Thursday, July 5, 2012

How is Josh??

Since I get asked this question a whole lot, I guess I better get around to answering it. So, how is ole Josh?

Here is the long and short answer.

Physically, Josh is still in a lot of pain. The funny thing is that most of the pain is coming from his hip. Seriously. He has complained from the moment that he woke up about his hip hurting. Initially, we were told it was from the extended amount of time that he spent laying on his right side during the surgery. However, doctors are starting to doubt this little theory and have decided that he will likely be getting some follow up testing on Tuesday when he goes in for his post op follow up appointment. He is still taking pain medications every 6 hours around the clock. He says that he can really tell if he is late with a dose. He will wake up in the middle of the night and know that it is time for medication. This may be more about Josh than anyone ever wanted to know, but at least it isn't accompanied by a picture this time. Josh is a really hair guy. His tummy got shaved for the surgery. Now it is starting to grow back...Josh is a very itchy dude right now ;)

Emotionally, Josh is doing well. He gets frustrated that he physically isn't able to do things that were once very easy for him- like lift a full gallon of milk. The social worker in me keeps looking for the emotions that are supposed to come with living organ donation to show up. So, I will tell you what I have observed with Josh. It is basically this...he seems to feel very paternal and protective toward Maggie. He worries about her a great deal. He asks me every time he wakes up if I have heard anything about Maggie. Laura, Maggie's Mom, is awesome about letting us know about what is going on with Maggie. That makes him very, very happy ;). He also says, that he feels this very intense urge to see to it that Maggie feels better. He is her knight in shining armor.

He seems to be handling it all very well. Every single day, he gets cards and well wishes (many from strangers) in the mail. They mean a lot to him. They are very encouraging. I think his favorite was addressed to "Josh, kidney donor" from a 9 year old girl named Apryl. It was so adorable. Thank you so much for all of your prayers, cards, well wishes, meals and encouraging words. You guys are amazing! You are all heros in our eyes.

It is funny how it takes about a week to go from this....

To this......

He will keep healing. He will keep getting stronger.  And eventually, this will just go into our book of wild, crazy adventures as one of the best trips yet!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Be Courageous...Choose Love

" You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it."- We Bought a Zoo

For Josh, that twenty seconds occured the day he chose to fill out the form just to see if he would be a candidate to give Sweet Maggie her kidney. Honestly, it took him about 20 seconds, maybe less, to say, "let's do this" when I asked him if he wanted to give it a try.

Fast forward a couple of months, close to 50 vials of blood, several needle sticks, many doctors appointments and a major surgery and here we are today. Josh is downstairs recovering. Still in a lot of pain, but so happy that Jaggie is doing it's job in sweet little Maggie.

He says he doesn't feel different, but I think he means that he can't tell that his kidney isn't there. How in the world could you possibly not feel different when a week ago you walked into a hospital Josh Graham, ok dude and several hours later, your kidney was working beautifully in a sweet baby giving her a second chance at a normal life?

Obviously, he is still in a lot of physical pain. We knew that was par for the course when we signed him up for this great big adventure. Our boys are having a hard time with the schedule change. They aren't used to Daddy not being able to do things with/for them. They aren't used to him being at home all the time. They weren't used to him being away for a week. That is the longest Biscuit has been away from us in his entire life.

Is it worth it??? Yes.

Would he do it again- knowing then, what he knows now??? In a heart beat.

This was an amazing experience. Sitting in that waiting room. Surrounded by people wearing their Maggie shirts, knowing that they were there for one common goal, was an amazing, awe inspiring experience. Too many times people focus their attention and energy on a cause out of hate. They hate something so they want to block it, stop it or protest it. Sometimes, they know it is a lost cause, but they choose to spend their resources hating it anyway. Rarely, is that attention paid to something out of love.

On June 25th, I witnessed love. I saw love for that little girl in its truest, most pure form. Love like that is rarely seen. It is like a lunar eclipse (how many of you are about to google the number of lunar eclipses per year...fess up.)

So, be courageous. Choose love. It sounds all soft and sugary sweet, but it is true. I know that it is a whole lot easier said that done, but,  I promise, it won't hurt you to try.

Oh and just in case you missed it... or didn't know it existed. Here is the link to their latest news coverage.