While preparing for kidney transplant, family and friends offer help

By Mark Noble
Husband/caregiver

I promised myself I would take Nancy out each night for about a week before her surgery so she could enjoy any meal her heart desired.  We went to Andiamo’s Royal Oak, Andiamo’s Bloomfield Hills, Meriwether’s, Salvator Scallopini, Steve’s Deli and The Avenue, where we met my side of the family. I think there were a few others, probably Olga’s and somewhere I can’t remember at this moment.

Tonight’s meal was a little rougher for Nancy. She had a stomach ache from her anti-rejection medication that she started a few days ago and clearly was not enjoying it.

I realized during those moments that there just might be a tough road ahead. If the medicine is a problem now, what will it be like later when there are five times as many medications? Will she always have these or similar pains?

This past Friday night, I took a few hours to myself and it wasn’t long before Nancy had asked me to come home. She was having what I would say was a medication-induced anxiety attack. She couldn’t sleep and we were essentially up for about three hours, again with her stomach bothering her. I gave her TUMs and a laxative. A few hours into our long night, her mother, Maureen, called asking for her last rites. Thank god, she was NOT dying, but she too was confused having built up a whole lot of worry for herself and probably just needing to hear Nancy’s voice.

I guess I am saying that in these last few days prior to the surgery, there has been angst, confusion, worry and real pain.

Today I did the morning routine for our daughter, Sarah, by myself. It’s not that difficult, but waking any teenager I expect has to come with a rule book of some sort. Whatever strength I had came to bear, and I was able to complete my mission, get her motivated to get up, do her routine, eat and leave. I had packed her lunch the day before, got it ready in the morning, and ensured she went to school on time. She even had time to listen to our favorite morning show, “Blaine and Alyson in the Morning” on 96.3 (OK, shameless plug for our friends there.)

To complete the day for myself, today was my last day of work. I was able to speak to the person who will be managing my business affairs while I am gone, ensuring that everything would continue to hum while I am out. I will be away from Verizon for the first half of April, and then after that intermittently as I take Nancy to and from physician visits and blood tests.

I’m also starting to get “notices” that people will be bringing meals over. I’ve never experienced that before, so this should interesting! Karen, who lives in the house we are renting out in Birmingham, said she’d deliver our first meal on Saturday. Nancy’s school, I am told, will deliver a meal every Monday afternoon until June. Now that’s commitment. My mother and sister have promised meals of various types and frequency. I’ve even talked to Jim to ensure he would have a plan to take care of Michelle’s meals. I’m sure someone will send something over to her, too.

These acts of kindness harken back to “yesteryear,” when neighbors would come together to help one another. It could have been building a barn or taking care of loved ones while someone went off to work the fields, or even taking in a cousin from a land far away. In the olden days (1800s), things were different, and while I didn’t live in that era, I can only imagine that what I am feeling is much like my ancestors who reached out to help their neighbors in time of need. It’s almost overwhelming, but welcomed.

Thanks for following our blog. Without interested readers like yourselves, no one would have an opportunity to understand how we feel and are affected by kidney transplantation.

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2 thoughts on “While preparing for kidney transplant, family and friends offer help

Add yours

  1. Oh Mark, I can only imagine the fear and anxiety that both of you are feeling. Remember God is in control and He will provide for all of your needs. It sounds as if you have a wonderful support system and are fortunate and blessed by them. Keep the Faith and look forward to a a complete and quick healing and a healthy wife. My prayers are with you, Nancy and Sarah to be strong. Prayers also to your angel on Earth providing Nancy with the gift of life. Godspeed my friend.

    Donna Durst Garbarz

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