me, Mavis

I knit. I garden. I co-manage an eclectic shop. I sometimes work in real estate. I sometimes swing a hammer. I always volunteer in my community. I live in an old house with my nice family of one husband and three beastly cats. I have great friends. These are the things that matter to me, Mavis.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Two Ailing Friends

My mind was taken up with two friends today.

Heather

Although I stayed diligently glued to my cell phone all morning, of course the service went bad and the 12:32 p.m. call about Heather went to voice mail. The Transplant Coordinator at Washington Hospital Center, Julie, said that the surgery had gone well and she was in recovery. When I did get to speak with Julie just before 5 p.m., she said Heath was out of recovery and sleeping, while Geza was still in recovery. She said they were both doing well, the surgery had gone well, and that the transplanted kidney was functioning. She suggested that we might be able to telephone Heather tomorrow and that she would probably "go home in a few days."

I did a little research and found these startling facts from the National Kidney Foundation

  1. Over 89,000 U.S. patients are currently waiting for an organ transplant; nearly 4,000 new patients are added to the waiting list each month.
  2. Every day, 17 people die while waiting for a transplant of a vital organ, such as a heart, liver, kidney, pancreas, lung or bone marrow.
  3. Because of the lack of available donors in this country, 3,886 kidney patients, 1,811 liver patients, 457 heart patients and 483 lung patients died in 2004 while waiting for life-saving organ transplants.
  4. An estimated 12,000 people who die each year meet the criteria for organ donation, but less than half of that number become actual organ donors.
  5. By signing a Uniform Donor Card, an individual indicates his or her wish to be a donor. However, at the time of death, the person's next-of-kin will still be asked to sign a consent form for donation. It is important for people who wish to be organ and tissue donors to tell their family about this decision so that their wishes will be honored at the time of death. It is estimated that about 35 percent of potential donors never become donors because family members refuse to give consent.
  6. About 94.2 percent of the kidneys transplanted from cadavers (persons who died recently) are still functioning well at one year after surgery.
  7. The results are even better for kidneys transplanted from living donors. One year after surgery, 97.6 percent of these kidneys were still functioning well.

I still have so many questions about how far we should go with "playing God" but nevertheless, I have proudly displayed the DONOR mark on my driver's license for years. Fact No. 5 above brought me to a quick halt and made me decide I should revisit the DONOR thing again.

HEY DEAR HUSBAND! Please Pay Close Attention for a Minute! Kindly remember as my next of kin that anyone who wants anything once I'm done is welcome to it! THANKS!

Even if you think ahead and make these decisions, someone else can take it away when you are no longer able to speak for yourself. Sheesh!

Ailing Amigo Numero Dos, "The Q"

Despite the great comment left by GG on Friday, and continuing good signs on Saturday, Quincy saw a relapse yesterday. GG left him at home today with his Main Man. She said he was sleeping almost constantly, all snuggled up under his Buckaroo Blankie from Auntie Jenny. A late day report said he had asked to go for a walk, and did eat lunch. We hope he continues to mend.

Here's some scary factoids about his malady from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine

Canine influenza is a new, contagious respiratory disease that may mirror signs of kennel cough, including sneezing, coughing, and fever. It requires veterinary medical attention.

Nearly 100 percent of dogs that come in contact with the virus become infected, regardless of age or vaccination history.

Of those infected, 20 percent show no signs of disease.

Of the 80 percent that exhibit signs, two forms have been observed:

Mild infection. Symptoms include a low-grade fever, nasal discharge, and a persistent cough that could last up to three weeks.

Severe infection. Symptoms include a high fever, increased respiratory rates with difficulty breathing, and other indications of pneumonia.

Researchers have observed canine influenza to be fatal in fewer than 8 percent of infected patients.

Because this virus is new to dogs, most dogs will not have a natural immunity to the influenza.

An October 15 story in the Washington Times said:

A new canine influenza, or dog flu, is spreading steadily through the nation's dogs, and experts say there is no vaccine available to curb the virus that has killed young and otherwise healthy animals. "One-hundred percent of dogs will be susceptible," said Edward Dubovi, director of the animal virology lab at Cornell University. "I would expect to see this infection moving thorough groups of dogs until a large percentage gets infected and there are a lot of immune dogs."

That's enough heavy stuff for today.

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