Thursday, April 16, 2009

Where Do I Start?

Yesterday was a very strange day dotted with both good and bad news. I guess the best way to tell it, is to just start at the beginning.

I was a bit uptight as I drove to work. All I could think about was getting the test results so we could move forward in one direction or another with Don's treatment. Although the doctors office did not open until 9, I put a call into the answering service anyway, requesting a call back.

When I walked into my work and approached my desk, I noticed something strange as well. People were gathered together in small groups talking softly between themselves.
I approached. "What is going on?"
"Mike's daughter died last night." one of the ladies responded.
My heart ached for him. Mike is a co-worker of mine. A jovial kind of a guy who works in a different department, but would always lend a hand to help anyone. His 25 year old daughter suffered from a life long birth defect that recently required her to have open heart surgery. We still do not know the exact details, but last I had heard, she was suffering with pneumonia.

Soon after I had settled into my desk, I got the call from Don telling me he had found the dead baby lamb. Since he was already dressed for work and heading out the door, I told him that I would bury it when I got home. This news made the anxiety of waiting for the doctors call even worse. I took a break and called the doctors office again.

"Hi, this is Julie and I am calling to get the Viral Load test results for my husband." I said trying to sound cheery.
"Oh hi Julie, let me get you the nurse. The doctor will not be in the office today until 2pm." the receptionist replied, and I was placed on hold.

A moment later Roxanne came on the line. Roxanne is our favorite nurse. She is kind, smart, attentive...and it is sooooo obvious that she has a crush on Don. I don't mind a bit. Because of that, she stays on top of everything she has control over and gets things done.
"Hi Julie." she said without hesitation."Dr. A got the results last night but he took them with him when he left. He will be in at 2 and I will have him call you then."
a short hesitation followed. I told her thank you before I hung up the phone. I knew in my heart the results were not good. If Roxanne knew the doctor had the results, I knew she knew what they said. The doctor had told us that we could call and get the results from the nurse - so for him to need to talk to us was not a good sign.

I not-so-patiently waited until 2pm before making another call. It confirmed what I had suspected. Don's Viral Load was 23,000. We were hoping for -0- which is referred to as "undetected" and at the most a count of 4,000. Dr. A told me to keep Don on the meds he was taking, but that he wanted us to go to a Hepatitis specialist as well. I jotted down the name and number of another doctor and ended the call.

I took a few deep breaths before I called Don. It is difficult to understand the strange processes of this disease. After all, he started at 400,000, so a drop down to 23,000 seems like a huge success after 12 weeks of meds - right?? Statistically though, you want the number to be -0- and even then you still need to stay on the meds for almost a year. You see, your blood saturates every part of your body...every organ and tissue from your head to your toes. If there is any hepatitis left, it will regenerate. Patients who have completed the treatments must return for Viral Load tests for years after treatment and sadly some again will test positive for HCV. It is a very difficult disease to conquer.

On my drive home, Don and I again talked. He asked me some more questions and I did my best to answer. He is so amazing to me. Not once does he turn his head to look back. He just keeps forging ahead. Don, if you are reading this .. I just want to tell you that you are my inspiration and I adore every part of you. I will never give up doing what I can to get us through this. God brought us together, kept us together and I have never been as happy as I am with you right now! I love you with all of my heart.

* * * * * * * * * *

When I got home, I changed clothes, ate and headed outside to do my chores. I grabbed the shovel and headed for the lambs pen to bury the little guy. I stopped dead in my tracks. There in front of me was a baby lamb standing in the herd. Honestly, my first thought was to question Don's ability to tell a dead animal from a live one! (sorry honey)..but in actuality, our 3rd ewe gave birth earlier that day. I still had to bury the dead lamb, but the day ended on a very happy note as we had a new little life on our farm! I will try and post some pictures tomorrow.


Neabear said...

Whoa! What a day...Keeping you in my prayers.

Cathy said...

{{Julie and Don}} BIG HUGE {{HUGS}} to both of you. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers! I'm sorry I've not been around much. My desktop is still not working..

{{Big Hugs}}


Ginger said...

That was a nerve wracking day wasn't it? Like the old saying, when it rains it pours. So sorry for your co-worker to lose his daughter.
I'm glad you finally got the results of Don's test, after all that waiting. You two are lucky to have each other and I wish you both the best. Keep on doing what you do....
I'm glad the day ended on a good note with the baby lamb.

bj said...

Oh, Julie...what a voyage this is for you, Don and the children.
Whew...nerve racking to say the least.
I hope you are also taking care of JULIE !!

Helen said...

Dear Julie, no matter what any of us has on our own plates ... reading your story brings us back to what is most important in life. Thank you so very much ~ both of you ~ for including us in this journey.

Susan said...

Hi Julie,
We're all still praying for you and Don. This has got to be so tough for you guys...just not knowing what's happening and what will happen. Hang in there...I'm thinking something positive is on it's way.
Hugs, Susan

Nina Diane said...

oh Julie, I'm so sorry that was such a tough day for you. hugs and prayers to you and Don from Virginia! and yes, pictures please....that lamb in your header makes me smile everytime I see it!!

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

Your Don sounds a lot like my Vann, very upbeat and not one to feel sorry for himself. I'm sorry for the disappointing test results. But keep the faith, Julie. God knows how scary it is to be us. He's right there beside both of you and he'll see you through this. I continue to lift you both up in prayer.
Congrats on the new baby lamb.

Robyn said...

YOu and Don are still in my prayers and thoughts! I also wanted to invite you to join in my birthday giveaway! Spread the news!

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

That was quite a day, Julie! You and Don remain in my thoughts and prayers.

Neabear said...

Thanks for visiting me today! You are right that my name is swedish and is the name of the flower. I don't know if you noticed the picture of it in my sidebar on the left side. My father is Swedish and my mother is Finnish. Interestingly we have carried my name several generations on my mother's side, the Finnish side. My mother's father's sister's name was Linnea. My mother, daughter and granddaughter all have it for a middle name. And I have it for a first name. The granddaughter is my son's daughter. My daughter has said that if she ever has a girl she will also use the name Linnea. So it is pretty special.

vivian said...

and I will work on that little lambie pie this weekend. sorry the news wasnt what we had been hoping for. (((hugs)))

Cote de Texas said...

You deserve a break. Hard to say that is this bad news or not. At least he did respond. i'm sorry it wasn't at 0. Keep going, keep trying. I'm praying for y'all.

Susan Lang @ Designing Your Dream Home said...

Julie, thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. This is my first visit to your blog... gosh, you have been through quite a bit.
Glad you found the baby lamb... and your chances of winning my book are as good as the others who comment. Take care!

The Urban Chic said...

Julie, I just got to a computer and I am so sorry about all that has happened in just a week. It feels like forever since I visited. Prayers for you and Don and so sorry about your friends daughter. Blessings for all of you. Love and hugs, Pat

Cathy said...

Just wanted you to know I'm thinking about yall. I will stop back by later!

{{Big Hugs}}


justabeachkat said...


What a day you had! I'm so sorry about your friend's daughter, the poor sweet little lamb, and most importantly, about Don's results. I admire BOTH of you for forging ahead...hand in hand. Don is lucky to have you by his side and I'm sure he feels lucky to have you by his side.


BailiwickDesigns said...

I've been catching up on your posts... my prayers are with you and your husband! xo Jill

Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) said...

Waiting is soooo hard. Sorry the news wasn't quite what you wanted. What a day you had. Keeping you and Don in my prayers.

Bunny Rose Cottage said...

Julie! I dont even know what to say. Yo uare amazing. I love you, you are an inspiration to me and so is Don.