It's been a pretty rough last couple of months in my life. I was discharged from Methodist after spending 12 days in the hospital and 15 days in rehab. I couldn't take the shortness of breath any longer and knew something very serious was going on. Of course, I didn't know it was as bad as it was until I was admitted and into the first few days. My weight had dropped to 124 and blood counts were raging out of control. On day 2 a peg tube was inserted for feeding. My calories had to increase or no weight gain. The feeding along with 3 balanced meals and snacks daily was sure to do the trick. Around day 4 or 5 my Hemoglobin blood count was low and caused me to have to receive 2 pints of blood. I have never received blood before but had no choice in this situation. I also received an Iron transfusion. I felt so much better after the 8 hour transfusions. My energy level spiked up and my appetite was even better. "Oh for the Blood; it will never lose its power". Amen in Jesus Name.
I spent the next several days in the hospital gaining my strength back as much as possible and desperately trying to tolerate the daily doses of antibotics, heparin shots in my belly to avoid blood clots, sticks in my finger for blood sugar, and other medications taken all throughout the day and night. Thankfully, I was tolerating the feeding tube very well with the exception of dirrehea for a few days while my system readjusted itself to its new normal. I was moved to a private room after the 4th day which was so much better and allowed me to have more family in to visit.
After 12 days, I was moved to the skilled nursing section for 2 weeks of rehab. I was happy to be there and finally off the Antibotics. My PT was Travis and Eleanor; mostly Travis. He was great and did an awesome job. They all did pretty great, nurses and staff. As it got closer to my discharge date, wouldn't you know, I started having complications. First, I had a bad case of constipation 1 day before discharge. I don't know what happen, but I stayed awake all that night crying out in pain. I finally started to pass gas and other stuff later that morning after taking a few different laxatives. They decided to keep me another day for observation. Things improved and I prepared to check out the next day which was Friday. Thursday evening the worst happen. The nurse was unable to flush my peg tube as was a normal routine before inserting the feeding for the evening. They tried everything possible to flush that tube but it just wouldn't budge. I was so disgusted but tried not to show it. The nurses (3 of them) tried and tried assuring me that it would be okay and they would get it unclogged. Well, I ended up going to sleep that night with no feeding and not knowing what the next day would bring. On Friday morning I ended up back in radiation where it all begin to have another peg tube inserted. No surgey required, but still, it's a procedure that required a mile anaesthetic. After returning from that I was more than ready to go home and hoped the Doctor would see it that way as well, and he did. I never found out why the peg tube clogged, but at that point, it didn't matter. I'm now home and have gained my weight back and more, appetite is good and doing so much better. I'm getting in-home PT and a nurse comes in once per week. Mama is doing better since I come home. I can tell how she perked up after being here. Family is strength. We draw strength from each other and we also suffer with each other. Thank God for Jesus and for family.
Aug 25, 2016
Good News Today I received a call from my transplant coordinator, Serena saying "Ms. Pettway, I have some good news for you". Of course my heart skipped a beat thinking the call had come to report to Methodist for the transplant. Well, not quite yet, however I have moved much closer to getting that call. Some discussions occurred in the transplant doctors meeting Tuesday regarding the issue with my antibodies and inability to get a match. It now appears that some changes have occurred or have been discovered that now conclude that I have one strong antibody and one other antibody that can now be matched up with a donor. It's just a matter of time and according to Serena, it should not be too long. When it comes to discussing antibodies, I know just about as much as I know about algebra, and that's not much. After all the reading I've done on the subject, it still escapes me as to exactly what they are and what they do. So, I leave it up to the professionals to know what their talking about.
When receiving news like this I feel all sort of emotions; happiness, joy, excitement, apprehension, even a little anxiety. I feel strange. I've been waiting for that call for sixteen months and living away from my home for almost two years. It's hard to start jumping up and down with joy knowing I'm close to receiving a very serious operation that will change my life forever. To know that something will happen soon that will also change the lives of my immediate family, at least for the next one or two years. I guess I need to start making more concrete and complete preparations like getting this gel nail polish off my fingers and toes and making sure I have toiletries and pajamas ready to grab at a moments notice. Most importantly, I just need to stay calm, cool and collected. I can do that.
Jun 01, 2016
Celebrated my 59th birthday last month and the 2nd birthday since I've begun this journey for new lungs. Boy how time flies by when you're waiting for something to happen. Actually, it flies by...
Apr 13, 2016
Had a pretty interesting Clinic visit the other week talking about blood types and antibodies. I've always known my blood type was B+ but asked for verification just in case it wasn't. Sure...
Mar 05, 2016
Hey everyone! It's been a while since I wrote, however life is good and moving ahead. I'm doing good at keeping my weight up but can't seem to go any further than 130-132 pounds. My appetite...
Feb 05, 2016
Below is an excerpt from my morning devotional reading titled "Victory Cry" Joshua 6:20.
The Israelites conquered the city of Jericho, finally claiming their rightful place in the promised...
Nov 23, 2015
Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise His Holy name.
I can't believe I've been in Houston over a year; boy how time flies. It's been a year unlike anything I've ever experienced in...
Oct 28, 2015
I would like to give a big shout out THANKS to Ministers Rod and Margie Odom and Equilla Roberson along with New Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church for sponsoring a fundraising campaign on my behalf....
Oct 02, 2015
I love the weather here in Houston during this time of the year. It's slightly cool, shady, and the wind is lightly blowing. Perfect day to have a cup of coffee, tea or drink of choice on the...
Sep 11, 2015
Greetings to my supporters, friends, family and all of you who are sending up prayers on my behalf. Thank you for your continued support. It really means a lot as I continue to wait for donor...
Aug 09, 2015
All Praise to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on this beautiful Sunday. This is a day of praise and worship. I hope you had a chance to attend Church to honor God today. My thoughts and prayers...
Jul 13, 2015
I had a visit with the transplant team on 6/25 for a two month evaluation since being put on the transplant list. I made it through the labs, ct scans, and pulmonary function test with flying...
Jul 13, 2015
On this beautiful and hot Monday morning, I give all praise to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I thank Him for continuing to keep me lifted up in spirit and strength. I feel good...
Jun 24, 2015
Hello everyone. Tomorrow will be my first appointment with the transplant team since being placed on the transplant list. These visits are a requirement every 2 months in order to remain listed...
Jun 12, 2015
I'm thankful to God for keeping me and my family safe during the tremendous storms that passed through a couple of weeks ago. So many people in the Houston area lost their homes, cars, and...
May 21, 2015
I give all praise to God for keeping me in His loving care. Life is truly amazing and more profound every day I live. Of course, I have a lot of time now to think about Life (past, present &...
May 09, 2015
Tomorrow is a very special day. We celebrate Mothers Day. The older I get, the more I appreciate my mother and mothers around the world for the awesome responsibility they hold within their...
Apr 30, 2015
It's a really beautiful sunshine day here in Houston. There is something about the sunshine that gives a feeling of happiness. I'm feeding off of that sunshine today. It's all part of staying...
Apr 22, 2015
After all the testing, evaluations, clinics, more testing, and waiting, my name was finally put on the transplant list today. PRAISE GOD! I received my lung allocation score from the United...
Apr 10, 2015
All praise to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It's a very overcast and rainy day here in Houston, and I feel good in my spirit because God has allowed me to be here. Last night, I found myself...
Mar 31, 2015
All praise to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. His blessings continue to flow daily. That appointment finally came through and will be performed next week. I felt some relief knowing that one...
Mar 17, 2015
The Bible says in Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not...
Mar 06, 2015
Dear Supporters. What a journey it has been getting to this stage of receiving a lung transplant. After numerous diagnostic testing, and meetings with the Methodist Transplant Team over the past...