Waiting

Change takes time and dedication.   

 Waiting is our least favorite activity.  Heading out to a restaurant?  Call ahead seating can solve this wait. We do our best to schedule doctor’s appointments early morning or late afternoon which usually means less chance of waiting.    But waiting for this kidney transplant is teaching me a lesson.

 When MyFishGuy went onto the active Transplant List last April, he was so very sick.  He couldn’t walk unless he held onto something or someone.  He had lost muscle strength and use of his left arm and leg.  His blood pressure showed numbers I have never imagined on top and bottom of that pesky monitor.  His mind and memory were clouded by the build-up of toxin levels in his body from the failure of the kidneys.  His body was literally poisoning itself.  Before the month-long stay in the hospital, I hadn’t expected him to live to see his birthday in May. 

 Once MyFishGuy started on dialysis, things changed. 

 Change takes time and dedication.  In case you don’t know anything about dialysis, here’s what you need to know…it sucks.  Literally and figuratively.  At-home dialysis takes over your life and your home.  We have over 60 large and heavy boxes of supplies delivered each month.  Exceptional care and cleaning is needed around the dialysis machine area which sits beside our bed.  MyFishGuy starts his dialysis routine each day by 4:00 pm and physically connects to the machine no later than 8:00 pm.  This enables him to disconnect by 7:30 or 8:00 the next morning.  He is connected via a tube and can only roam 20 feet from this life-sustaining machine.  Over ten 2 liter bottles of fluid travel into and out of his body every night – taking over and doing the job of his kidneys. We set up the Man Cave (which I affectionately now call the Med Cave) so that we can sit together and watch television in the evenings. We are grateful that the dialysis treatment is working to keep him alive and functioning at a better level.  His doctors and nurses have made all the difference. 

 Change takes time and dedication.  The fabulous doctors and staff at Balance for Wellness worked diligently to help him build up the muscles in his arm and shoulder to regain the use of his arm.  Next, they worked on his balance and leg strength.  When MyFishGuy began physical therapy, I had to walk alongside him to steady his trek up the stairs, opening the doors for him.  Now, I barely slow down the car and he’s jumping out ready to head into the facility.  If you think a year of physical therapy is a long time, come talk to me as I believe they continue to work miracles.  MyFishGuy is a work in progress and he’s headed in the right direction!

 Change takes time and dedication.  Why all these changes?  I’m believing each of the changes that occurred over the last year have a purpose. Each obstacle we’ve faced has given us the opportunity to give all the glory to God.  Every person that asks me how I know that MyFishGuy will be healed has received the same answer.  Healing comes one of three ways – immediately, eventually, or ultimately in heaven.  We trust that God’s plan and his perfect timing are for his glory alone. 

 MyFishGuy is loving life and feeling so much better.  He brought out his fishing poles this week.  He’s thinking about driving again.  He wants to make plans, go places and do things.  Things that would not have been possible without the time and dedication of the last year. 

Change takes time and dedication.  Why is he still waiting for this kidney transplant?  We don’t know.  Maybe so that his body could be healed in some many other distinct ways? We know that every day that goes by, brings us one day closer to the new life that a transplanted kidney will bring to MyFishGuy.

 Change takes time and dedication.  April is National Donate Life Month.  Are you registered as an organ donor?  Does your family know?  Please let your loved ones know your intentions to give life to another when the time comes.  None of us get out of here alive.  As the bumper sticker says:  Don’t take your organs to heaven…heaven knows we need them here.  So, please, Share Your Spare!

Donate here…

 

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I have a Caterer?

 

I have a Caterer.  These might just be the strangest words I’ve ever typed.  Why is this so strange?  I love to cook.  Feeding folks with comfort food is my love language.  Have you ever been to my home?  There is no doubt that you were fed no matter when you arrived or how long you stayed.  Did you bring kids with you?  They left with a snack bag for the car ride home.  Just in case you were taking the long way home. 

 

I have a Caterer.  It’s my favorite local deli where comfort food abounds.  You need a caterer for an outdoor wedding?  Call these folks.  Taking 100 women to an overnight conference in Pittsburgh?  They’ll do Friday night’s dinner as well as lunch on Saturday.  Breakfast or lunch for two?  Stop in and eat.  And take home a goodie bag for later.  Hosting a luncheon?  No problem.  Friends over for dinner?  Chicken Parm to go. 

 

I have a Caterer.  Makes me think about that scene from the movie First Wives Club.  Shelley (Sara Jessica Parker) has been invited to lunch with the scene-stealing Gunilla Garson Goldberg (Maggie Smith). Dangling that business card back and forth with Shelley almost begging for it! It was for a to-die for designer, but you get the picture.  It’s a must if you want to be somebody!

 

 I don’t want to be somebody.  I already am somebody!  I’m choosing to spend my time and energy doing the things that need to be done at this stage in my life.  Loving MyFishGuy and raising funds through National Foundation for TransplantsAs we get closer and closer to MyFishGuy receiving a kidney transplant, I’m focused in the proper place.  So, if you are coming over?  I’ll still feed you.  It’s just likely that I will have called my Caterer first.  Give them a call. Sciullo’s 910 Deli  – ask for Mark.  Tell him MrsFishGuy sent you! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Benefit Concert?

Of course!  Music is MyFishGuy’s love language.  He’s always singing some random lyrics from a song I’ve never heard before.  Feeling happy?  Music.  Feeling sad?  Music.  In the car?  Music.  Working on a project?  Music.  Placido Domingo to Zac Brown Band.  Gaither to Third Day.  So it is only natural that Music plays a part in our FUNraising events.

We are so excited to host Randy Stonehill – 2010 Christian Music Hall of Fame Inductee – at a concert to benefit National Foundation for Transplants to assist with Bill’s transplant expenses.

The concert is set for Saturday, January 28, 2017, at Bakerstown United Methodist Church in Gibsonia.  Three levels of tickets are available.  The VIP Treatment ticket is exactly what you would expect from MrsFishGuy.  If you have traveled with me to one of the many events over the past 10 years, you know that VIP is always over the top and filled with surprises!

VIP starts at 4:30 pm with reserved parking, Meet & Greet with Randy & Leslie Stonehill, Dinner and then preferred seating for the Concert.  Pre-show Dinner Tickets include Dinner and a General Admission Ticket. Dinner?  Yes, a delicious dinner served in Fellowship Hall before the Concert.

Tickets are available from iTickets or email mrsfishguy@gmail.com

Purchase your tickets now – what a great Christmas present for someone you love!

 

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TeamFishGuy? MrsFishGuy?

TeamFishGuy?  MyFishGuy?  MrsFishGuy?

What the heck is that all about?  Who is MyFishGuy and the Mrs?

Let’s begin at the beginning – my husband has always had a fish tank.  He was referred to as ‘the fish guy’ in the fish department at the pet store.  Got a fish question?  Go ask ‘the fish guy’ they would say.  What started as a hobby quickly turned into a career.  He set up and maintained aquariums for people and businesses in the New England area as The FishGuy.

In 2004, when he relocated to Pittsburgh to marry me, that name was already taken in the PA business registry.  So, he changed it to MyFishGuy. I became MrsFishGuy on December 11, 2004, at 6:00 in the evening.  The most beautiful day of my life – but that’s a story for another day.

MyFishGuy crafted amazing aquariums with care and concern for each one.  His client list was as diverse as the tanks he created.  From a top doctor to a rough around the edges bar owner.  From a work-at-home Mom to a rarely home business owner.

Fish, he often said, rarely talked back to you.  If they do, the advice given to many has been – swim down…go find Nemo!  The first rule of fish:  Fish die.  He’d always caution folks not to name their fish.  Because of Rule #1.  Fish don’t live as long as kids would like.  Fish live too long according to a parent whose child brought home that goldfish from the summer carnival.

When MyFishGuy got sick in 2014, driving became very difficult. He had to retire  his Fish business because he just couldn’t ask folks to bring their tanks to him.  It’s a good thing he still has two tanks at home and one at my office.

One of the first things the Transplant Team told us to do was to start fundraising for MyFishGuy’s future kidney transplant.  We’d need $35,000 to cover expenses for the first year after transplant.  Seriously?  Okay, then.  We need a team to do this and TeamFishGuy was born.  This Team is filled with relatives near and far.  Old friends and newly made friends.  All joining together to support TeamFishGuy.  We are so blessed.

TeamFishGuy transplant fund

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TeamFishGuy Benefit

It’s hard to believe that the Fall Craft & Vendor Show is now only two weeks away! Saturday, October 15

9 am to 2 pm at

Hampton Fire Department #1

Route 8 & Duncan Avenue in Allison Park.

We have over 20 crafters and vendors including the new hot LuLaRoe, Amway, Pampered Chef, Pink Zebra, StickmanSticks, Jewelry by Janine, Garden Jazalles, Djazz Designs, LilSumthing, Meredith’s Handmade Gifts & On Creative Wings.  Plus many others!

  • Donny B’s BBQ Food Truck will be there with amazing BBQ and more.
  • Pumpkins from Harvest Valley Farms
  • Jefferson Glass Company – Custom Glass Art
  • Kids activities
  • Bake Sale
  • Raffles

Come out to support TeamFishGuy and National Foundation for Transplants.

 

 

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Daily Prompt: Unfinished

Because we had nothing better to do this summer, we moved.  Not us, actually. But 3 moves in 45 days.  Oldest son came back from the city by the Lake.  It’s about time.  Over 10 years ago, we sent him off to college and he ended up staying there after graduation.  It was less than a two hour drive, but it wasn’t local enough for this Momma.  Oldest had just settled into a nice apartment when Middle announced they bought a townhouse!  Save those boxes and get ready for Move #2.

Just before Labor Day, Pap ended up in the hospital.  He’s very fine now, thanks for asking!  But, the experience and the uncertainty created anxiety on the 3 Sibs.  Family intervention time.  Now that was fun.  Another nice apartment was found.  Complete with security and one level living.  No more snow shoveling.  No more grass cutting.  No more repairs. Boxes, anyone?  Middle and Wife hadn’t even had time to unpack theirs yet.  Let’s go through a 2 bedroom home, two levels and take just enough to fill a one bedroom apartment.  I’m still unsure if everyone’s blood pressure is back to normal.  Who am I kidding?  It is not.  The closet space.  The internet.  The television.  The freezer. The pictures.  The memories.   All things that are still being worked out.  Maybe by next month.

So, if you are sending a holiday card to anyone in my family, double check the address before dropping it in the box at the Post Office!

 

via Daily Prompt: Unfinished

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Switching Sides

Think about your favorite sports team. Now, think about their biggest rival. As a Pittsburgher, the Steelers and Bengals come to mind. Even when I lived in Ohio I never ever brought myself to cheer for the Cleveland or Cincinnati teams. How about Pitt and Penn State? I know that many Pennsylvania family dinners have come to blows over this rivalry.
It’s all about choosing sides. Which side do you side with? Which side are you on? These are all very important questions that have very important answers. We are about to switch sides in our home. Bed sides. As in changing which side of the bed we sleep on each night.
When we were married 11 years ago, we chose sides so that I was the first line of defense against three teens in our home. We’ve made a short term switch before when My FishGuy had his knee replaced. Two weeks and we couldn’t wait to be back on the correct side of the bed.
My FishGuy’s new handy dandy overnight dialysis machine must go over on that side of the room. No problem. Plenty of room over there. With My FishGuy attached to it. Problem. The machine arrives on Friday. We’ve known this switch was coming for over two months. We’ve talked about it and planned it. It’s been on The List for weeks. We just can’t do it. Two nightstands. Two sides of the headboard. A clock. All these things can be moved with a small bit of effort. It’s me that worries me. I’m hoping we survive.

Update: The Switch has happened and we survived. It’s not comfortable yet and definitely not second nature. I go to the wrong side most evenings. When I’m looking for my nail file or polish, I walk past my new side and head for the old side only to come back around.

That handy dandy overnight dialysis machine? It’s not quite as friendly as we hoped. We are on the second machine, the second programmed card and many nights of lost sleep. It’s like having 2 am feedings each hour. It has an obnoxious alarm that goes off every 70-90 minutes throughout the 8 hour treatment. We are hoping and praying this gets better, much better. And soon!

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