Kidney Donation: Organ donor matching

Wondered how they do organ donor matching? Article here in plain English.


Pics from our Omaha weekend

sweet baby
My hands are SOOOO interesting.

sweet baby

sweet baby
look at those baby feet!

sweet baby

Genna held his hand to help him go to sleep.

The Bigs loved swimming in the hotel pool. Teddy couldn’t get in due to his new PD cath (once it heals, he CAN go in a swimming pool, and he can shower off afterwards.)


Team Teddybear shirts

I am placing an order for some Tshirts. They will have an image of a Kidney and the words Team Teddybear.

I originally was making them for people who are walking with us in the Kidney Walk (see link to right), but anyone can buy one. I’m getting ready to put the order in tomorrow. Right now, the prices are: $10 for kids and $12 for adults, but the price will drop a bit more if we get enough more shirts. That price includes a small markup (about $1.50), which will go into the Teddybear Transplant fund (and will be routed through COTA once we get that going).

I am ordering both Men’s shirts and Ladies’ shirts, so please tell me which one you want and what size. (The ladies shirts are a more feminine cut but a bit shorter than the mens shirts, which are the typical boxy Tshirt shape.) The shirts are Gildan brand, Kiwi color, 6.1 oz 100% cotton. We could go with a thinner cotton and save about $1.50 per shirt, but the heavier weight is worth the expense in my opinion. The 4.5 oz cottons tend to fall apart pretty quickly.

Please just respond here or email me if you want one. Obviously, if you need me to mail them to you, there will also be postage costs.

The Blood Pressure Machine


So this is our blood pressure machine. It’s about the size of, hmmm, a medium flat rate box from the USPS. Much heavier, though. We take Teddy’s blood pressure every morning, and when I say “we,” I mean, of course, me. I try to do it while he’s asleep, but that’s not always possible. In his old age, he’s starting to get accustomed to the blood pressure machine and is usually calm for it as long as it gets it on the first try. He has no patience for 2-3 attempts.


So, when we were discharged a week ago, Dr. Jetton said that she would see us for our regular clinic appointment and we’d reassess. I tried to pretend I hadn’t heard her.

Wednesday, at our regular clinic appt, everything looked OK. He had gained a bit of weight, not much, but some. His hemoglobin was 8.4 or something, which is atrocious, but it’s up. But his BUN was 77. That’s pretty high, and the general cutoff for dialysis in our clinic is 70. Yeah.

There was a lot of hemming and hawing and worried looking around, but after I pointed out Wally’s birthday is Sunday, we ultimately decided to take a sort of Band-Aid approach. We upped his intake more, and cut out his supplemental protein. (BUN is a byproduct of breaking down protein. You can lower it by essentially diluting it with more liquid, and you can lower it by restricting protein.) The goal is to keep him healthy enough to last another week so we get past Wally’s birthday.

The original plan was to just plan on an admit next Wednesday and get started. In the PICU. (I’m not going to lie, I’m nervous about the PICU. First, it seems like a very sad place. Second, it’s all new nurses, new routines, new rules, new procedures. I am comfortable on the peds floor, and I’m at least quite familiar with the NICU. PICU is all new.) But I emailed Dr. Jetton last night and asked if she thought it would be reasonable to reassess first again, rather than just automatically admit. If his BUN remains high, despite our efforts, then we will know (I will know) for certain that it’s his kidney finally crapping out.

But if his BUN is lowered, then I’m going to wonder if the problem is just that he’s on an inadequate amount of fluid intake and he was actually just dehydrated. So if his BUN is lower, we will try more fluid and adding the protein back in and giving it another week.  Sigh. We’ll see.

New Feeding Pump


So we’re still waiting for the backpack carrier that goes with this pump, but in the meantime, here is our new feeding pump. It’s about the size of my hand. I like this pump’s small size, but I must confess, I like the simplicity of the dial on the old one:

The picture of the new pump above shows it on our IV pole, which is where it lives when I’m sleeping in the other bedroom. When I’m back in with everyone else (which I am now), it rests on the nightstand, and the bag hangs from the window latch.