As I said in my previous post, WE ARE HOME! We are all so excited to be home. It is good to sleep in our own beds, to cook in our own kitchen, and to be surrounded by those who bring us comfort.
Bethany’s liver numbers continue to improve! All her liver numbers (except one) are now normal. Her GGT (measures inflammation in the bile ducts) is still elevated, but it has dramatically improved from when Bethany was in rejection. Her GGT at that time was 1515. Today it is 126. Normal is 40 or less. The GGT takes the longest to normalize, so this consistent improvement is very encouraging.
Bethany continues to have bad headaches. We are not sure if this is due to her anti-rejection medication still being a little high or other factors. Two other possible causes are: me being sick, or the reduction of Bethany’s pain medications.
As I stated earlier, I’ve been fighting a respiratory infection really since before Christmas. Bethany started showing signs of being sick last Thursday. I’m taking her to the doctor later today.
One of the great improvements Bethany has made over the past two weeks is a reduction of her overall pain. Because of this we have been gradually weening her off of her various pain medications. We are hopeful that she will be off all pain medications (except for Tylenol) sometime this next month.
Any one of these issues (anti-rejection medication, respiratory/sinus infection, reduction of pain medications) could be the cause of Bethany’s headaches. We return to Atlanta for transplant clinic Wednesday, January 15th. Hopefully, we will get more clarity about these headaches then.
We are still very encouraged about Bethany’s overall progress. She has come such a long way from how sick she was prior to transplant, and she has made amazing recovery progress since her transplant. Everyone who sees Bethany is amazed at how good she looks, and she does look great!
Mostly now, we are all just trying to settle back into life. Angela returned to work for a couple of days before New Years, and then returned full-time on Monday, January 6th. The kids and I are starting to slowly dig out our homeschool materials. We were able to get a good start on school work last week, and hopefully will be up and running with a full schedule by weeks end.
I have said many times that thank you can never say enough for the encouragement, support, and prayers our family has received over this past year. But allow me to say it again, thank you, and please keep that support coming. Bethany is on the road to a healthier life, but she will continue to have many obstacles to overcome. Receiving a new liver means so many things to our family. Seeing Bethany healthy is still a new experience, one I hope to enjoy for many years.
Here are a few thoughtful ways that you can pray for us and Bethany:
- Pray that Bethany will not experience another episode of rejection. Her doctors tell us that at least 1/3 of all their patients experience at least one case of rejection the first year.
- Pray that Bethany’s head will stop hurting.
- Pray that we will get Bethany’s prograf dosage correct. The prograf could be the cause of Bethany’s headaches. Bethany is also experiencing tremors due to this medication. Please pray that she will adapt to the medication or that we can lower it so this side effect won’t be so prominent.
- Pray that both Bethany and I will recover from this respiratory infection. Please also pray that neither Jonathan nor Angela will become sick.
- Pray for all of us to readjust to being home. Laundry still needs to be done, bills still have to be paid, and school and work continue on.
- Pray for rest for all of us. We are starting to normalize some, but we all missed a lot of sleep while in Atlanta.
- Coming home has been wonderful, but as I mentioned above, life did not stop while we were gone. It’s hard to rest and catch up all at the same time. Both Angela and I can see a thousand things that need doing, but we know we can only tackle one task at a time. Please pray that we will be patient with ourselves as we try to bring order back to being home.
- Please pray for work and school. Angela has returned to work, and the kids and I have started working on school again. These are great ways to bring normalcy back to our lives, but with them also comes normal stress. Please pray these transitions will be smooth.
- Finally, give God praise and glory for the great things he has done. We are excited about Bethany’s recovery, but we are even more excited to know that Bethany’s liver is healed. Bethany will live and she will glorify God is in body. Join us as we glorify God too!
It is hard to comprehend that we are truly dealing with a new hope for a new year. Bethany has been healed, and we are all so excited to see what a new and healthy Bethany will be like. It’s been 11 years since her diagnoses. Eleven years of dealing with an unknown. Eleven years of managing hope and expectations. Now we all have a new adventure, journey, and road to travel.
Thank you for traveling this road with us. Please keep us close in your prayers as you will remain in ours. I will continue to post updates of Bethany’s progress. Prayerfully, these will be updates with great news.
We love each of you, and we give God great glory for all He has done!
In His Grace,
Taylor, Angela, Bethany, and Jonathan