Friday, May 17, 2013

Fistulas R Us

Michael had his 3rd fistula surgery Wednesday. For those of you not well versed in dialysis and all that stuff, a fistula is where they graft a vein and an artery together in your arm, to be used as a dialysis port.  He's had this surgery done twice before in the last month, and neither took.  Both times the graft clotted within 12 hours of surgery.

This time, however, the brilliant vascular surgeon figured out that all these years of Michael donating blood to the Red Cross had created scar tissue in his veins, and thus wasn't allowing the first two fistulas adequate blood flow.  This guy moved the fistula to a different area, used a better artery/vein combo and voila....we feel the thrill (the vibration you literally feel under the skin of his arm, feels like rushing water) and we can hear the bruit (the sound it makes in the arm) through a stethoscope.

Yes, I have a stethoscope.  Yes, should be scared.  No, you cannot borrow it for "dress up night".

Nurse Ratched, at your service.

So yeah, finally we have a working fistula.  I can't tell you how excited that makes us.  Of course, getting there was fun....

Michael had to start dialysis in a hurry (a fistula takes 6-8 weeks to mature for use) so he had a chest cath put in.  That kind of sucks to have two tubes hanging out of your chest.  So here's that:

Then he went out and shaved his head like he's in the Army got a hair cut:

You can imagine my surprise.  I'm getting used to it though.  And one of my gay friends pronounced him as "hot" with the haircut, so clearly it's a hit in that circle.  LOL  Besides, now he and Jordan look like father and son...well, if Michael would grow a handlebar mustache.

That's my and my favorite kid on Mother's Day.  I'm still trying to figure out exactly when he got taller than me?

Anyway, back to the Kidney Khronicles:

So this week, we went to get the third fistula, and Michael was pretty bored with the entire process.

But afterwards, he felt pretty good, and we were happy to go home.

So right now we're just waiting for a bunch of us to get testing started a donor matches.  God willing there is a transplant in Michael's near future.

If you're O blood type and wanna save a life, call me.  Email me.  Fax me.  Text.  Instagram. Facebook. Smoke signals.  Whatev.

Oh, and there is no blogging without a picture of my granddog....

Mora turned a year old on April 28th.  And I love her to pieces.  And believe me, she is Grandma's Girl.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Update on The Search for a Kidney

Thank you, to everyone who responded to my post about Michael's need for a kidney transplant, for all of your kind words, prayers, good thoughts and most of all for sharing our story.

I also tweeted it and Facebooked about it, and as a result of all of all of our efforts, I've had several friends of mine who have called the transplant center for packets, one of Jordan's friends who is very willing to be tested and donate, and believe it or not a total stranger from Canada who contacted me to let me know he had called and gotten a packet sent to him as well.

Today I received a really lovely email from a young lady here in Ohio who heard about it from Matt Logelin's retweet (thanks again, Matt!) who told me how she donated a kidney last year, and she said in part..."I would be more than happy to talk to anyone who is thinking about donating. My experience was wonderful and I don’t want someone to not donate out of fear. Everyone at OSU was incredible from the coordinator to the surgeon to the nurses. I had minimal pain and none at all as soon as the meds kicked in. I was back to work 10 days after surgery."

How great is that!??!?!

I am 100% sure we will have a donor sooner than later, whether it's family or friends or a total stranger. Keep those prayers coming, and send out positive thoughts. So far it's working beautifully!

Love to all!

Julie & Michael

Monday, May 6, 2013


Dear Friends and Family:

As some of you know, and many of you don't, my love Michael Devany has a very serious kidney disease that has now resulted in the need for immediate dialysis, and a kidney transplant. Our families are being tested as live donors, and the hope is that one of us will be a match, so that he can have an immediate transplant. If he has to be on the transplant list, it's estimated to be 3-5 years before he may get a kidney. 

Getting a new kidney will allow him to have a much better quality of life over the next few years, and while it is not a cure for his disease, it is definitely the best option for treatment. It keeps him from being dependent on dialysis, and allows him to live as normal life as possible. Being a donor is much easier than you may think!

As a donor you are only in the hospital for 1-2 days, and off work for about 2 weeks. Michael's health insurance pays for everything but your time off work, including follow up appointments. We can all live normal lives with only one kidney, but you could save a life by donating one that you don't need. How amazing would that be?

Michael's blood type is O- so a donor will need to be an O as well. There is also a paired donation program which means that while he may not have a willing donor who matches him, he may have one who matches someone else, and that person has someone who matches him, etc. Thus, the reason I am posting this on my blog, to spread the word.

If you are interested in finding our more about donating, or would be willing to be tested, please call the OSU Transplant Center at 1-800-293-8965 and request a packet in Michael's name.

You may or may not have any interest in donating, and that's okay. We understand. But there are a couple of things I would like to ask you to do...

First and foremost, say a prayer for Michael, for us, and for our families as we travel down this unfamiliar road. Most importantly, pray for a live donor for him. While we have anticipated getting to this situation "at some point", we thought we had more time to plan our course. Unfortunately things have changed and now we're here. So we need all the people who we love, and who love us, to include him in your prayers.

The second thing I ask you all to do is to share this on your blog. You all have many never know who out there is in a similar situation, who has contacts as far as kidney donors that we don't have, or who might have their own live donor that doesn't match them but could be a match for us. So if you will do that for us, we would be forever grateful.

Michael and I, as well as the Devany and Reeg families, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support and love. You're the best.

Love, Julie & Michael