right??? Well, that was our weekend and it really was a blast! It was so nice to get away for the be a family, to laugh, to eat, to drink and to just have a good time. Ever since January when we were first told that Geoff needed a new transplant that is pretty much all we have thought about. Everyone was looking forward to something on this trip. Ava was looking forward to Sea World, Geoff was looking forward to the actual drive itself (I bet he's singing a different tune this morning), my mom was looking forward to being with the kids, Conner was looking forward to not being dropped on his head (see earlier post :), and I was looking forward to the OUTLETS (I was given exactly two hours to shop)!

Overall, a SUPER great weekend. Check out the pictures!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Two Quick Things to Say

I can't really go into much detail about either for fear of crying.

#1 I have the most incredible friends in my life.

#2 I started back at the gym last night and jumped right in with taking the cycle class. Ava keeps asking me why I'm walking funny.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I'm fine. I promise.

Okay, let me just start out by saying that I am fine. Did I have a couple of bad days? Yes. Did I yell at the bank teller today for no reason (sorry Susan at Capital One)? Yes. Did I yell at our poor dog, Payton because I tripped over him getting out of the shower? Absolutely.

Apparently my bad days have shown (through my blog). Our old neighbor (Pastor Don) came by last night because he said that he felt "like I needed a visit". Geoff looked at me like "what the hell did you write on the blog"? Others have called as well. First off, I really appreciate the kindness and concern from those that called, and we loved seeing Pastor Don last night, but really I am OKAY.

None of this is about me. This is about Geoff and that is where the focus needs to stay. See that is why Geoff and I are so good for each other- he is so level headed in all of this. Sure he is probably scared, pissed off, and sad at times but he is STRONG. Any ounce of strength that I have through all of this is become of him. He is the rock of this family.

So, don't worry I can be left alone with the kids (and Payton) and all will be just fine when the day is done.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Add it to the freakin list

And the "Worst Mom of the Year" award goes! I'll give you the short version because I can't stand to think about it for fear of crying. I left Conner on our bed while I walked into the other room. Next I hear a blood curdling scream. I run into the room and Ava has dropped Conner off the bed. Seriously? Do we really need this. He seemed fine, but of course I was panicked, so I rushed him to the doctor's office. Bottomline-he's fine, but I'm not.

Everyone keeps telling me that God doesn't give you more than you can handle. Well, I think God has confused me with someone else because I have hit my breaking point.

Is it the weekend yet?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

He's Home!

Were home! They checked his tube, did their thing, and sent us on our merry way.

Geoff received an update today: he is #8 in Dallas and #5 in Fort Worth. Just cross your fingers that they don't de-list him temporarily due to the infection. With the mood that I am in tonight that better not happen. Transplant team lock your doors. :)

Oh, and a BIG discovery-I'm so not prepared for this surgery. The last two days I ran around like a crazy woman. It was like I was learning to ride a bike for the first time. I need to make a better plan (just so you know my "plan" was to just go with the flow-good one Erin). At this point I am likely to leave Geoff at home the day of the surgery because I might forget him.

More later-I'm beat!


Geoff called and said that he had spiked a fever....never a great sign. Hopefully it's just the infection fighting.

Stay tuned!

UPDATE: Talked to Geoff this morning and he said the fever broke.

Monday, May 12, 2008

99.9% Sure

My diagnosis seems to be correct! We are 99.9% sure that Geoff has an infection in his biliary tube (the tube that has been draining his liver for the past four or so months). So quite honestly we can all say "no big deal"! His liver is looking good...many thanks to tube even though it did decide to get an infection.

Tomorrow he will be having a tube check-something that he has been having every 6-8 weeks anyways. The tube check should solidify the diagnosis and hopefully some antibiotics should clear this all up so we can get back to waiting....

Geoff is still in the hospital, but really just for precautionary measures (and for the procedure tomorrow morning). He's looking forward to getting home and moving on with the week!

Hope you all had an exciting Monday too!

Mother's Day + Infection = Baylor ER

Yesterday the day started out with Geoff letting me sleep. We had a nice day planned out for the family. We made it to about 4:00PM and then Geoff just wasn't right. He has not felt right for a couple of days, but in true Geoff fashion he tried to shrug it off as much as possible (especially yesterday because it was Mother's Day). Very, very sweet.

Anyhow, by 9:00PM we were on our way to the ER. We got checked-in pretty quickly and then waited for the doc to arrive. I have to say though Baylor is pretty good about getting the patients checked-in and the tests running ASAP. They did the usual protocal: blood work, chest x-ray, and IV.

The blood work did show some "funkiness" (elevated levels throughout) so they decided to admit him. Pretty much end of story for Baylor ER on a Sunday night. I said goodnight around midnight and came home. At 4:00AM he texted me and said that they had moved him to a room.

Not sure what tests they will start running on him...the transplant team will make their rounds a little later this morning. Hopefully this will be a simple infection and he will be back home and back to work in no time.

I'll keep you all posted.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Some pics for a lovely Thursday

Let's just pretend that you don't read this

I was thinking last night before I went to bed about my "feelings" and how I was feeling about everything going on in our lives. I tend to do that every two weeks or so. Geoff and I started to have a conversation (I'll spare you the details because I'm sure it will sound really morbid if I try to re-create it for you all) and I figured out that I really need an outlet to vent about this entire process. The blog is my answer, right?

Well....sorta. That's where you all come in. There are some of you that read this blog on a regular basis and also see me on a regular basis (here comes the problem)and for the people that know me know that I do not like to talk about my inner feelings. I'm sure a therapist would tell me that I have issues, but my answer to that is "whatever". I know how to talk about your feelings, so that should count for something.

The deal is: when you see me just pretend that you don't read this.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I guess I'll help fill in the gaps...

If I all I talk about is Liverwait 08' then I could go a very long time without ever posting so I will try and fill in the gaps with stories of the Dunkles from time to time.

We had a really nice weekend with family. Brad and Linda came to visit us from California and stayed with us on Sat. and Sun. I'm pretty sure they ran out of here on Monday morning. Ava bossed the two of them around like they were her little pets. "Brad! Come here! Linda! Where you going? Brad! My daddy has a green shirt"! I think they thought it was cute...... :)

It was really a fun visit with them. Were thinking of making a trip out to their home in Mendocino County (wine country)!!! How fun would that be?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

You guys are funny!

Okay, so I asked for a little help with naming Geoff's liver journey and I got some very funny suggestions. So here goes:

LT 2.o
Liver 08 (a fine tribute to Microsoft)
Livergate (Geoff says that I'm too young to get this one)

and my personal favorite.......Liverwait 08'! We had a nice laugh over dinner last night with these suggestoins. Geoff's only concern with Liverwait 08' was "what happens when the wait is over and I get the liver"? He proposes that we then change it to Livertake 08'!