Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Walk Outside & Good News About Chris!

David woke up this morning in more pain than previous days, but after getting a dose of pain medication (good ol' oxycodone), he was feeling better. We ate breakfast and finished watching a movie, and then decided it was time for him to stand up and walk around a bit. After days of cabin fever, David decided he was feeling up for a short walk outside. It's a cold but sunny day, so we bundled up and went for a leisurely stroll.

Once we got back, we sat outside for a while and just chatted. Since Thursday morning, David had only been outside for the ride home Saturday. It was nice to soak in the sun and breathe in fresh air.

Back inside the house, Katie's mom was on the phone with Katie at the hospital. She got off and shared with us the good news. Chris is coming home today! That's right. A huge answered prayer. After the morning blood work, they said Chris' creatinine level was down to a 1.8 (from a 2.5). This was what we were praying for! They had intended to do a biopsy today after yesterday's ultrasound was clear, but the improved blood work allowed them to cancel the biopsy.

Please keep praying for Chris' creatinine level. It needs to stay low, as that shows that the kidney is functioning optimally. There is always the possibility that even if the kidney is accepted in his body, that the kidney disease could return to the new kidney. So right now, we have 3 prayer requests for Chris: 1) a low creatinine level, 2) the kidney to be accepted, and 3) that the new kidney from David stays healthy and does not get the disease.

Thanks for everyone's prayers. I can feel them working and know that it is because of these prayers that we have seen an immediate improvement in Chris today!

Pics from the walk:



Monday, April 28, 2008

Update on Chris

Chris has had a few tests today that weren't as positive regarding kidney function, and they have him back on some IV meds. Please keep praying. He still hopes to get discharged in the next 24-48 hours, but we'll update when that happens and we know more.

Thank You from David!

We wanted to record a message from David for everyone to view.


video


(P.S. The snow is gone and the sun has peeked through in Minnesota!)

A Pink Treat...

Deric and the basketball guys sent David a pink princess bear to help him feel better...

Thought everyone might enjoy seeing it. Pictured here is also a train blanket his mom brought him in the hospital that was one of his favorites growing up!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday Update

Sunday started rough -- I spilled David's first dose of pain medication (red liquid oxycodone) on the light carpeted floor just moments after I woke up. Not the best opening move, but since then, the day has gotten much better. (Thanks to tricks I learned from Shawnea years ago, a little hot water and patience can get up any stain. The carpet is fine!)

Today has been a pretty good second day "at home" for David. He got a lot more rest taking naps on and off yesterday after his hospital discharge. He also continued to eat more regular foods, and both of those things have helped his energy level.

He's been getting up for regular "walks" where he will take laps back and forth across the upstairs to Chris and Katie's house. This exercise is a big part of the healing process, and he seems to be doing well today. Although still in pain, he has been able to keep it mostly tolerable with the pain medication.

We did hear from Chris today, and his latest round of blood work was not as good as the doctors had hoped, so they will be likely keeping him longer. The day after the surgery they said he might come home Monday, but now it looks like at least Tuesday if not later. Please continue to pray for him, and for the kidney to keep taking.

Thanks to all who have called and e-mailed. I know David is trying to return calls and emails as his energy allows.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Keep Checking Back!

Thanks to all who have been praying. Since David is now out of the hospital, I will continue updating via blog instead of filling everyone's inbox daily.

Check back here for updates on David's progress (and his brother Chris)!!!

David's Kidney Donation - Pics

Pics from Today:

David & Chris (a few minutes before David was discharged)
















The hospital's entrance -- you can barely see the snow in this pic, but it's there!

David's Kidney Donation Update 5

Chinn Kidney Donation Update: Installment V

Let it Snow:

Yup, we woke up this morning to snow in Minneapolis. After two straight days of rain, the temperature dropped and it snowed. With the snow, though, comes great news.
Today was discharge day!

Temporary Home Sweet Home:

That's right, here we are, back at Chris and Katie's house. David was released from the hospital this morning and after another night without sleep, he is comfortably snoozing beside me in a recliner. He was released this morning before lunch, and Heather Dull picked us up and drove us back to Chris and Katie's. After getting stuck in bumper-to-bumper, stop-and-go accident traffic, we finally made it back around the middle of the day. David took a shower and got some fresh clothes on, digested his latest dose of pain killer, and then settled in to finally take a nap. Although he is still in some pain, he has finally regained some appetite back and enjoyed a muffin on the way home.

Since David is out of the hospital now, and since I have filled up your inboxes just about every day this week, I have decided to switch over to blogging updates from now on. If you are interested in following David's progress from here (and that of his brother Chris), please check this website: http://wechinn.blogspot.com/

We truly are grateful for everything you all have done, from praying to emailing, calling, sending packages, and providing resources for us, we love you all.

The Next Steps:

David's next appointment is on Thursday at the Kidney Transplant Clinic at the hospital, and assuming all looks good, we will fly home on Friday (May 2). We met one of the surgeons this morning on our way out of the hospital (the one who actual closed up David after the removal), and she said both David and Chris looked great and she also said that David's kidney was doing really well in Chris and that it was a very healthy kidney. That is such encouraging news, and we pray that the kidney continues to take in Chris's body.

Stay in Touch:

Again, if you want updates, check the blog site, as I will try to update daily. Also, I have uploaded a few pics from today, including a picture of David and Chris this morning as David was discharged.

Love and blessings,
-wendy

David's Kidney Donation Update 4

Chinn Kidney Donation Update: Installment IV

Friday was a long day at the hospital, as both David and Chris continued to recover. David had a rough night last night and was in a good deal of pain today. This was supposed to be the hardest day for him, so let's hope it was, because it was indeed hard. He did manage to make progress and had taken 6 walks by the end of the day. He also ate a few solids late this evening, so that was definite progress. If he can keep progressing, he could be released tomorrow afternoon.

Chris is also doing well, and the kidney is working strong so far. He's on track to be released early, although had a few setbacks today with blood sugar levels. He was up and moving much more than David, and that is apparently the norm with kidney donations. The donor usually is in more pain at the beginning than the recipient.

Continue to pray for a smooth recovery for both, and that their bodies would continue to heal and adjust. Pray for sleep and rest for both of them, too, as that has been sparse.

I'll update on David's discharge status once we know it.

Thanks everyone!
Much Love,
-wendy

David's Kidney Donation Update 3

Chinn Kidney Donation Update: Installment III

Thanks to all who have been praying today. The entire clan up here is so very appreciative. Praise God! David and Chris both made it through surgery smoothly. I spoke to one of the surgeon's afterwards and he told me the kidney looked healthy and strong, and in fact it started working immediately in Chris. So let's keep praying that continues!

David was in the recovery room for about 3 hours post-surgery, and was finally put in a regular room around 1:00pm. That's when I was able to see him for the first time. He was still groggy and in pain (of course), but he looked good and had his typical quick-witted humor going with the nurses assisting him. That and his sarcasm let me know he was coherent enough to understand what was happening. He also came out of the recovery room asking for a steak sandwich. That's my David! :)

Chris was finally put in a room around 3:00pm, and he looks good as well. He is in a room alone (David has a roommate) because Chris is at the highest risk of infection. So far, so good, though.

We really appreciate all of you and your thoughts and prayers. I really felt at peace the whole morning knowing so many people were keeping us lifted up in thoughts and prayers. Your love, e-mails, phone calls, and even surprise visits mean so much! (Yes, we had one surprise visitor--thanks Heather!)

I'll update again sometime tomorrow... keep praying for pain management, healing, and that the kidney keeps working in David.

Love you all,
-wendy

David's Kidney Donation - Quick Update

Just got a call from the Operating Room (10:43 central time). They have the kidney out of David and are about to put it in Chris.
According to the surgeon, everything has gone smooth with David. Let's keep praying. Thanks!

More updates to come later...
-wendy

David's Kidney Donation Update 2

Chinn Kidney Donation Update: Installment II

Hello friends and family! Just one more day until the big day. I thought it was a good time to send out a second update.

After a few short delays on both legs of our flight, we arrived in Minnesota around midnight Monday (1:00am out time!) and promptly came back to Chris and Katie's and watched Sportscenter for a little until we could fall asleep. As tired as we were, we both had a lot of adrenaline at that point.

Thanks to Terri for driving us to the airport on Monday. On our way, we saw the most fabulous rainbow I've ever seen. No lie. It was beautiful. The purple and red were both so distinct... it was amazing. (The pic was taken with Jeanette's old cell phone which I'm currently using... not too bad.)

Seeing the rainbow for both David and I provided us a good sense of peace as it was an obvious reminder that God was with us.

Yesterday's Pre-op:

Early Tuesday was spent doing show and tell, as we got to go to the dialysis clinic and see where Chris has spent most of his time the past few years. We also went by Chris' office (he supervises a bank) and met his co-workers. Everyone wanted to meet the donor, so David was the subject of numerous "show and tell" conversations, and for those of you who know him, you can imagine he didn't like being the center of attention. :)

We spent the rest of Tuesday meeting people and doing two pre-op sessions. One was at the hospital, which is where David had a physical and some blood drawn, we met one of the surgeons, and we had a chance to ask questions and learn the specifics of what will be done, when we need to arrive, where to go, etc. This took about 3.5 hours.

We then hustled over to the University of Minnesota where David had his second pre-op, which was the first installment of a kidney study he volunteered to take part in. During this time, he gave more blood and had some measurements taken, and then he had to wait 2 hours. At that point, they drew blood every 30 minutes for 2 hours. I worked on my last school paper while he watched TV and completed the surveys that were part of the study.

After being there about 4.5 hours, everything was finished up and we finally headed to dinner (at 7:30 pm). We were both really hungry as we had only had one prior meal all day. Several of the nurses who work at the dialysis clinic Chris has attended the past few years made a big turkey dinner for all of us. We went and ate and enjoyed the meal and meeting some folks before returning home around 9:30 in time for me to submit my paper by midnight EST. What a long day!

Today and Tomorrow:

We pick my mom up this morning at the airport, then will kill some time at the Mall of America while Katie is at work and Chris completes his last (prayerfully) dialysis. We'll then all go out to dinner before settling in for the night. Both guys have to take laxatives and the earlier they start, the better!

Tomorrow, we have to wake up early, as we need to leave for the hospital at 5:00 am.

David will go into surgery first, and they expect to actually start the procedure at 7:30 am. (That's 8:30 for all you east coast folks!)
Once he's in and under way, they will start Chris' surgery. They expect both boys to be in recovery by 11:00 am.

I will send out an update sometime tomorrow. Thanks so much for all your prayers and support. We love you all and appreciate you so much.

Blessings,
-wendy

David's Kidney Donation Update 1

Chinn Kidney Donation Update: Installment I

A number of folks have asked me to keep them "up to date" on David's kidney donation, scheduled for next Thursday, April 24.

Therefore, I thought I would set up an email group to send updates to, and please feel free to forward on this to others.

Basic details of our travels & surgery date:
Several of you have asked me for details on where you can send things while we are gone, and what our schedule is.

First, we are leaving Monday evening (April 21) to fly to Minneapolis, where David's oldest brother Chris lives. That is where the surgery will take place, at Hennepin County Medical Center in downtown Minneapolis. Tuesday will include pre-op stuff most of the day, and Wednesday is an "off-day" before the big day on Thursday.

David will be in the hospital from Thursday, April 24 (surgery day) until likely Saturday, April 26. He then will hopefully be released and we will spend the next several days at Chris and Katie's house in the suburbs. David will be checked out by doctors on Thursday, May 1, and if everything goes as planned, our return flight is set for early Friday, May 2. (This gets us home in time for my graduation at Radford on Saturday, May 3).

Here are the two addresses some of you may be interested in:


HOSPITAL MAILING ADDRESS: Hennepin County Medical Center, 701 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415
HOSPITAL PHONE: HCMC General Information Phone: (612) 873-3000

***it may be best to call the general info line and check the address before sending something. this is the address listed on their website, but it doesn't say anything about sending anything to patients...i'm not sure if that is possible?***

DAVID'S BROTHER'S ADDRESS:
David Chinn
c/o Chris & Katie Chinn
8097 Jeffery Ave S
Cottage
Grove
, MN 55016-4942

If you are unsure of when something might arrive that you might choose to send, I would suggest using Chris and Katie's mailing address, since we know that we will be there throughout the stay.

Meals in Blacksburg
Some of you have also asked about how you can help provide meals in Blacksburg that first week we're back. I am leaving the coordinating of this up to our dear friend Jeanette Staats, and she can be e-mailed at this address if you are interested: staats.jeanette@gmail.com.

Thanks to those who already have "chipped in" by giving us some gift cards to use the two weeks while we're in Minnesota.

Thanks for everyone's concern and care shown to us. Also, thanks for the prayers and generosity shown so far. We are humbled by the love and care our friends and family have shown to this point. Pray for safe travels on Monday, and I'll send out another update once we're there. Also, if you would like to reach us, feel free to call my cell phone on the trip: 540-449-9852, or after the first few days, you can call David directly at 540-449-9853.

Blessings,
-Wendy