368: TW Three

June 14, 2009

That Was The Week That Was... remember that show from years ago? Since it seems I'm moving into a schedule of blogging weekly... this week feels like a jumble of events that expanded through out the week, like a string of pearls, each with their own little lesson, or memory, or challenge for me.

Monday found me driving to La Marque... partway between Houston and Gal
veston... to do a training for the STAR folks down there... I walked into the church where the training was being hosted and within minutes ran into one of my students from UT, and that was a joy. She and her husband had settled into their new post IKE lives very favorably, with Ken taking over a coffee house and Holly switching employers and doing groups in schools. She rushes off to eat lunch and go to work, and I end up spending the lunch hour meeting with their Executive Director and explaining and supporting and processing his feelings about the difficulties with the state funding source. For me, in my state of return to my "retirement job" and getting back out to work with these devoted agencies, it is depressing to hear from all these people these days. It makes me quite sad the direction of the crisis intervention and runaway prevention program I have been supporting and 'believing in' for over twenty years now. The developments and changes in this basic community-based program are becoming the albatross hanging heavily on my neck... and bringing me down at this time when I am trying to use the passion for training as a healing force for my kidney. Actually the work with the staff went well and was energizing... I could tell throughout my drive home afterward. And, I did stop at Rick's in Ellenger for a pound of brisket to match with Liz's potato salad for dinner. Yum.

Tuesday was blood work and paperwork...
Wednesday I go for a doctor's appointment and see Bernadette and Doc Lewis
... he comes in and says "Hi" and follows with "Boy, that kidney is an M1 Abrams Tank of a kidney isn't it?" and I respond with an "Uh huh..." trying to picture what he is describing... "a tank as a metaphor for a kidney.... BIG... Powerful... a blast the Hell outa ANYTHING kidney! YEAH!..." He twinkles and I smile. It is doing good. He continues to say things are as good as they could be. Since my 3 month anniversary (June 9th) is past, I now am in phase where there is a very low chance of "acute rejection" from now on. He continues talking and gives me a cursory physical by looking in my mouth, feeling my neck, pushing on my abdomen and thats about it.

I tell him about getting our final bill of 173 K and my wondering... "If this was an easy transplant with nothi
ng really going wrong, etcetera, could we say that the price was about what an easy transplant would cost?" Dr. Lewis didn't want to go there; saying that he doesn't understand billing, insurance companies, or anything about how these things are valued. He continued that no kidney transplant is easy or simple... it is a major surgery and you cannot really equate a surgery where nothing goes wrong, the time spent, and the lack of problems with the price. ( I get that it is not like taking your car in, where you expect to pay more if it is complicated and they have to do more than you expected.) So that mystery remains... maybe I should ask the insurance carriers....

Doctor Lewis c
oncludes that all is going really well; there are no meds changes for now... and he'll see me again towards the end of July. Bernadette comes in a little later with the poop sheet with no meds changes and two appointments for blood work and my next doctor's appointment.

Liz and I get outa there early and I go back to work for awhile...

Friday: Up early and drive to Dallas for two Technical Assistance meetings with Promise House; one about resolving conflicts in the shelter and one about confidentiality parameters with youth... the highlight being that this group thought that Texas follows the Tarasoff ruling in California: them finding out that Texas is NOT a Tarasoff state! Afterward I had a talk with the supervisor about the kinds of difficulties that arise when shelters and counseling centers try to collaborate with youth and families.

Driving home was a quick trip hopping from NPR All Things Considered on KERA to ATC on Waco's KWBU to Austin's KUT and arriving home about 8. My mother in law is staying
with us this weekend for my nephew's birthday and we visited before I crashed out, have worked from 6 to 8 and driven about 600 miles...

Saturday: My dad calls mid-afternoon to say he is in the hospital in SA, and has been since last Wednesday... thought I should know... and adamant that I NOT come down to see him. He reports that it is CHF (cardiac heart failure), which sounds pretty serious to me and he adds that it comes from his edema in the legs and that he intends to get out on Monday to go for a skin cancer treatment at another medical facility. My reaction is to question him about coming down, which disintegrates into an argument about our topsyturvy relationship and ends with me saying that I hope he feels better and at least no one slams the phone down. I immediately call Carol to inform her and she calls Tracy and finds out that they (Mike & Tracy) intend to go talk to the doctors tonight) and that my dad has demanded they not come see him either... so, then Carol calls him and he tells her not to come too. So, everyone is ordered not to come and I feel minisculey better... and wish I had just gathered info from him and let all the rest go. So it goes in the Dad Department.

The evening gives me an opportunity to get beyond the afternoon as the family celebrates little David's 7th... adults consuming their drinks of choice, snacking on guacamole, and then eating grass fed cow steaks, broiled squash, and chocolate b-day cake while the kids run crazy all over the house. Lizzie and I ham it up for the photographer, Mitt. Great time til I get tired and catch a ride home early with Larry & Diane. Then the worries about dad return til I fall asleep... so it goes in the Jack Department.

Sunday: Father's Day and I think about my dad as Lizzie prepares breakfast of strawberry and blueberry crepes. MIL Joan, Katie, Shayna, and Liz all wish me a happy father's day and Johnny calls and all is well at home.


Cheryl said...

Hey Jack, Just a quick note to say that I am pleased and amazed at how well you doing. What a kidney - I'm glad it ended up in your body. Love, YC

Jack Nowicki said...

Hey Cheryl ~ thanks for the comment. Me glad to have Morechai too!!!