We Turkeyed and We Trotted.

DustyMark's Journey 11 Comments

November 24th (Wednesday) seemed like an eventful and positive day overall. I mean, you all tell me to take this one day at a time so….I know if was just yesterday but I’m already getting foggy!

So it was a high alarm day and I had that horrible tight gut nervous feeling when the machine alarmed 3x!!! during priming. Its just priming. It is pushing saline through the lines and taking air out. It goes through a series of tests and then at the end, if all tests pass, it beeps, you clear..and then begin the next step of dialysis. So when it alarms…when you aren’t even started…makes you feel like something is wrong. I told myself, “if it alarms one more time, take cartrige out, toss it and start over”. The last thing I need is a wonky cartridge reaking havoc on our morning. But I’m not that bold…and I look at my watch and think that if I start over I’ve lost 10 mins. We had an appointment and were on a tight schedule. My whole life (like since I can remember) always feels like someone has a stopwatch on it. I hate that feeling. I can often here the tick tok…the countdown…the “hurry up” in my head. I’m sure there is a diagnosis for this. :). Please dont’ tell me. Ignorance can be bliss.

Mark had a friend come over to visit…I manned the machine and kept it going…but didn’t accomplish much more than that. That same friend ran and picked up my little cute sink for my house and brought it over to help us out. And it did…it really did. We finished up his treatment and hustled off to Grand Rapids to DBC. I made this appointment 3 months ago!! That’s how hard it is to get in. He is a doctor of functional medicine. Every really cool therapy I read about is done by a functional doctor. He is right here in GR!!! We did see the nutritionalist there early October and we started a supplement to suport and help his bowels and that may be the sole reason he even has some action…but when you do a few differen things, it’s hard to pinpoint the winner of it all. Maybe it’s all of it together.????

He introduces himself..he is from the Netherlands…studied to be a natropath but really felt a calling to do more and went on to study and recieve more degrees…Functional Medicine, chiropractic and 5 other things I dont’ recall but one was oncology. :). He has 5 kids and has been married 38 years but doesn’t look old enough to be married that long or be that old. This is the part I loved (well one of many)…he feels being a doctor is his calling. He was made to help people get well and increase their health. Whiich means, when you are called, you really don’t retire. You dedicate you life to what you are called to do. I think many of us wonder what it is we are called to do. We often seek what we think we like, or is fun, or will make us money but not what we are called to do. I think though, that you have to have a tight relationship with the Lord in order to know or “hear” the calling when it comes. If only all doctors felt it was their life calling to help people. Like just were really into the people. Mark and I talked about all the reading he must have to do to stay up on it all. He accesses the whole body! Anyways, he mentioned that his dad was called to be a minister and he died a minister. He spoke of God a couple times and it was obvious he knew the Lord. He asked Mark his whole life story pertaining to his health…and this appointment was his fact finder appointment. Its really cool…he hears his heart and knows his hemoglobin is low ..and he says he “wants it up to 12 or 13” and I ask, “Is that possible?”. He says it is. If that is true …..why are we now hearing about this? He looks at his tongue and eyes and can make quick diagnosis (eyes: hemoglobin, tongue: bad GI and some other genetic disorder I can’t remember but will write down next time) He feels his abdomen and knows his ascending colon is spasming. I mean, how many times does a doctor feel his abdomen and say nothing (I can quickly count over 20 in the last 3 months) He thinks…this genetic disorder…and his colon (possible chrons or similar disorder…which runs in his family) could have maybe, possibly, potentially caused or contributed to his current situation. He said, “I won’t say this is why…because that is playing God and I”m not God”. I love the openess of it all and the investigation. Knowing maybe why…could maybe help the healing go faster. Maybe. Right? That’s how I look at it. He agrees he needs more nutrition… and we are still working on that. We meet next week to fully go over all data and a cleanly laid out plan. He did say he was impressed with the good numbers he was holding despite his current situation. (he does full body scans. We did one in early october and one at this visit). That to me was incouraging. Mark was a little discouraged about the low hemoglobin comment coupled with the fact that he feels extra tired again and low appetite. We are both worried his hemoglobin is dropping. Tomorrow I take a lab and send it out so we will know Tuesday at the latest if its too low but it was 10.6 last Friday. But man, if he can get it up to 12 or 13…wow! He’ll feel like a new man.

When we got back he napped pretty heavy and I took daughter #3 up to Newaygo with me and my friend met me there to help me tile and boy I am sure glad she did. Not only is she anal about it and is not afraid to dive in but I had 5 people stop! I would not have gotten started had she not been there. My mom brought me a tool, my best friend stopped to just see if I needed help (julie…who is doing the shirts) and then my cousin in from Colorado to get a piece of furniture that was our grandmas…that I needed to part with because I have no room (sniff sniff) and then the drywaller..to drop off supplies. Then our friend and realtor (and now wood worker) stopped to fit the live edge coffee bar counter and take it home to finish it off. You guys…it is going to look so stinking cute! AND…I could see that there were tire marks on the trail to the creek and I was confused. Who has been on a four wheeler or ATV on our property??? Then when I went to the garage…I stopped and looked around. Wait a second….someone came and mowed the entire property AND removed all the leaves!!!! A lawn fairy!! It was a beautiful thing to see and I have no idea who did it and am embarrassed that it took me so long to notice and that I was at first irritated that someone may have been just running through our yard. Kind of funny.

Finally, we were able to get down to business and finish that backsplash. Meanwhile, Aly did learn to caulk, paint trim and then she also put up our christmas lights on the back porch and part of the front. We were there til 9pm.

November 25th

It’s hard. Holidays feel like regular days. I made nothing to contribute to dinner. Wait, I brought pepper jack cheese filled olives from my pantry. But that’s it. The last 4-5 years we have gone to Sparta to run the Turkey Trot. I have no idea why people go to Grand Rapids when they can stay local, help local and win pies. The first year Mark and I both won pies. We have drug our kids into it each year…one kiddo at a time. (we didn’t dug them…we dragged them) This year I ran with Hatcher, Aly and Cora. It was Cora’s first 5k ever and Hatcher beat Aly for the first time ever but she will tell you she was running with Elianna for the firs half and it slowed her down. She saw a gal there that she follows on IG that is in the olympic trials for the marathon from Rockford. She got a quick pic with her and it made her morning. Cora actually started running at college with another gal (like she gets up at 6am and runs) but that gal has sinced slacked. However, Cora still gets up 2-3 days a week and runs on her own! I myself, have not been running at all…so I had to bear down and get through it to keep up with Cora. We ran it together though and that was pretty cool. I’m so sad Mark couldn’t be a part of it. He loves this stuff and it would have been the first year we all did it! Next year, Next year we will all be there!! Running or jogging or whatever. None of us brought home pies (I mean, its a little harder when olympic runners show up) but thats okay. We cleaned up and when to my moms. It was simple and low key. I wished I had made some sort of salad or fresh veggies…but I didn’t even bother to go to the store.

I hope you had a fantastic and yummy and memorable day this Thanksgiving.

When I was helping Mark clean up and get ready…I noticed there was blood in his lumens. (at the CVC port site) I was concerned because I’m not sure those were suppose to be filled with blood. All afternoon I thought about it. I was sick about it. Finally, tonight I called the on call nurse and he confirmed those were not suppose to have blood in them. He walked me through what to do and I”m not gonna lie…I was super nervous and scared. Scared I would flush a clot into my husbands heart or something just as bad. I got off the phone and took some “Comfort” from this company called Q Science. Its like a tincture. I told myself…”self, you have got to calm down and be chill”. I then told Mark I had to flush his lumens. He assured me it was not life or death and to take my time. But to me…it is! What if I do something wrong. I’m not a nurse. Rock the saline??? What? I mean I knew what he was talking about but…I dont’ want to have to do this stuff. So I cleaned up and gloved up and went through procedure…when I pulled back “bad blood” it pulled nicely!! So no worries…I could then reflush, heparin, and lock up. Why they filled, I do not know. If I had not been able to pull back we might have had to go into the center tomorrow for some anti-clotting procedure. But now we don’t have to.

One of Mark’s friends encouraged him to journal/write. Mark started to in the hospital but he has been so sick or in pain or just so discouraged that he hasn’t wanted to but in the last 2 days he has typed away. Do you want to read it? Let us know. I’m going to read through it and if he is okay with it…we will let you guys into the thoughts and mind of Mark through all of this. That might be a nice break from my rambling random thoughts and words.

Comments 11

  1. I don’t need a break from your thoughts but certainly wouldn’t mind hearing Marks thoughts as well. Love you guys! Happy Thanksgiving to all you wonderful people 🤗

  2. It’s not rambling, Dusty. It was a good read and some day, when things settle down, you’ll put it all in a book. Continuing much in prayer.

  3. It is not rambling Dusty and it’s well written easy to read. I don’t know where you find the energy/time to write. Praying for you all the time. Give Mark a hug for me please. Keep it up. You are brave.

  4. Dr. Denboer is wonderful..I see Dr. Stacey. My sister and her family see Doc.
    They are one of the biggest things I miss living out of state.

  5. Dusty , Gary and I read all your logs. I feel so sorry and helpless but we are praying. Yes we would love to hear Marks log.

  6. I would like to read Mark’s thoughts. And I agree with Cindy. You don’t ramble, you inform and I thank you for keeping us up on what’s going on. You continue in our prayers.

  7. You Rock Dusty. Having to do the dialysis and all you did yesterday in one day is amazing!
    I saw you and Cora run past my house at the beginning of the race! Go Linsleys along with the Browns!

  8. I would love to read both Yours & Mark’s thoughts on this journey. I should have done that when Randy had his cancer in 1993. I believe it helps you & others to do this. Keep writing & enjoy every day!

  9. Great work, Dusty, and under such difficult circumstances. May the Lord continue to give strength for each day, and may you feel his pleasure in your faithfulness.

    I, for one, would love to hear what Mark is thinking (and to receive an infusion of his character).

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