I hardly even know where to begin.  A week ago today we decided that Tony definitely more attention other than his weekly blood tests that regulated his medications.  Seven days later, lots of tests, differences of opinion, etc. – the consensus now is that Tony needs a transplant.  Maybe just the kidneys but maybe the liver too.  It’s a tricky situation.  His heart failure caused his liver to be cirrhosis, now the liver is causing kidney failure, but his liver disease isn’t bad enough for them to just transplant that organ, but since the kidney is involved, the hope is that he goes in for a kidney transplant and “while they are there” they may just transplant is liver too.

It’s been an emotional roller coaster to say the least.  So many hands in the pot, so to speak.  One doctor says one thing, one thinks another.  And these are all very skilled doctors in their field, but Tony’s case is so complicated.  Let’s think about it.  In the last seven years:

  • endocarditis that caused his aortic heart valve to be replaced with a mechanical one
  • infection of his artificial knee implant, that had to be removed for three months, then replanted, only to have a titanium rod now from his ankle to almost his hip in his right leg
  • colon cancer
  • getting a hernia from the colon cancer surgery, which he contracted c-diff, only to need a wound vac for four months until the incision healed
  • and now this is our sixth hospital stay between home and Mayo clinic in 2014

He now has congestive heart failure, a mitral valve leak, liver disease, a blood disorder that causes his red blood cells just “burst” when hitting his artificial heart valve and don’t get back to where they need to be, and now kidney failure.  All we know is that this is a BIG deal, and with all that he has going on, it’s going to be a long/slow process.  I know today he’ll be getting more dialysis.  After three days on and two days off, his kidneys showed no signs of working on their own again.  When I go in this morning, I’ll see what the plan is for the next couple days.

Saturday night I got home from the hospital around 8:30.  I had every intention of getting stuff done in the kitchen, laundry, etc., but I made a fatal mistake.  I used Tony’s electric blanket in my comfy chair in the back family room.  It was so toasty, I was tired and relaxed, and I think I fell asleep around 9:30 and work up at 11:15, just to shut everything down and go to bed.

So Sunday morning I was raring to go.  I made another batch of the cinnamon streusel banana muffins for the nurses, and I made a batch of chili.  My friend Nicole from Prevention RD has done a chili contest on her blog for about five years now?  Readers submit their favorite chili recipes, Nicole cooks them up and declares a winner that gets a prize.  Her latest entry was “Katie’s Chili.”   I was intrigued from the get go because it had 1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce, two kinds of chili powder and a whole bottle of chili sauce.  Huh.   It also had FOUR cans of your preferred canned beans, and I love a bean heavy chili.  So here were my selections:

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Her recipe called for Guinness, which I don’t like as a beer, but I like it in things, but I couldn’t buy just one.  So I went with this polish beer that was $1.49 for the can.  I drained the kidney beans and black beans, but just poured the applewood smoked beans and the chili beans right in the pot.  I also couldn’t find ancho chili powder, so subbed in chipotle chili powder.  Other than that, I followed her recipe to a T.  I have no idea of chipotle chili pepper is spicier than ancho chili powder, but boy howdy did this chili have a kick!  It was smoky, complex in flavors, you didn’t feel the heat of the chili powder until the second or third bite.  It is a winner winner chicken dinner!

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Don’t let that shitty photo deter you.  Tony was sleeping and I was trying to be quiet, so Nicole, hope you don’t mind that I “borrowed” our photo so that people will actually make it.


This is thick, hearty, spicy, beany and just all around amazeballs.  Thanks for sharing Katie’s recipe with the world Nicole!  So while the chili was cooking I had time to make another batch of muffins for the nurses.  They literally cooled in the back of my car on the way to the hospital – more thumbs up!  I made a note to let people know there were nuts in them, and also I wanted to make sure I got my basket back!

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When I got to the hospital Tony said he hadn’t slept much the night before.  His lower back was hurting him, and he was waiting for some pain meds, which he requested an hour earlier.  Well, I don’t wait when it comes to pain meds, so I called his nurse, and within a few minutes they were giving Tony dilaudid (I think that’s how you spell it) but it is the one pain medication that takes it all away for Tony.  So with that, me holding his hand and me just being there, I did my job as sleep whisperer. 

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Do you want to know what is worse than sitting in a hospital room all day?  Sitting in a hospital room all day that had football not only on the t.v. in the room, but I was able to figure out how Tony could stream the NFL red zone on his laptop.  And he had the remote in a tight grip and I couldn’t do a single thing about it.  Longest day of my life. 

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He actually slept through the whole Bears game!  I finally left around 7:30.  I still had to go to the grocery store and pick up a few things for the week.  Needed to finish laundry, pack my gym bag for lunch, put my food together for the week, etc.

I have to give a shout out to blog reader Moe!  She was so sweet and sent me the funniest card and a Starbuck’s gift card.  She’s been reading my blog for a couple years but just now came out of the woodwork.  Thanks again Moe!

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Alright, time to hit the shower and head to the hospital before work today.  I know for sure he’ll get more dialysis today and then we’ll see what the next few days bring us.  Again, thank you doesn’t seem like enough for all your comments, emails, Facebook messenger, etc.  It means more to me than you’ll ever know.  Make it a great day!  Hugs!