surgery was rescheduled

Yesterday afternoon I received a phone call from my surgeon’s office, not something I wanted to hear.  They had to reschedule my surgery for Friday morning now.  The Dr. had an emergency surgery he has to preform today.  I could not believe what I was being told. I understand emergencies, but I kept saying to myself you have to be kidding me.

 Two more days with this pain, I just want to feel good again.  I want my life back.  My husband says he want his wife back.  Lord knows we know what it is like to have to wait, we know what it is to live with someone in pain, but in my mind I keep saying, enough is enough for this family with medical problems.  To help me get through this I picture in my mind others that are in the hospital with bigger problems than mine.  I am lucky I am at home waiting. If anyone has experienced pain from your sciatica nerve you know how I feel.  If not this is what it feels like:

Web MD : Pain that radiates from your lower (lumbar) spine to your buttock and down the back of your leg is the hallmark of sciatica. You might feel the discomfort almost anywhere along the nerve pathway, but it’s especially likely to follow a path from your low back to your buttock and the back of your thigh and calf.

The pain is  a sharp, burning sensation or excruciating pain. Sometimes it can feel like a jolt or electric shock. It can be worse when you cough or sneeze, and prolonged sitting can aggravate symptoms. Usually only one side of your body is affected.

Some people also have numbness, tingling or muscle weakness in the affected leg or foot. You might have pain in one part of your leg and numbness in another part. 

So two more days, find my inner strength, love from my family and friends I got this. Like  I used to tell Lauren, you are a strong pollock so now she has been saying this to me.  Also one more thing on my mind, my mother is having surgery February 1st.  I wanted to be there for her, but I cannot physically.  I live in Massachusetts and she lives in Florida.  Thank the dear Lord I have sisters that will be there for her.  In our family that will be 3 surgeries for the start of 2016.  After that we need to plan some vacations.

Love you mom, we got this………………




Surgery again in our household, Lynne’s story

Yes, I’m having surgery tomorrow morning.  January has been a hell of a month for us.  I’ve taken take of my daughter now it’s my turn to take care of myself.

About 8 weeks ago, I started to experience pain in my back that traveled down into my right leg.  Didn’t think much of it, until it started to get worse with no relief.  I finally had to call my Dr.  A couple of years ago, I was experiencing lower back pain.  I was diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease‎.  I did physical therapy and it went away.  But now it is back.

First they tried me with 800mg of ibuprofen.  The pain just kept getting worse.  Then they gave me prednisone which is a steroid for 5 days.  Nothing.  After that I received muscle relaxers to help.  This was around Christmas time now.  I can honestly say, it ruined my Christmas.  I had a couple of mimosa’s in the morning trying to enjoy my Christmas morning with my family, but it is true you cannot mix booze with muscle relaxers.  Let’s just say, I worked so hard to have a beautiful Christmas for my family and it did not turn out that way.

Went back to my Dr. and now they had me go for an MRI.  At this point the pain was just ongoing.  Every moment of the day, it has been getting stronger and stronger.  I cannot sleep, and if I do I end up waking up around 2-3 in the morning with pain that I have to stay up.  Laying down makes it throb more.  When I had the MRI done, it was so painful.   I could not lay still, my back and leg kept going into spasms.  I had to just bite down on my lip and keep telling myself you can do this.  The whole time I was having this done, I kept thinking about my daughter and all the procedures she had to endure.  If she could go through the hell she went through, then I could do this.

Results from the MRI came in. I was on the phone with my Dr. and she said “normally I would have you come into my office to talk, there seems to be a mass on your spine”.  I really wasn’t sure I heard her correctly so I said to her, “are you saying that I might have the C word. (I couldn’t say the word).  She wanted me to see an Neural Surgeon.  I just sat there and cried, I felt like my whole world just ended.  About an hour after I got off the phone with my Dr., my phone rang and it was the surgeons office calling.  They wanted me to come in that day.  Now I was really scared.  Called my husband  and he was home before I could get myself together enough to be able to talk.  We went to the office and to our relief, it is not a mass.  I have 2 herniated disks that is hitting my sciatic nerve and the image she saw was my bone protruding out a bit.  We scheduled the surgery but it was going to be 3 weeks away.  So for the last 3 weeks I have been living with a pain I wouldn’t wish on anyone.  They have me on percocets to help with the pain, but it is really not touching it.  This is how bad the pain is…Dean and I were invited to go to the Patriots playoff game.  Great seats so there wouldn’t be that much walking.  At first I said no, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to walk it, but then said the hell with it, I can do this.  Well, I only lasted till half time.  Thank God we had a hotel room close to the stadium.

So tomorrow hopefully I will be able to get rid of the pain I have been living with.  When we went to the hospital with Lauren I actually had to use a wheelchair, I could walk the hospital.  I am very nervous about having back surgery, but I have no choice at this point. I guess it’s Lauren time to step up and take care of her mom for a bit.

So to all my friends out there, if you haven’t heard from me in awhile, this is the reason why.  Just staying in and trying to find positions that try to make me comfortable.

Wish me luck

Lauren told me, “you got this mom”.

Love Lynne  1437940979_love_valentines_day_11

Sum up Lauren’s last surgery

2 years after my daughter Lauren had heart transplant, in January Lauren had her yearly biopsy.  The biopsy came back no rejection, but they found she had  an arteriovenous (AV) fistula  which is an abnormal connection between an artery and a vein. Normally, blood flows from your arteries to your capillaries to your veins. After meeting with a Vascular surgeon, they scheduled surgery to correct the fistula.  Since Lauren’s transplant her blood flows have always been high, but the Dr.’s didn’t seem to concerned to much about it.  The main concern was the body wasn’t rejecting the heart. The surgery was scheduled a couple a weeks ago at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston Ma.  We were told the surgery would be around 2 hours and they were going to admit Lauren in the hospital over night just for observation.

My husband Dean and I were nervous about Lauren having to go through another surgery after everything she has been through, in the back of our minds we knew there are always chances of complications with any surgery.  Not to mention how Lauren felt about another surgery.  The three of us talked and agreed it was going to be a quick surgery, and also Lauren wanted to be able to see some of the wonderful people that helped her get through her life changing experience again.

Every time I go back to Brigham’s I have anxiety, to many memories of when we were living there.  My husband has a wonderful way of keeping me and Lauren calm to get through it.  We are two lucky women to have him in our lives.

We arrived at the hospital 6:00 a.m., Lauren’s surgery was scheduled for 8:oo a.m.  When they took Lauren in, they told my husband they would be in contact with him with updates while we sat in the family room waiting.  After a couple of hours they called and said she was doing good, relief was all we felt.  You see, every time  she  has had surgery there was always complications so in our minds it was always there.  Well, this time was different.  To sum it up, Lauren’s surgery ended up taking 6 hours, not 2.  The original ultrasound showed one fistula, but they found 3.  They were able to fix 2 of them only, Lauren was in surgery to long and they didn’t want to keep her under any longer for safety reasons.  We were shocked to find out she 3.  The surgeon told us her blood pressures did improve enormously.  With all the procedures she had in the past couple of years, we were told they were really not that surprised, but it was something they didn’t expect to have to do. By 6:00p.m. we were able to see Lauren in the recovery room.  We were then told, her room wasn’t ready yet, it would be another couple of hours.  All we kept thinking was, OK it’s over and our daughter is going to be alright.  Big relief.


So back to waiting.  Give my husband the remote and he’s a happy man.


Lauren was suppose to stay in the Shapiro Building, but they didn’t have any rooms so they moved to the Towers Building.  I kept thinking Lauren was going to be upset, we never stayed there and she wouldn’t be able to see any familiar faces.  Come to find out it didn’t matter.  Lauren was so sick during the night, throwing up from all the meds she was given.  The room we stayed in was in the Pavilion Suites.  They really upgraded her.  This floor is for celebrities or you have to pay big time to be able to stay there.  Talk about a hospital room.  Imagine this, hardwood floors, cherry trim all around.  The menu could have been from a 5 star restaurant.  She deserved it.  But she didn’t know where she was until the next morning when she woke up.

This is how they served the meals, room service style.  Lauren’s breakfast.


That morning we told Lauren about what happened during her surgery.  She was shocked to find out she was in surgery for 6 hours and she had 3 fistula’s instead of one.  Lauren did have quite a few visitors from the Shapiro Building that took care of her.  They found out where she was and everyone kept saying “wow, how did you get this floor”.  It made her feel very special and she was able to visit with old friends.

It was a long trip for my husband and I, but the end result was Lauren was doing great now.  Sore but good.  They took great care of her and we were told they are not concerned at this time about the last fistula they could not repair.  Maybe down the road, but not at this point.

It has been two weeks since her surgery, last Friday the three of us got back in the car and  had our appointment with Lauren’s surgeon for a follow-up.  All is good.  Lauren is still sore, but we were told it is normal healing.

Thank you Brigham and Women’s Hospital for taking great care of our daughter again.

With much love

Lynne, Dean & Lauren 1437940979_love_valentines_day_11

Back to Boston, for Lauren’s surgery

This is a follow-up on a past post, about what they found when Lauren had her heart biopsy done.  An arteriovenous fistula.

An arteriovenous (AV) fistula is an abnormal connection between an artery and a vein. Normally, blood flows from your arteries to your capillaries to your veins. Nutrients and oxygen in your blood travel from your capillaries to tissues in your body.

With an arteriovenous fistula, blood flows directly from an artery into a vein, bypassing some capillaries. When this happens, tissues below the bypassed capillaries receive a diminished blood supply.

Surgery is scheduled for this Thursday morning at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston Ma.  So many emotions, I know how I feel inside, but I am concerned how Lauren is feeling.  She always puts up a brave front, she must get it from her mother.

My husband wanted to get a hotel room for the night.  He told me that there is no way he will allow me to spend the night in the hospital, just from a emotional concern.  Right now I am going through some medical problems with my back and my sciatica nerve which makes walking difficult at this time.  The hotel is right down the street, but it might as well be 100 miles away.  So we decided we will spend the night in the hospital sleeping in the family room like we have done so so many times before.  To be honest, I feel better  knowing I will be closer to Lauren.  We were told it would be only an over nighter, so I am holding them to it.  NO COMPLICATIONS………….

I know when my sister Donna reads this, she will know exactly where I am talking about because she has spent so many nights sleeping in that room when she would come up to see us.

Time to see some old friends in Boston.

This is cute, when Lauren found out the date she contacted some of her favorite nurses to see if they were working that day or night.  I think she is looking at this as a social event, which is nice.  It takes all the medical out of the visit.

Lynne 1437940979_love_valentines_day_11

Generosity won’t fix our shortage of organs for transplants

I came across this article, thought I would share.  not to sure how I feel about it.  Let me know your thoughts.

Generosity won’t fix our shortage of organs for transplants

By Sally Satel December 28, 2015

Surgeons begin a kidney removal at the California Pacific Medical Center in March. (California Pacific Medical Center via Reuters)
Each week, In Theory takes on a big idea in the news and explores it from a range of perspectives. This week we’re talking about government compensation for organ donors. Need a primer? Catch up here.

Sally Satel is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a lecturer in psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine. She is the editor of “When Altruism Isn’t Enough: The Case for Compensating Kidney Donors.”

My interest in the national organ shortage began one steamy afternoon in August 2004. That day, my doctor told me my kidneys were failing. As a physician myself, I knew immediately that I would need to find a replacement organ or else face a shortened life tethered to a dialysis machine. My search was rocky at first, but finally I did get a kidney from a casual friend — now a very dear one.

At the time of my search, there were about 60,000 people on the national waiting list maintained by the United Network for Organ Sharing. Today, a decade later, there are roughly 101,000. Meanwhile, donation rates from both living and deceased donors are effectively flat. The death toll is 12 people per day — individuals who could not survive the years-long wait for an organ.

Clearly, our current organ transplant policy is a qualified failure. And it is because our current system, by law, mandates altruism as the sole legitimate motive for organ donation. We need to give more healthy young and middle-age people a reason to become living donors.

[It’s time to talk honestly about dying]

Tragically, altruism is not enough. The yield from public awareness campaigns, the organ procurement teams that meet with families of the recently deceased and the reimbursement for donors’ expenses has leveled off. Moving to an opt-out system, under which we would harvest people’s organs at death unless they had earlier indicated they didn’t wish to donate them, can do only so much — relatively few people die in ways that leave their organs suitable for transplantation.

So, to save lives, let’s test incentives. A model reimbursement plan would look like this: Donors would not receive a lump sum of cash; instead, a governmental entity or a designated charity would offer them in-kind rewards, such as a contribution to the donor’s retirement fund; an income tax credit or a tuition voucher; lifetime health insurance; a contribution to a charity of the donor’s choice; or loan forgiveness.

Meanwhile, the law can impose a waiting period of at least six months before people donate, ensuring that they don’t act impulsively and that they offer fully informed consent. Prospective compensated donors would be carefully screened for physical and emotional health, as all donors are now. These arrangements would filter out financially desperate individuals who might otherwise rush to donate for a large sum of instant cash and later regret it.

The donors’ kidneys would be distributed to people on the waiting list, according to the rules now in place. (People who wanted to donate a kidney to a specific person — say, a father to a son — would still be able to, alongside this system.) Finally, all rewarded donors would be guaranteed follow-up medical care for any complications, which is not ensured now.

The good news is that the general notion of incentivizing donations is gaining traction. A 2009 poll of the membership of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons revealed that 80 percent supported or were neutral toward the provision of tax credits for donors. In 2014, the American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons published the results of a workshop in which the societies expressed approval of testing third-party, in-kind incentives. A few weeks ago, the American Medical Association passed a resolution in favor of testing the effect of incentives on living and deceased donation. (A reward for deceased donation could take the form of a funeral subsidy or a contribution to the estate of the deceased.)

[Why are doctors afraid of the word ‘death’?]

The objections I heard years ago seem to be wearing thin. Take the objection that rewarding donors “commodifies the body.” We already commodify the body, speaking strictly, every time there is a transplant: The doctors get paid to manipulate the body. So does the hospital and the agency that obtains and transports the organ. Why would we now object to enriching the donor — the sole individual in this entire scenario who gives the precious item in question and assumes all the risk?

At the heart of the “commodification” claim is really the concern that donors will not be treated with dignity. But dignity is affirmed when we respect the capacity of individuals to make decisions in their own best interest, protect their health and express gratitude for their sacrifice. Material gain, per se, is not inconsistent with this. The true indignity is to stand by smugly while thousands of people die each year for want of an organ.

Some worry that that rewarded donation will attract only low-income people. This is possible, though only a trial project can provide the answer. But even if this turns out to be the case, why doubt the capacity of low-income people to make decisions in their own interest? From the standpoint of the recipient, it is low-income individuals who stand to benefit the most, as they are disproportionately represented among those waiting for a kidney.

Yet regardless of who ends up donating, any plan must ensure that donors’ decisions are thoroughly informed, their health is protected and they are amply rewarded. As the organ waiting list grows, the need to test incentives becomes stronger and stronger.

We need to liberate patients from the tyranny of “the gift.” It’s glorious when you are the recipient, as I know better than most, but the penalty for being unlucky should not be premature death. Hollow moralizing from critics in the face of so much needless suffering must be replaced by sensitive and pragmatic policy.