Cruisin with the Real"s

Cruisin with the Real"s
Joe and Nancy Grand Cayman 10-07

Loma Linda Medical Center

Loma Linda Medical Center
Where the magic happens........

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The wonderful people who are waiting for a liver at Loma Linda

Today was *support group Tuesday*.

Loma Linda University Medical Center has a wonderful and very active Transplant Center with many patients. Not only liver but kidney, kidney-pancreas, heart, bone marrow and stem cell research and transplant.

In our support group we meet strictly with liver or liver/kidney patients and there are quite a lot of us undergoing treatment in various stages, all very serious if not life threatening.

Today was a difficult day. Almost EVERYONE that was there today is dealing with very difficult symptoms of liver disease.

Encephalopathy, confusion,
Very Bloody Noses...(wake up with blood all over pillow)
Esophageal Varices
passing out,
insomnia, no sleep in 3 days,
total fatigue, can't stay awake
change in sleep patterns, sleep all day, awake all night,
Leg cramps, hand cramps with no relief,
severe itching,
heart problems,
pulmonary problems,
beginning kidney failure
weight gain,
weight loss,
relationship problems,
and liver cancer

I am serious! Every one of these was a problem someone was having today!

Lucky for us we also have some incredibly generous people who have been through all the symptoms,and fought through them to transplant, recover and a renewed life.................

THANK GOD FOR THEM! They give the rest of us so much hope. If we didn't have them to look at, watch them breathe, walk, share and live normal lives......Well we owe them a lot.

Today our post transplant volunteers who were in the meeting were post transplant 4, 9, 10 and 13 years..... They give up their day to show up for US. All this time past their transplants when I am sure they have better things to do and they come and give freely of their time.

They don't need us....

They do it because we need THEM! We need to look at the living hope and know that one day that could be us.

So, I want you to know that we appreciate you spending your time with us!!!!

We also appreciate the caregivers out there who are dealing with our issues and didn't sign up for it.....We don't say thank you enough...sooooooooooooo THANK YOU.

There are 2 others I would like to bring to attention for prayers...

Tim, who has been in the hospital for 4 months waiting for a liver. He is VERY ill and needs a liver yesterday.

David who received his new liver 2 weeks ago and is struggling. His liver is functioning well but his body is having a difficult time recovering. His new blog his family started is here.

I am not trying to be depressing just letting you know that across the country there are 19,000 people waiting for a liver. Most won't get one in time to save them and it is not a comfortable way to live or ...........

Please, if you so desire and haven't yet done it please go to donate life and register as an organ donor and encourage your circle of friends.. Then talk to your family to make sure they know what your wishes are. Right now they have final say. Donate Life America YOU NEED TO GO THERE EVEN IF YOU HAVE A PINK DOT ON YOUR LICENSE!

Read this below from their website:

Right now nearly 20,000 Californians wait for an organ transplant. That's 21 percent of the 94,000 people waiting across our country. Tragically, one third of them will die - waiting.

Until now, no Registry has existed for those of you who wished to give consent to be an organ and/or tissue donor. Historically, while signing a donor card and placing the pink dot on your license served as an important symbol of your intent, it did not place you on any list or Registry.

Now, Donate Life California allows you to express your commitment to becoming an organ, eye and tissue donor. The Registry guarantees your plans will be carried out when you die.

Since July 1st of 2006, individuals who renew or apply for a driver's license or ID with the DMV, now have the opportunity to also register their decision to be a donor in the Donate Life California Registry, and the pink "DONOR" dot symbol is pre-printed on the applicant's driver license or ID card.

You have the power to donate life - sign up today to become an organ and tissue donor. Your generosity can save up to eight lives through organ donation and enhance another 50 through tissue donation.

Tomorrow I am off to San Diego to the mandatory transplant class at Scripps in my effort to get a new liver sooner than later....

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