Happy Halloween from your Warrior just trying to recover over here! Covid means no real Halloween celebrations or trick or treating. We kept an eye out from our room to get a glimpse of any trick or treaters but all seems quiet.
They have decided to begin dialysis for my kidneys as they still don't want to function on their own. So today I had a port put into my chest and they plan to do dialysis every other day to try to shock my kidneys into doing their thing on their own.
For some reason the right side of my body still isn't working and seems to be getting worse. I can't lift my right hand or arm. And now I can't move my right leg without assistance. This really slows my progression as I am unable to walk now. The therapists are working hard (and so am I!) to try to improve mobility on my right side.
This morning I woke up and felt like there was a large rubber band around my chest, making it difficult to get a big breath in. I mentioned this to my nurse and this set off alarms for both her and the on call doctor. Chest tightness and/or pain is of course worry for issues with my heart. They noticed my heart was not functioning the way it should. My heart was pounding and felt like it was skipping beats. This went on for several hours and they tried a few different medications. Eventually they found one that knocked my heart back into a normal rhythm. Further testing showed I did actually have a mild heart attack so I will need to follow up with their cardiology team.
Boy, recovery is quite the roller coaster ride! The last week I was making great strides in improvement and recovery. Working hard with therapy and getting in as many walks in as I can. A couple of days ago I began to notice some pain in my lower right abdomen. And then at one point, the physical therapist was helping me to get to a standing position for a walk and I experienced a zinging sharp and sudden pain that knocked the wind out of me. They ordered an CT scan to figure out where the problem was. They found two very large hematomas in my abdomen that needed surgery right away. I don't know if any of you have ever had a hematoma but this is one of the most painful things I have ever experienced. Even anything touching the skin of my abdomen at the site of the hematoma was excruciatingly painful. Moving an inch hurt so badly it made me break into a sweat. I was relieved when they hooked me back up to the morphine drip, giving me more control over dosages and frequency. I am back in the ICU and feeling a little bit defeated and a whole lot of exhaustion. But my faith is strong and my warriors are rallying around me, lifting me up and making me want to fight even harder to recover and get home again.
GinnieMae KitzmillerOctober 23, 2020
#TeamMissy Transplant Warriors Update !!!
Good morning Warrior Team family and friends!!
I continue to be amazed each time Rochelle Blankenship sends me a new update from Gloria Smith. Miracles continue to happen, and our Melissa Smith is one incredible Strong Warrior Woman!
This morning, Missy got to wakeup in a regular hospital room! She graduated out of ICU last night to a regular room - with a WINDOW!
Mamma got word that there is a chance that Missy will be discharged from the hospital in as little as a WEEK to go to the Transplant House !!! Prayers that space opens up at the Transplant House when the time comes so we can get them comfortably situated for their [up to] three month stay.
Please keep sharing the Gofundme link, and thank you to everyone who is sharing, who has contributed, and for every prayer and love sent
I am about 2.5 weeks post transplant and have not gotten out of bed yet. Until today! With the assistance of a physical therapist and a cardiac walker I was able to get up and walk several yards. It felt great to get out of the bed but it was also very hard work and exhausting.
Mom is here as my cheerleader and has been a total rock star. They are talking about having her leave because they are tightening visitor restrictions due to Covid. We really don't want her to have to go anywhere so we are asking for an exception to their new policy since she has not stepped foot outside my hospital room since we checked in on the 4th.
I am being moved from ICU to the fifth floor, where I have more independence and the nurses back off of caring for me a little bit. This is a step in the right direction and a step closer to being able to go home.
I am still blown away with how amazing the staff here are and continue to build some strong bonds with my caretakers.
GinnieMae Kitzmiller is with Melissa Smith.
October 21, 2020
A LOT of really great things happening and prayers continue to be answered!
In the last couple of days, Melissa Smith has been eating solid food, she has been walking more and further distances, and as soon as a bed is available, she'll be moving out of ICU!!! She continues to get stronger in many ways And.... drum roll.... HER KIDNEY'S ARE WAKING UP!!! Whoooo!!!!!!
You guys - those prayers are sure workin'. Please keep 'em comin'!
A wonderful nurse brought her the sweetest gesture to have with her meal; a flameless candle! What a wonderful surprise to have! She went for a short walk down the hall today; please pray for relief from some discomfort she is having in her cute little feeties as she adjusts to more movement post surgery.
A cool factoid; Missy is the first double lung and liver transplant patient in the US since 2016! That one was done in Texas, and was #75! How amazing and cool is THAT!?
We thank you all SO much for the continued prayers and support! This process is a marathon; not a sprint, and we are truly in the beginning. There is an AWESOME fundraising opportunity that we are so excited to share!!!!
The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribal Council has generously offered a match dollar-for-dollar opportunity up to $2,000!!!! Every dollar you donate, they are donating a dollar! If we can raise $2,000, it will equal $4,000!
Please help us raise funds for Melissa Smith and her kiddo’s quickly with this AWESOME and GRACIOUS offer!
Donate now via GoFundMe: https://gf.me/u/y4nakj
I am feeling better every day! But today there is some concern about my kidney function. My body has gone through so much and my kidneys don't seem to want to wake up and function. I had an ultrasound and there is talk of possible dialysis if they don't want to work on their own in the very near future. So I have asked all of my prayer warriors to pray, pray, pray hard for my kidney function to return to normal.
#TeamMissy Transplant Warriors Update!!!!!
Good morning Warriors! I hope this Sunday brings you blessings and love ! God is good!
Today's Update gets a picture!!!
Melissa Smith has had some amazing milestones and progress this weekend !! She got to have broth, Popsicles, and juice !!!
Working with physical therapy, she was able to take baby steps up to about 9 feet!! She's getting stronger and closer to moving out of ICU!
Still working on getting those kidneys working 100%, so please keep praying those wakeup and start miraculously working. It's okay though, because they're able to help her filter and stay healthy.
Her liver and lungs are looking good !! And one of the coolest things ever . . . She got to THROW AWAY HER NASAL CANULA!! She has been tethered and dependent (thank you Oxygen for being there when her previous lungs needed you ) on 24 Oxygen for years, and now... GONE!!!!!
The tube you see in her nose is a feeding tube. Until she is able to eat enough food to supply all of her nutrients, the feeding tube is giving her ,her daily supply of calories and nutrients.
Enjoy this picture of our beautiful warrior smiling as she is tossing that tubing in the GARBAGE!!!! Praise the Lord!!!!
Every day seems incredibly busy. The time is flying by as they keep me busy with pop in visits from providers and tons of therapy. Today was an incredibly special day - I was allowed to have a glass of apple juice!!! All I have been able to think about is how delicious, sweet and refreshing apple juice will be and today they made that happen for me. Apple juice tasted like what I imagine a miracle would taste like!
I had speech therapy and they said my swallowing seems to be improving so that is one step closer to being able to eat real food. Currently I get all of my calories via a nasal feeding tube. Which is exactly how glamorous as you are imagining it to be. I also had another Covid-19 test today. These seem to be a fairly regular occurrence for me at this point and I am pleased every time it comes back as negative!
#TeamMissy Transplant Warriors UPDATE!!!
Another GREAT one that had me bawling my eyes out in sheer happiness and gratitude!!!
Woohooee!!!! Melissa Smith has been on 4 liters of O2 since they took her off the ventilator. For those who don't know, she had been on 15 liters of O2 at home with oxygen saturation in the 80s and low 90s before this Transplant. And that was with her sitting still and not moving.
They have removed the cannula ( the nasal oxygen tubes ) and her oxygen levels ON HER OWN is at 100%!!!!!!!!!
You guys, it has been at least 4 YEARS since she has had 100% oxygen saturation without needing supplemental oxygen!!!!!
Reports from Mamma Gloria Smith say:
"Many prayers of thanks to the individual who donated those beautiful lungs!!!! This is the first time in years she is only breathing oxygen that HER BODY PRODUCED. Tears of gratitude and appreciation.!"
The therapist is having her do breathing exercises and coughs to keep them nice and clear and she's doing amazing Rochelle Blankenship reports that mamma said Missy is *beaming*!!!!!
Thank you, Lord!!!