Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Weds, Dec 31

Good afternoon everyone!
Darrell's text this morning to me said April had a good night, and they are going to remove the balloon catheter today, and start weaning her off the vent. She's rockin the recovery, but we still must pray pray pray!
Have a wonderful last day of 2008, and let's see what 2009 bring us! :)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

hmmm...I'm not sure what I'm thinking...

So I've been on the phone with Trever and folks, telling them what Darrell's email said. It's awesome news. April is incrementally improving. I'm thinking about my pleading/begging for prayers, but I realized a minute ago that maybe I need to break it down (for me to focus) and while still praying for total restoration, offer some specifics as well. So here's my feeble attempt:
1. For April's body to accept this new heart, and rest tonight.
2. For Darrell. The man is beyond exhausted, hasn't slept in a bed in over three weeks, hasn't slept a full night in 3 weeks, is living off cafeteria food, and is having to make decisions that none of us can imagine daily. Pray he's refreshed physically and mentally tonight. Pray for peace and wisdom too, as he makes decisions re: finances, job, the day to day life that goes on in the midst of the storm.
3. For Jean. April's mom is much like Darrell at this point. Though she's spending each night at April's house, I'm sure she's not resting.
4. For Grace. She's two, and while I think she's taking this all better than the rest of us because she doesn't understand the complexity and scariness, she needs her mommy.
5. For the medical community at Duke. They need wisdom and energy to help Pokey through this.
Ok....that's a good start. Thanks to each of you. I know I'm encouraged by your notes/emails/phone calls, and I've shared them with April and Darrell too and they are appreciative. It's hard to return all the calls/emails, but please know they are heard.

ahhhh....finally got an update....

Hey Everyone,
Here's an email I just got from Darrell.

I lost my power cord and ran out of charge. They closed April up today and thus far
(approx 3 hours after closing) her heart is doing well. Barring something unforseen
occurring the next steps are to remove her balloon pump and wean her off the vent, as
these 2 things keep her prone. After they are removed they will try sitting her up in a
day or so and remove some IV's and start light walking. I will update you again soon,
will try to get a charger in meantime.

We must get that man a charger!! I can't go another full 24 hours without knowing what's up with Ape!!! :) But it sounds good and God is GOOD!

But, we must keep praying praying praying!!!!

Dec 30

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO TREVER!!!! Hope your day in Minnesota gets above 10 degrees for you, Trever! Have a great day.

Monday, December 29, 2008

It's Monday at 11:55 pm.

Please pray. We must have April's total restoration, physically, emotionally, spiritually, totally. Pray.


Monday night

Hey Folks...nothing new to report. April continues to be stable, and the swelling is going down some. The MD said earlier if the swelling didn't go down enough to let the heart settle in, he'd shave part of the lung to make room. They don't think they'll have to do this, and they still hope to close Ape's chest up tomorrow or Weds am.

On a personal note, I HATE living 90 miles from them, having to go to work, and having an old car that's not always the most reliable. That's all I'm going to whine about! God is good and April will be restored.

Fun news from our 4th roommate in college, Kristel. She has a new baby boy!! Matthew Benjamin was born this morning. :) YEA for new babies!!!!!



Sunday, December 28, 2008

A lighter note....

I meant to post this earlier but just now remembered. Yesterday, Daniel, Darrell and I walked to the cafeteria to grab either lunch or dinner (I can't remember!). We were sitting in front of a TV, and it was on the Duke Employee Network, which is essentially a running advertisement for the medical teams at Duke, research studies, etc. But along the bottom, apparently they run 'random facts' across the screen. Yesterday's was, and I quote...."It is illegal in the state of TN to shoot at any animal from a moving vehicle, with the exception of a whale."

Now, many of you are in TN reading this, and I grew up in good ol Rocky Top. Watauga Lake is beautiful, as is Douglas Lake, Boone Lake, etc. But never in my almost 35 years have I seen a WHALE in TN!!!! We got a fantastic laugh from this yesterday.

Today, Darrell and I walked down after our 3pm visit with April, and the random fact was (and I can't quote this verbatim) that it's illegal in Minnesota to cross state lines with a duck on your head. Where do I start with the comments??? Where does the Duke Employee Network find these facts??? Trever, PLEASE watch Randy....of all the Minnesotans, I can see him trying to do this...

Too funny that it was TN and MN, which is April's home and Trever's home now!!! Just keepin it real for a minute!


Please read the post below as ME being the Dummy writing about heart transplants..not as you folks being dummies reading brain is 'tard!'.

Sunday's report

I spent the day at Duke again, and April is still critical but stable. Her bp is stable now, but her chest is still open because the heart's still a little too big. They started her on diuretics today to rid some of the fluid, so the heart can settle in it's space. (I surely hope none of the medical professionals treating Ape ever read this! They'd croak at my "Heart Transplants for Dummies" descriptions!) But that's the jist of it as I comprehend it all. :)

April's aunt/uncle/brother/sister-in-law/nephew and cousin all left today to go back to TN. They took Grace with them for 3 or 4 days, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. It's good for Darrell and Jean to be able to focus on April, but it was hard for them to send her at the same time.

So the tenative plan is to try Tuesday to close April's chest. But as you can imagine, this can change in the blink of an eye. Our job remains the same regardless. To pray.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Lots of thoughts...I hope I capture them all!

Greetings again!

I'm home now, and the official time is 9:25 pm, as opposed to the crazy time blogspot will post. I left Duke after Darrell got the report from the MDs. They did an echo, as opposed to the ultrasound I said earlier. Sorry..I get all my medical procedures mixed up! The good news is there is no fluid on the heart, or any 'mechanical issues' (my words, not theirs!). They said the left side of the heart is beating well, but the right side is 'sluggish' (their word, not mine!). The doc said he's going to give it a few days to adjust itself before he gets overly concerned. Darrell will call me if anything should change tonight, and of course, I'll relay the news as soon as I can.

I've focused on the prayer needs this whole time, and failed to share the other random stories that make April's big story complete. One instance from tonight....

As, I've said before, everyone in the ICU Waiting Room gets to know one another. When someone gets to visit the patient, we all await the reports. It's a very close community that forms almost immediately in the face of crisis. There was a new-to-me gentleman in the waiting room today, and he was the nicest man I've ever met. He seems truly genuine, concerned, and kind. Megan and I were chatting about him, and we decided he has to be a pastor. He had that air about him. Around 6, he and his wife were getting ready to leave. He checked in with each family and said goodbye. We said our goodbyes and see-you-tomorrows, and they left. Megan got up to go feed her 6 month old out in the lobby, so Darrell, Jean, Kyle and I were left in the waiting room. I looked up and this man was back in the doorway. He came over and knelt in front of Darrell, and he said "Now, I'm no preacher, but I'm a Christian, and I was so burdened for your family when we got to my car, I told my wife I wanted to come back up and ask if I could pray for you. Now if you aren't comfortable with my lifting you up to the Lord, I understand, but may I?" We all excitedly agreed, and he offered a wonderful prayer for April and the family! It was amazing.

Then there's Sam. He's also an older gentleman whose wife is still in the ICU. He checks in with Darrell every chance he gets, and spent alot of time tonight chatting with him. It's good to see people in such states of crisis care for one another, as it's easy to become very focused on oneself. I was sitting in the waiting room tonight watching all the interactions and just wondered how many times a day I cross someone in crisis, but fail to see it/hear it?! We need to stop and see/listen and respond. What a better place would this world be?!

So continue to pray for April's total recovery, but also for those families in the 3200 waiting room at Duke. It's an amazing place!


Saturday again

The MDs just came out to get Darrell to tell him Ape's blood pressure is dropping and they can't get it stable. They are doing an ultrasound to see if there's fluid on the heart or pressure somewhere. PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday afternoon

April continues to hold her own. Darrell and Jean are the only ones allowed back right now, and that's just for about 3 minutes every 2 hours. April's new heart is a little bigger than her old one (I said early in this process that she needs a big ol heart!) so the MDs have left her chest opened for a day or two to make sure everything goes as planned. She was responsive to Darrell by opening her eyes when he spoke to her. Everything seems to going well thus far.



Surgery is complete....

Darrell just called (3:05 am) and surgery is over! He said Dr Milano is pleased and things went as well as Dr Milano hoped!

More to follow.

Pray pray pray!!!! NO rejections from April's body.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Not sleeping yet....Pray for April's new heart. Great is His faithfulness!

My all time favorite hymn is flowing through my mind tonight. It's 11:50 (anyone know how to reset blogspot's clock?) and April's been in surgery about 2.5 hours.

"Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father; There is no shadow of turning with Thee; Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not; As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Refrain: Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed Thy hand hath provided; Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest, Sun, moon and stars in their courses above Join with all nature in manifold witness To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.


Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide; Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!


This is the day the Lord hath made, and He's thrown in a HEART FOR APRIL!!!!!!

Ok Folks.
If you've ever had to bear with me, that pales in comparison to now. Forgive me in mind is racing and my hands are shaking. This is the most important day of April's physical life, and I'm in Winston Salem blogging through tears and feelings of the need to up-chuck.
So I got to Duke at 2 today, complete with Christmas dinner from my awesome Mom. Darrell took off shortly to go home and shower, and see Grace. April and I had a great, quiet afternoon. I got to wear the mask while the RN changed her sterile dressing, and got to chat with April about Christmas in TN. She then told me to turn out the light and we were both just quiet. It was sweet.
Dr. Milano came in around 4, and reminded Ape that she wouldn't be going home until she had the transplant. He then grinned a bit and said "But if all goes as planned, you're getting a new heart tonight." He got a call about a heart that was available, and he said the match was PRELIMINARILY approved. They still had to run lab tests, and he wanted his team to see it to examine it. He assured April he would NOT take the first heart available, but would hold out for the best heart. His team was suiting up to fly out to see the heart. We have no idea where it's coming from.
I called Darrell and he and Jean came back to Duke, and April was in the middle of a million blood draws for labs. The RNs and the PA-Cs are incredible wonderful people, and they were on it from the get-go, prepping April in case this is the one.
Around 7, I decided to come on home to feed some friend's cats and walk my dogs, and told Darrell to call no matter what time, and no matter if it was a match or not. I was at the exit for 52 here in WS when he called. He said "Jeanie, they accepted the heart 10 minutes ago. They're flying it back and they'll start surgery within an hour of it getting here. " I told him I'd turn around after letting the dogs out, but he's convinced me to think logically and stay home and come in morning, so at least one of us is somewhat fresh.
When the first call came in, April looked at me and was terrified but grinning. I asked if she was ok, and she said she was excited but scared to death. We talked for a few minutes about the last three weeks, and what was about to happen. We then got quiet, and Ape said "I'm just going to pray for awhile." "Me too." I said. and it was nice and quiet. I think she's doing well with the plans overall.
On a lighter note, when the coordinator called April, she told April no more food/drink. She hung up and said "Jeanie, I can't eat the Christmas dinner you brought!" I promised April than the very day she gets to eat real food again, even if I have to cook it myself, she'll have a FEAST like she's never seen!!! (I may enlist some of you who can cook to help with this promise!)
So pray. Specifically pray
1. For April's peace. Not peace like a river, but peace that surpasses ALL UNDERSTANDING!!!
2 For Carmello Milano, MD. He needs the power of the Great Physician flowing through his hands tonight. Pray he's rested, alert and ready to roll.
3. For April's family. Darrell will be up all night, and those of us not there may be as well. Pray for rest and faith for the family.
4. For April's total recovery.

OK...this blog between phone calls has taken over an hour. I just talked to Darrell and they took April back an hour ago!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's now 10:12 pm. The blog site has it's own time system.

PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY harder than ever!!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Hello Everyone,
I hope you have each had a wonderful time with family and friends today. There's no real news on April today. I got a text message from Darrell that said she was on pace for walking a mile total today, so GO APRIL GO!
No news is good news, so with that I say "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tuesday pm

Hey All,
April has a new trick. She's now had two 'TIAs', or 'mini-strokes'. Darrell called me today at work, and told me she had another episode last night (or this morning, I can't remember!) with blurred vision/slurred speech and he got the RNs, PAs and MDs. She checked out well in the cardio area, so they took her this morning for a CT scan and the neurologist noted two mini-strokes. By the way, I'm completely amazed at the technology and such! But he told Ape and Darrell that she had the first about 2 weeks ago, the 2nd within the last three days. Now humor me...I skipped the day of neurology in med school...(those of you who don't know me personally, the closest I've EVER been to med school was living with a roommate who really was in med school, and now I work for a med school....never ever ever been a med student..just my sick humor!) Darrell said there's a 'hanging vessel' or something like that and the cardiothoracic surgeon thinks this is the cause, and when April gets a new heart, this will be resolved. That's my dumbed-down interpretation.
Nonetheless.....we've been excited that April's doing so well, but she's still in a very dire situation. I'm beggin here, but please PRAY PRAY PRAY!!!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

An email I received today....

Hey again,
I got an email at work today from a friend we grew up with. I'm sure she won't mind me sharing this, just to give you a little glimpse into April as a high school kid... the email is copied below.

"......I don't have a computer or internet at home so I look forward each morning to checking your blog for updates on April. Please tell her that I think about her and her family every day and pray that someone is willing to donate a heart to her as soon as possible. When I told some of my co-workers about April memories of my time playing basketball with her came rushing back. The one thing I kept thinking about was our time spent in basketball camps at Appalachian State. Our schedule at camp was always very strict and we had to be in our beds and lights out at curfew....10:00PM or 11:00PM. Camp leaders would walk around the dorm, inside the halls and outside, to see if lights were on or if anyone was up. Little April got spotted by someone outside as she stood in her window reading her Bible by the night lights outside shining in. The punishment was running up and down the stairs of the dorm and April did so until someone explained and the camp leader sent her back to her room. We all got a kick out the whole thing but this just defines April's faith and dedication. I think that April's unconditional faith will bring her through this and she will touch the "hearts" of many I'm sure. Well, duty calls and I must go. Again, Please tell April I'm thinking of her every day."

How's that for a 'High School Rebel"?!?!?!

Minor glitch in the progress

Darrell said April had a small hiccup today after she walked her first set of laps. She went back into her room, and got an odd look and was talking with a slur and almost passed out. He got the nurses, who got PAs, MDs, etc. April said she could see all their bodies but could see no faces! They did tests from around 9:30 til lunch time, and nothing seems to be wrong with her heart/blood flow/oxygen levels. Ape's always had horrific migraines, so they think there may have been something going on in that arena. She's walked a few more times today and hasn't had anymore trouble.

One thing of concerns is the history of migraines. She's gotten them so severely she's almost passed out, throws up over and over, and can't really function at all. She's about the most severe migraine-sufferer I've known. With The Most Unfortunate Heart Issue of 2008, she won't be able to take any of the approved meds for migraines. She's a bit concerned about that, but I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

I'll keep you posted, and you keep PRAYING PRAYING PRAYING!


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday night

Just a quick update...I spoke to Darrell this evening. April walked alot more today and wore herself out. She also had a lot of family company visiting today. It looks like she'll be in the hospital for Christmas, but that's ok if it means she'll be well for Christmases to come. At least I think so!

So I think it's safe to say that all we want for Christmas is a heart for April! Craziest thing I've ever wished for. But it is what it is.

Thank you all for each of the emails, calls, conversations at church, etc. I tell April about everyone of the contacts I get, and she's grateful.



Saturday, December 20, 2008

What a good day!

Howdy Ho Neighbors!
I just got home a few minutes ago from Duke, and April is a totally different woman than I left last Saturday!!! I got there right as the resident came in to take out her last drain tube (YEA!!! Only one IV to drag around now!) and they took her for a chest XRay. Duke is one efficient hospital, I must say. They had her back in no time. She then walked laps around the unit, and then we went back to her room. I'll tell you a bit about her walking in a minute.
Her cousin Em and Em's family came over from TN to visit today, as well as a former co-worker at JC Med Center in Johnson City. Ape was very excited to see Christy, so thank you Christy, for making the long drive over!!! April was very grateful you came. Em and her crew brought smiles to April as well, as no one knew they were coming. April was in her recliner most of the day, and then walked another 5 laps later this afternoon. She's doing great with recovering.
Darrell had gone home for the afternoon, and he returned around 5:15 and brought Grace to visit. Kids are allowed in the room on the step down unit, so April enjoyed seeing Gracie.
When I got there today, April was finishing lunch. Grilled chicked and veggies that were steamed. She said that's all they bring her is chicken and veggies. She can't have wheat products, but you'd think the nutrition dept at Duke would be able to come up with something different. So this evening I was saying something random and said 'cheeseburger' and Ape lit up. She said "I want a cheeseburger and fries!" So Em went down and got a burger sans the bun and April gobbled most of it up and ate a bunch of fries. She said it was wonderful! :)
It was fantastic to talk to April and see her feeling so much better. It was hard at times for me to watch what I said because laughing induces LOTS of pain for Apey.
The latest word from her RN today is that they may keep April in the hospital until a heart becomes available. She has a small hole in her heart, and the Doc said 30% of the general population has the same hole in their hearts and it causes no trouble. But they're concerned her blood gasses (I think) may get out of whack so they may keep her inpatient to keep an eye on her.
For April to get up and walk is quite the ordeal. She has to unplug the pump from the wall, hook up the battery pack, strap the 2 batteries into the holster she has to wear, pack her bag with a spare battery and spare controller (looks like a video game controller to me!), and then get the IV pole. The RN made the joke that April's weight doubled when she walked because of all the batteries. I carried the bag with the spare battery and controller and it was heavy!
The physical therapist came in for the second walk with a 'walker' of sorts, and was adjusting it. He asked April how tall she was, and she dejectedly said "4'11"." I CRACKED up and said "Oh how she longs to say 5 feet!" April agreed......
Ok...enough rambling. Oh...many of you have emailed me saying you have tried to log a comment and it wouldn't post. I have no idea why, but I'm sorry. I'd love to have 20 comments a day to take to April!
Thanks for faithfully checking in and continue to PRAY PRAY PRAY!

Friday, December 19, 2008

ah ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!

So as typical, Darrell and I have trouble communicating!! As of the latest phone call, April is NOT carb/sugar restricted and can eat anything gluten free at this point. So tomorrow I shall fill up the gas tank, head to Whole Foods to get her snacks that are gluten free, and then to Duke to spend the day with April!!! She continues to do well and should be home for Christmas, unless of course the heart becomes available.
Blessed, thankful and PRAYING PRAYING PRAYING!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Help me!!!

So April is doing great, and I can't wait to go hang with her all day Saturday!!! I need help. I want to take a few snacks for her to eat. She's allergic to gluten, so nothing can contain wheat. But now she can't have sugar/carbs because they are monitoring her blood sugar levels pre-transplant, so what can I take her to snack on???? PLEASE send me ideas....nuts are the only thing that comes to mind. I may go wander the aisles at WholeFoods, but with no carbs/sugars, this is hard!!!

Thursday afternoon

Hey again,
I just talked to Darrell and he said April continues to gain strength. She's eating more now that he's realized if he gets 'real' food she'll eat it, instead of picking at the food the hospital brings at meal time! That's the April we know for sure! She walked four laps around the unit today so she's walking further each day. Hopefully she'll be home soon to rest until a heart comes available.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Whoooo Hooooo Weds Morning!

I just talked to APRIL!!! I'm at work and my cell phone rang, and Darrell's number popped up. I answered with my typical "What's up Dude?" and April said "Hey Jeanie!" I screamed "POKEY!" and my office-mates all laughed. :) She sounded good, but can only talk three to four minutes before being totally winded. She had been out for her morning lap, and walked 900 feet. The MDs have told her to walk that route three times a day now. She's in the step down unit so Darrell can stay in the room with her now. She got to see Grace briefly last night, and the MDs said if she continues to do this well, she'll be home for Christmas, unless of course a heart becomes available. GO APRIL GO!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tuesday night

So now I'm trying to remind myself that no news is good news! I can't call Darrell every 30 minutes to check in, right?!?! :) But I spoke to him this morning and April rested well last night, and I'm sure since he hasn't called, nothing significant has changed.

Monday, December 15, 2008

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38, 39

Random thoughts...

So before I call it a night, I have to post this.....first of all, I haven't heard back from Darrell today. I promise that means no news. Darrell knows I need to know asap and he will call me no matter what time with any change, be it good or bad. He is inundated with calls so I've not called him tonight. So no news is good news.

So on to my random thoughts.

1. I was telling a friend the other day that it felt weird to pray for a heart to become available, like I was praying for someone to die. My friend laughed, and said "Oh Jeanie. You sure think backwards sometimes!" I just stared at her. She said "You have no control over who lives/dies. Sadly, accidents happen every day. You have to pray not that someone dies, but that someone had the foresight to become a donor, and their family respects those wishes." Wow. Ok. I can go with that. Makes total sense. Thanks, Vicki- That helps alot!

2. My major concern: How can anyone ever find a heart big enough for April? If you are reading this, you know my April has a huge heart for everyone! Her physical heart may be weak, but I have no doubt her emotional heart will grow through this experience. It's already huge, so who knows what she'll be doing for folks next year!!!

Log in. Create a username and password, and log a comment. Please share a story/event in which April's heart spoke to you/cared for you. She needs to read these as she strengthens. I've known her since we were 5 so I can't write enough. I want to hear from you. Please!
The pic tonight is from Christmas, maybe 2001 or 2002. I'm going to scan in some pics when I have a chance to let you see the good old days!

ps- again the clock says 8:12. But it's really 11:27 pm....How do I change the clock?? Ugh.

Monday noon update

Darrell just called and said April is up walking! The Physical Therapist told her they'd go easy and see if she could make it to the door to her room. Ape got to the door, turned right, walked to the end of the hall, turned around went to the other end of the hall!! They were of course, shocked and surprised, but I'm not. April is a fighter and is going to get through this!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday's update

Well, I woke up with a migraine today so I didn't make it to Duke. Argh! I was mad but what can I do?! I talked to Darrell tonight and he said nothing too big has changed today. April did get to eat some mashed potatoes and a little chicken today so I know she feels better! He said her oxygen levels were lower than they'd like so they gave her some blood, but Darrell said they told him that's fairly common and they weren't very concerned.

So we continue to hurry up and wait. :)

Pray pray pray!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Saturday night

Good evening Friends!

I just got home a few minutes ago from Duke and April continues to do well. She was drinking water by herself, and asking about my family and how everyone was doing. She did remark that her chest was hurting and she asked for some more meds at one point, but she's really looking good. She may get to try some ice cream or jello tomorrow. She's starting to talk about wanting to eat. :)

Trever had to fly home today, so that was sad for us. We're thankful she could be here this week though, and I know it means alot to Ape that she came down so quickly. Another thing that's struck me is the gentleman in the waiting room. It's a small pod in the ICU, and we've gotten to know the other families there and we know check in on them as well. He's married, and his 45 year old wife has been in the ICU for 4 weeks now. They have one set of twins who are 3, and another set of twins who are 6 months. The mom found out when she was 6 weeks pregnant with the 2nd set that she had breast cancer. She has been through chemo and radiation, and after the radiation she went into cardiac arrest. I think she's had other heart trouble before but she now has a pump like April's, and is not a candidate for transplant due to the cancer. It's insane! This gentleman had the wherewithall to encourage us tonight, and checked in on me and Jean before he left to go do dinner/baths/bedtime with FOUR kids under 3!
Folk, I think April would agree with me here. Go find your family and spend some time with them. Color with your kids. Hold the door for someone who is behind you. Send a card to someone for no reason!

It's bedtime and I'm rambling.

PS- the pic is from my 30th birthday. We made hats and laughed alot. That's Kristel, Me, Trever and April. :)

Saturday afternoon

April continues to do her thing! She's breathing on her own with supplemental oxygen. She's got pink in her cheeks and was able to talk to us for awhile today. She just drifted off into a drug-induced nap, so I'll see her the next time she's awake.

The big news.....she was cleared for a Diet, CaffeineFree, MTN DEW!!! She's been begging for a Mtn Dew and the medical staff finally allowed the altered version. She was happy.

More to battery is running out and someone is in the chair near the outlet!


Friday, December 12, 2008


Friends and family,

Trever and I just got home from Duke, and guess what.......guess again....come can do it.......give up? One more guess...nope. Ok. April is OFF THE VENT!!! She actually got to speak to us and eat ice chips tonight! Trever was there while the took her off, but Darrell and I had gone back to their house so Darrell could shower/pay bills and I could help get Grace fed and give the grandmas a brief break. But Trever said all the RNs and MDs in that unit were gathered around April, beaming with joy at how well she is doing. The crew on 3200 at Duke is a phenominal (sp? I'm beyond tired and can't spell!) team of medical people. They have been wonderful with April.

For years, I've called April 'Pokey' because she tends to complete tasks in her own time frame, and 'savors each moment' (nice way of saying she can be a slowpoke to an ADHD friend!). I busted into her little area in the ICU tonight when we got back and said "Pokey, in the 30 years I've known you, this the fastest you've ever done anything, and I LOVE it!" Ape grinned and the RN cracked up. I had to tell the RN briefly about the name "Pokey". Then in typical April fashion, she asked where I was staying. When I told her I was driving back and forth, she shook her head back and forth and said "OH Jeanie, your car..." The girl is ALWAYS thinking about others. Trever said the first thing April said to the RN was "Thank you." She's an amazing woman! (April, not the RN, though she's really cool too!

The next step for April should be determined in a day or two. I'll keep you posted.

Also, allow me to say as well, as I've thought it alot but have yet to say "God is good!"

Good night, all, and PRAY PRAY PRAY!!

Friday afternoon....

Hey All!
Trever and I are here in the ICU waiting room, and just got to go see April. She's very groggy but nodded her head a little in response to us. Darrell said there's currently one med being administered through the vent, and if they can get the med into an IV, they are going to pull the vent this afternoon! No more garden hose down the throat. They continue to be amazed at the progress April is making, so continue to pray.
If you have a Bible study/congregation/etc, log a comment and let us know. It'll be fun to tell April how many groups aroundthe world are praying for our April!
Ok...heading home with Darrell to see Grace while Trever stays here. Will catch you up with the latest tonight.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thursday updates:

Hey Everyone!
I just spoke with Darrell and April is doing well. She had the surgery today to place the pump, and they are keeping her under sedation until tomorrow until she rests. All is going as well as can be expected.
Please please please continue the prayers, and if you would like to post a note to April and Darrell, I'll print them out and take them and read them to April.
Thanks for all!

Old posts up to this point.....

From my other posts:

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thurs am
Trever just called from the hospital and the docs determined April's heart will never work on it's own. They are now inserting the portable pump and April awaits a transplant.I'm going to create a separate blog tonight just for April, so I'll send that link out when it's ready.PRAY PRAY PRAY!JBPS- It's 11:17 am...I have no idea how to 'set the clock' on this but it says I'm posting at 8 something in the am. It's wrong.
Posted by Jeanie at 8:18 AM 0 comments
Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I'm such a dork.....
I just realized I didn't post my's419 S Hawthorne RoadWinston Salem, NC 27103Just address any envelopes to me and maybe on the back write 'for Darrell and April' or something. I don't get alot of fun mail, but with Christmas cards coming, I'll know what's for me and what to take to them.Pray Pray Pray!JB
Posted by Jeanie at 8:55 PM 0 comments

OH! I forgot one thing...
Many of you wonderful people have emailed or asked on the phone if there was anything you could do to help. There's nothing we can really do but PRAY, and I expect that from each of you!! But one tanglible thing that could help, and let me state outright I in no way expect this of anyone as the economy's stinking and we are all in different places financially, but gift cards would be wonderful for the family. They are having to eat out, her mom and aunt/uncle are paying for a hotel, and all the little expenses encountered during emergencies. Restaurant-specific cards or gas cards would be fine, but a generic Visa Check Card would probably be the best option, as the family could use them for whatever need arises.So with that, giftcards of an amount would be much appreciated. By the way, Darrell is going to KILL me when he finds out I'm posting this, but I'll take one for the team. I just realized I don't know Ape and Darrell's home address, and have no idea the address at the hospital, so you can mail anything to me. I'll post my address below. I'll take them to Darrell as I get them. You can also post any comments to April/Darrell on this site, and I'll print them and take them as well. Again, NO obligations! Well, except praying!J
Posted by Jeanie at 7:39 PM 0 comments

Weds update
Hey Everyone!Trever made it to NC today, and we trekked over to the Duke Hospital to visit Ape. She is doing remarkedly well, and is WRITING notes to everyone. She is fully alert and coherent but is still of course, hooked up to everything. Trever and I got to run in the ICU and see her a minute and she wrote that she was really glad we could be there, and she had told Darrell earlier with a note that she wanted a Mtn Dew! :) Tomorrow is a big day. They are taking April in and opening her up again, and turning the pump off and testing her heart. We are praying it starts pumping again, but the MDs told April and Darrell the tests today showed significant damage and he didn't think it would really work on it's own. BUT he also told us it would days before she would respond, and now she's writing us notes. He said if her heart doesn't cooperate, they are going to implant the portable pump while they have her in surgery. She would then go home in a week or so, depending on her response and progress, and wait for a heart. PRAY PRAY PRAY!!! I told April tonight that people all over the world are praying, and she wrote that she definitely knew God was working or else she wouldn't be doing so well. :)PRAY PRAY PRAY!!!Jeanie
Posted by Jeanie at 7:08 PM 0 comments
Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sleep? PRAY!

So all, I can't sleep. I'm online begging all to pray for April. Pray, pray, pray. I want her (as does Darrell, Grace, Jean and the family) to be 1oo% healed. Pray pray pray. Please. Grace needs her momma. Darrell needs his wife. Jean needs her daughter. I need my Apey. PRAY!
Posted by Jeanie at 9:59 PM 3 comments

Pray for April!

Hey all,
Darrell (April's husband) called me early this morning and told me Ape had a heart attack last night. I talked with her on the phone for over an hour last night, and then she spoke to her mom, and then went to get ready for bed. He said she told the EMS worker it felt like someone kicked her in the chest, and then she fell in the floor. She coded while in the squad, and they took her to Wake Med. She coded again there, and they did a bypass (I think) and decided she needed to be transferred to Duke. I got there around noon, and April had just gotten out of surgery. She is stable but critical. Forgive me first for my lack of correct usage of medical terms..this is how I understand it. The docs said the next 24 hours are the most important of her life up to this point. If she wakes up on her own, they'll start weaning her off the "pump" that is acting as her heart to see if her heart will function again on it's own. If not, they've already started the ball rolling for getting on the transplant list. If she doesn't wake up in the next 24 hours, they'll do neurological testing to determine if there was brain damage during her 3 codes (she coded again today before surgery). The Duke doc told Darrell that in all his years of medicine, he had never seen anyone under the age of 65 have this happen. Darrell said the doc said "April's artery split." I have no idea what that means. The doc said he had no medical reason to tell us why this happened. The praise part is that when I left at 5:00, April was responding to simple commands (Grip my hand, move your foot-type commands) and she was nodding her head appropriately to questions. For instance, I asked her if she knew me and she nodded yes, and I said "Am I Trever?" (our other childhood friend/college roommate) and Ape nodded no. I then told her Trever's flight came in at 3 tomorrow and we'd see her around 3:30 and she nodded a big yes. So pray. Pray April continues to improve. Pray for her husband Darrell as he makes decisions and cares for April. Pray for Grace, their two year old who has bronchitis right now, and is at home with Darrell's mom, and with her little world rocked. And pray for April's mom, Jean. She's lost alot in the last 7 years and she's really struggling today (like throwing up in the bathroom and almost passing out once.)
Feel free to email me ( but I'm about to lose my voice so I more than likely won't answer the phone soon. :) Sorry for the long note.
Posted by Jeanie at 7:49 PM 1 comments