3 Month Update: Kidney and Pancreas Transplant

To read the first part about my Transplant click here: Aimee’s Kidney and Pancreas Transplant

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*I started writing this in February and updated it every week.

The first month was a pretty busy one. We were at least at the hospital 4-5 times during the week. Between blood work/labs and visiting with the Transplant team. For the first little while I couldn’t walk very far so I always was in a wheel chair. Adjusting back to home without Diabetes was pretty awesome. We decided to go through my diabetic supplies and started to donate it to people in need. It hasn’t been the most comfortable thing to lay flat on my back because it stretches out my stomach. I was lucky enough to have access to an adjustable bed at home. Everyday I have to do my vitals twice a day. I am still checking my blood sugar just to make sure the new pancreas is doing what it is suppose to be doing. My blood sugars have been PERFECT. It’s so weird not worrying about going to bed with my blood sugar lower than I’m used to. Before I would have to eat something even if I didn’t feel like eating. Now my blood sugar is around 90 going to bed and I wake up in the 80’s. I keep telling myself, “Soooo this is what it feels like to be normal.”Photo Feb 16, 10 54 32 AM.jpgCopper gets to hang out with me everyday, ALL day. 

Valentines Day was just another normal day…just being the third wheel with Mom and Dad :). Except it’s actually National Donor Day. I really felt that I wanted to do something for my donor. I still don’t know who he was and who his family is and might not ever know. So I couldn’t really send them anything or talk to them but instead I decided that I could send my donor a balloon to him. It’s so interesting to feel a connection with him but I’ve never known him.Screen Shot 2018-03-01 at 1.26.57 PM.pngThese first two months I’ve had to go in and get infusions done. They would take at least 2 hours or up to 5 hours. I either needed fluid for hydration, Magnesium if my level was really low OR I just had both done. The fluid obviously helps with dehydration and with the new organs especially you need to drink at least 2 liters a day. My body is just trying to figure out what “normal” is. I was even lucky enough to have a visit to the ER! One of the main things that we have been trying to figure out and fix is my low blood pressure. Again the fluid helps a lot with raising it. So that’s another reason they wanted me to drink a lot. Also this is probably the 5th time I got a nurse in training to do my IV…This time she got the IV in my arm but as soon as she did I just felt a lot of warm liquid running down my arm..AKA BLOOD. Not cool, I thought I was going to pass out. Anyway, they put me on some blood pressure medicine to keep my blood pressure up. I thought this was kind of funny because before transplant, I was on medication to try and lower my blood pressure. I’ve gone from one extreme to the other with a lot of things since having the transplant. In February I started to finally get all my staples out.Photo Jan 31, 2 41 06 PM

20180126_155229 Infusions. Lots of Netflix and lots of snacksPhoto Feb 11, 3 26 37 PMER visit. Weird to be here when you’re not super sick

It’s been fun to see peoples reactions to what I look like now from what I looked like in the year before. Everyone can’t believe how thin I am now compared to how swollen I was before! They also say that I have so much color now and I even glow.. whatever that means haha. I’ve also had to start investing in a new wardrobe because nothing fits. My shoes don’t even fit. I mean thats the thing, I’ve had Diabetes for 15 years, so I really don’t know what my body is actually suppose to look like! I’m also not freezing anymore, I can walk around, up stairs and not be out of air. I honestly feel so good. It’s really such a miracle, especially because it’s only been a couple of months.8D8A24681 Month! Starting to gain more weight back and almost had all of my staples out.Photo Feb 09, 12 51 02 PM

Here are a couple things people have asked me since my transplant:

  • How it feels to not have diabetes anymore? At first I couldn’t really answer that just because I was still sore from surgery, but now I can tell a difference. I just feel better. I can’t really pin point anything specific. I think the biggest thing I notice is not having to wear all my gadgets. I can now sleep on my sides and not have something digging into me. I can now wear my clothes and not worry about my insulin pump showing. I can shower and not worry about ripping it off or knocking it off on something. I also now don’t have to carry cans of juice around for low blood sugar or carry around all my devices. My purse is a lot lighter now 🙂
  • Do I like to eat specific things now? YES. I also eat A LOT. I love to eat Malt O Meal and Avacado toast for breakfast, obsessed with Costa Vida and Cafe Rio; mainly cheese quesadilla (if anyone knew me before I hated any type of Mexican food, I think my donor must of liked Mexican food haha), I love these Coconut Strips that you get from Trader Joe’s ( I buy at least 10 bags of it every time I go), Starbucks Strawberries and Cream Frappuccino’s and Graham Crackers dunked in Milk. I don’t like eating fast food anymore(my favorite type of food used to be American food like Crown Burger). I DO NOT like soda and especially diet drinks. I used to drink Diet Coke like it was water.

 

 

I think one of the hardest parts about this recovery is not being able to see people and also figuring out what to do at home all day. I know my job is to recover and get better right now, but it gets pretty lonely sometimes. Now, since it has been 2 months I can finally start being around people and go places without wearing a mask. My immune system is suppressed from the anti-rejection meds and will be really suppressed like that for a few months until they can lower my dosage. Things I do to keep busy: watch TV shows and movies (I even watched all three Lord of the Rings, Hope you would be proud haha). I do a lot of writing and editing photos, going through old pictures and trying to organize my hard drives better. I’ve gotten really good at Mario Kart on the Nintendo Switch, so if anyone wants to play I’ll probably crush you haha. I think the best part about having this time to heal is to help others who are going through Kidney Failure or Diabetes. It’s been really cool to see people reach out and ask me questions and being able to talk about our experiences.

A few weeks ago I had a doctors visit and now have me doing labs only once a week. HALLELUJAH. This visit I had a really important question to ask… I had to ask them when I could start kissing boys. Haha I wish I could record the looks I get when I ask my questions. My doctor just starts laughing 😂, “Well I’ve never had that question before, let me go check with the team.” They came back in smiling ear to ear and explained that I need to live my life and go ahead if I felt like I wanted to.8D8A3264I still don’t like winter very much but it makes for cool pictures. Helps me to keep busy taking self portraits.

 

2 MONTHS!8D8A3571

Photo Mar 08, 3 37 36 PMAll of the staples are out!

March 9th was starting out to be an amazing day. I had a job interview that I thought went really well! It was for a Creative Photographer/Admin Assistant. I then had a meeting for the Transplant Games. The Transplant Games happen every two years in a different city around the nation. This year they are actually hosting them here in Salt Lake City, UT. I can’t participate in any of the games because you have to be 9 months out from your transplant, but I am able to still be apart of the Utah/Idaho Team. I am also able to run in the 5K and I signed up to help volunteer! If you are interested in volunteering here is the link with all the info: Transplant Games

My mom and I got home around 8pm that night. I came in and my brother and my dad were sitting in the living room. I was pretty excited to tell them all about the good stuff that happened that day. After talking for a little, my dad looked at me and said that he had some sad news. I was like “ok…what?” He then took my hand and we walked towards the dining room area. As we were walking he turned on the light and told me that Copper had been hit. All I could say was, “Wait are you serious? Are you kidding?” He then said, “No I wouldn’t joke around with something like this…” I then looked ahead and there was a box. I started to walk closer and I could start to see in the box a blanket and Coppers legs. I backed away and it literally felt like someone shattered my heart. I started to break down. My dad turned to me and I looked at him and he was crying. I collapsed into his arms heartbroken. We then walked over to the box and I collapsed again to the floor not being able to breath and crying even more. Copper looked like he was sleeping, He looked totally fine. I looked up and my brother and mom were sitting there with tears in their eyes. It really feels like you lose a family member. He was with us for 13 years and could have gone a lot longer. After I had calmed down a little, my dad told us that the front door was left open from him and my brother taking some stuff out to the truck. During that time Copper got out and was hit. Someone pulled over ( I’m not sure if it was who hit Copper or just someone driving by) but they asked if my dad knew whose dog this was. My dad walked closer and he said his heart sunk. It was Copper.

After sitting there for a bit and said our goodbyes, I went and grabbed his favorite balls and a bone to put in the box with him. We then went outside and buried him under our apple tree. That night was one of the worst nights, I couldn’t fall asleep and eventually went into another room to find my dad sitting there too. The next morning our eyes were burning and swollen from crying and I really needed to get out of the house as soon as possible. It was too hard being there without Copper. Before leaving the house that morning I felt that I needed to take some pictures to capture how I was feeling that morning.

 

The morning after Copper passed away.

That day we stayed busy with errands and also went to Antelope Island to spend some time with family. I also needed to take some photos for the company I interviewed with. We have had a lot of time to talk about what happened to Copper and why it happened. I think what my sister in law said is the most truthful and right answer. “Devin (my brother), brought Copper home for you when you were struggling the most with your Diabetes. Copper has been there for you through your whole journey with the Diabetes, he was there for you through your Kidney Failure, and now your Transplant. He did what he came to do and it was now his time to go.” I believe in this with my whole heart and with more time to think, I believe he is now with my donor and keeping him company.

 

 

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April 11th, a little over a month since Copper passed. I wanted to do something small for his grave. When it gets a little warmer we plan on doing something more permanent.

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Back to March. That next weekend after Copper had passed away, we were thankfully heading out of town to our vacation rental. ( Check out the rental home HERE.) We really needed this break between everything that happened with me and now with Copper. We were able to spend a lot of time with my sister and her family while we were visiting St. George. I can’t really do much exercise yet but while I was there we took a walk up Snow Canyon, went on a bike ride and I FINALLY was able to go golfing. Oh I was so excited! I had bought my first driver and wanted to test it out so bad. I’d say it was my best golf game yet!

 

Photo Mar 20, 8 12 00 PMPhoto Mar 20, 8 08 01 PMPhoto Mar 20, 7 22 54 PM

That next weekend I got asked out on a date. I had met him once before, so I knew at least I could stand being around him 😂. He knew my situation and gave me a few options like: go to dinner, get a treat, go bowling…ya know your typical first date options haha. It basically had to be somewhat of a short date because he worked at night. When we were talking before our date, I was kind of joking around that I should just go to work with him. For work he drives a Snowcat up at Snowbasin Resort from midnight-9am. When he came to pick me up I hadn’t told him what I decided on doing. I’m pretty sure when I had my backpack packed and said lets go he was in shock that I really was going to go ride with him at work. Before we left he was talking to my dad for a bit and while we were walking out the door he was like, “So what time do you want her home? 9am?” I’m pretty sure no guy has ever said that to a parent haha.

We had a little time so we stopped and got some ice cream before heading up to the resort. When we got up to Snowbasin I kind of started to get nervous and was thinking “what the heck am I doing…?” We got our stuff together and got in the snowcat. It was about 12:30am at this point and we were going to be doing this till 9am. I probably looked so dumb asking all of these questions and trying to figure everything out, but it was so cool! It was a lot of fun to talk and listen to music but it didn’t get so fun when I had to pee…apparently you just stop where you are, turn off the lights to the snowcat and the person behind you does as well and your only option is to just go right there on the ski run. I literally was thinking to myself “wow, what a first for first dates haha.” They take a “lunch break” around 4am and then start back up till 9am. I was holding in there pretty good but got really tired around 5:30am and fell asleep for probably 15 mins. The final run was all the way to the top by Mount Ogden. The sun started to rise and it was the most beautiful sunrise I’ve ever seen. After we finished around 9am, we went to the lodge and grabbed some breakfast. I had a lot of fun and really glad I decided on that as our first date!

Photo Mar 24, 7 22 16 AMWhen the wind would pick up the snow it had the coolest look to it!
Photo Mar 24, 8 25 34 PM

I went to an event called “Storytelling Festival”, at IMC. It was for people who were/are donors, recipients, families and friends. It was amazing the connections I was able to make with people there. I was also able to share my story with everyone and I hate talking in front of people but I felt the need to share that day for some reason. Come to find out after I told my story, this woman and her husband who had a pancreas and kidney transplant came up to me and we were able to figure out that I was his backup if the organs wouldn’t have worked for him!

 

The artwork: everyone there put a stroke of paint

About a week after I went for a ride on the snowcat, I had a dream about this photo I created. I had one last chance to do it before the season was going to be over at the ski resort. I took my friend Damian with me and we went up to Snowbasin around midnight and shot star photos till about 6am. I wanted to get a picture of Steve and the others working that night of them driving the snowcats up and down the mountain with the stars in the photo. It took Damian and I awhile to find a good spot to be able to see them and then we had to time it right to capture them going up the mountain. It was really cold and took awhile but I am SO happy with how it turned out!

8D8A36678D8A3692Above is my dream shot.8D8A3693

 

3 MONTHS!8D8A3759

Photo Apr 08, 1 56 54 PM (1)

It was now my big 3 month appointment. Back in January/February I created some photos to give to my Transplant Team to say thank you for saving my life. April 12th I was finally able to give them these prints. They had everyone gather in the conference room and when I got there they were all there except my surgeon. I hadn’t seen him since I was in the hospital. He came in a min after I got there and goes, “WOW, you look different! You did your hair and everything.” I said,” I only did it for you!” Everybody laughed and smiled. It was so amazing to see him again. I then was able to present my gifts to him and the team. It was a very touching and cool experience to be there with everyone and share how passionate I am about my photography and organ donation.

 

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My Surgeon. ❤️ 

Seriously the coolest guy I’ve ever met. I just want to hang out with him and the team all day!30688827_10156280121364350_1549431133026910208_n8D8A3715

My surgeon and the director of solid organ transplants were discussing where they think these prints should go. They have talked about some pretty cool places to have them hung. I can’t wait to hear the final word of where! These prints were printed on metal and are 20X20s. Thank you Nichols Photo Lab for always doing an amazing job with printing my photos!

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“Hand of my Angel”

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“Wings of Life”

Butterflies are deep and powerful representations of life. Many cultures associate the butterfly with our souls. The Christian religion sees the butterfly as a symbol of resurrection. Around the world, people view the butterfly as representing endurance, change, hope and life. The little butterfly on my finger represents my donor. The color is the color for organ donation. When I gave these gifts to my surgeon he told me the butterfly one touched him the most. He said,” I believe donors/organs find who they are suppose to be for. The butterfly on your finger is your donor and he was meant to find you. All the other butterflies are other donors looking for their match.” When he said this I was so emotional about it. He is 100% right. Even though I had multiple offers and they never worked out, this beautiful butterfly found me and matched me perfectly.

Life is going so good and I have no complaints. How could I? I’m still recovering but I am starting to find my new self and try new things and I am in love with life and the people in it. ❤️

To watch the video I did about my Transplant click the link below.

 

Kidney and Pancreas Transplant 2018

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Aimee’s Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Story

After reading below, click HERE to read my 3 month update!

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What a rollercoaster 2017 was. My life completely went a whole different direction than I thought. I wanted to write and tell my story and be able to share it in hopes of helping someone. So here we go.

At age 10 I was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes. Growing up I didn’t have the best control of it. It’s a disease that never sleeps. I mean what teenager would want to have that responsibility? Now 15 years later I am in Stage 5 of Kidney Failure.

I found out October 2016. I got stung by a bee and went into the doctor’s office to have it checked for swelling. While I was there they checked my blood pressure and it was 210/ something. The nurse looked at me like I should be dead. I then got some blood work done. My kidney function came back at only 26%. The blood pressure is a sign of kidney failure. I was put on blood pressure medication that in a few weeks started to have a reaction to making my feet swell. I literally could feel the water bouncing around in my feet as I walked.

In November and December I was starting to notice that I would get really cold and tired. We did more blood work and saw that I was Anemic because the kidneys weren’t producing a hormone that produces the red blood cells. The blow dryer became my best friend the next year haha. I also felt like I ran a mile just walking up stairs because with not having enough oxygen in my blood. January rolled around and got more blood work done. My kidney function had dropped from 26%-23%. I met with my nephrologist( kidney doctor) and he told me that I was in Stage 4 of Kidney Failure and would eventually need a kidney transplant. It was the most terrifying and heartbreaking news I’ve ever heard. All I could think of was what an idiot I was and why did I not take better control of my Diabetes. He also explained that I could not begin the process of getting on the Transplant List until my Kidney function dropped 20% or below. He also talked about that I have the option to do a Kidney AND a Pancreas Transplant. That meaning I wouldn’t have Diabetes anymore with a new pancreas. He said this could take a year or so. So in my head I’m thinking “Ok, I’m good for now and I have time to figure everything out.”

Couple months later, March. My Kidney level dropped below 20%. I am now in Stage 5 of Kidney Failure. My doctor sent In the request to the hospital of my choosing for the Transplant Team to send me a packet of info. I received my packet and before I could get on the Transplant List I had to complete a bunch of tests and exams to see if I am healthy enough to get a transplant. I wanted to get these tests checked off ASAP. Between April and May I probably went to at least 50 doctors appointments.  Keep in mind this whole time I am super sick and trying to function. May was probably the hardest month. I was so sick. I was throwing up, couldn’t keep anything down, swollen, exhausted from doing nothing and freezing in temperatures of 70+ degrees. I tried everything and nothing seemed to help. I then had an impression to ask my dad for a father’s blessing. A complete miracle happened and I was never sick like that again.

End of May we finally got everything done and were able to go in and meet with the Transplant Team. It was from 7am-12pm that we met and learned all about Kidney/Pancreas Transplants. I decided that I would like to have a Kidney and Pancreas Transplant instead of just a Kidney Transplant. I will no longer be Diabetic and that’s what started this whole mess. Also the donor has to be deceased because we cannot live without the pancreas. We met with the Transplant Coordinator, Financial, Social worker, Dietitian and even the Surgeon who will be doing the operation. He explained the whole surgery and what they do. The surgery is 7-9 hour surgery. They keep my old organs in my body and add the two new ones. They also take out my appendix and gallbladder so down the road I wouldn’t have any chance of getting infection. I then figured if he was doing all that he might as well give me a boob job while he was at it. He just kind of sat there and stared for a second and then said no.. haha.

In June I had two last tests to do. An Angiogram and a liver test. I passed the Angiogram with flying colors but in the liver test they found that I had Gallbladder disease. That was what was most likely making me super nauseated and throwing up. They decided to leave it in until my transplant and take it out then. June 28, 2017 I was officially put on the Transplant List for a Kidney and Pancreas. The Transplant Coordinator told me it would be weeks not months to get my transplant. My expectation was set high.

July 3rd, not even a week being on the list I had my first call. I was the backup for the transplant, meaning there was one person ahead of me. Let me tell you when you get these calls you basically have anxiety for 48 hours. You just have to wait and wait until they say yes or no. The person ahead of me accepted the transplant so I did not receive those organs. The next three months I didn’t get a call. I always had to keep my phone with me 24/7 so I wouldn’t miss a call. I also couldn’t be more than 2 hours or less away from home.

October 9th at 2:19am I got my second call. I was again the backup for the transplant. I ended up not getting those organs. I was pretty bummed but I knew everyone that is on that list needs those organs just as much as I do. Also because my expectation was set that I would get my transplant in weeks and not months. Later I got my third call October 31st at 10:30pm. I was the backup AGAIN. I guess this time I was bumped down on the list because someone had more antibodies than me. Meaning it’s a lot harder to find them a match. I waited till November 2 to hear that I did not get the organs. November 28th I got my fourth call and I was a backup again. At this point I seriously thought the system was rigged or something, But all I could do is just wait and pray that my time is coming. I didn’t get the organs.

December I didn’t get any calls. This whole time I pretty much have needed to be on dialysis. I refused to go on it and tried to live life with out it. I was so swollen that I tried to put my boots on and I tore them haha. December is also my birthday month and I was turning 26 on December 31st. The stressful thing is that I hadn’t been able to work since March. Meaning I have no insurance except my parents. Well as everyone knows when you turn 26 you’re kicked off your parents insurance and that’s exactly what happened. We had been trying to get an extension on the insurance and it didn’t get done by the end of the year.

Now its January 2018. No insurance and if I got a call I would have to pull $400,000 out of somewhere to pay for my transplant. Obviously that wasn’t an option so at this point I’m pretty stressed and scared. By some miracle the insurance company made it happen on January 3rd. I was put back on my parents insurance for a year. Friday January 5th was my Dad’s birthday! He told me all he wanted for his birthday was a phone call for a transplant. I told him yeah right we will see. Well at 6:13pm I got my fifth call. I waited for my parents to come upstairs and told my dad I had another birthday present for him, I got the call. He couldn’t believe it haha. This time I was sort of a backup. The donor and the family wanted to direct the organs to certain people. So basically if it didn’t match up with someone it would most likely go to me. The next day I was called off alert and that the others had accepted the organs. I was so bummed. I just felt like this was going to go on for forever and that it would never happen to me.

The next day January 7th that was all about to change. I was laying in bed not wanting to get up when my phone rang at 9am. It was ANOTHER CALL. This time I was number one spot! They said that it was still pretty early to say if I would get the organs or not but they did the matching and it was a perfect match for me. I hung up and went and told my mom what happened. My dad had already left for church but I decided to call him anyway. He didn’t answer but texted me. I told him what happened and he told me he would be home after his last meeting which would be around noon. That morning I did not feel good at all. So I didn’t eat until 12:30 or so. My mom decided to go to church anyway because we had been down this road so many times that she just figured it was another false alarm. I decided to eat some chow mein for lunch. I sat on the stairs in the sun waiting for another update. My dad got home and we were just hanging out and talking when my phone rang at 1:25pm. She told me to not eat or drink anything and that it was time to come into the hospital to start the testing to make sure I was healthy and had no problems just in case I got the transplant. My dad and I broke into tears. I couldn’t  believe this was happening. I needed to go pack my bags and get ready to go. We tried calling my mom and of course she didn’t answer so my dad went to go get her. They got back and decided to start doing the dishes. I was like uhh what are you guys doing! We need to go!

We arrived at the hospital probably around 3ish, I changed into my gown and started getting blood work done and my vitals. They had the hardest time trying to get an IV in my arm so they finally brought in a professional from the ER and he got it in like 2 seconds. I was so thirsty and hungry while waiting and pretty anxious the whole time. My brother and sister showed up. The nurses came in and told me that the donor was going into surgery about 8pm to retrieve the organs and that if everything went well I would be going into the OR around 11pm. They came in a little later and said everything looks perfect and that they will come back and get me ready to go around 10:30pm. I still felt like this wasn’t really happening and I started to get even more anxious. We headed to the OR floor at 11:47pm, when we got there that’s where I was able to say my see ya laters and I am going to take the best 6 hour nap of my life haha. It was pretty emotional but I was ready to do this. This was also the moment that I took my insulin pump off. They rolled me back to the OR room and all I remember is I switched to  a table from the bed and then they put a mask over my face. I started to feel really light-headed and dizzy and I remember telling them that and then I was out.20180107_1446538D8A2119Waiting to head down to the OR. This picture is embarrassing but I looked like this for about a year with all the swelling. I weighed 150 lbs.IMG_20180107_151547They took 12 vials of blood to make sure I was healthy enough for surgery.Photo Jan 17, 10 04 31 AM8D8A21298D8A21368D8A21396am, January 8th, 2018 I was done with surgery. My parents stayed the night in the waiting room. The nurse gave them updates every so often through the night. The surgeon came in around 6:30am and told my parents that everything went really well and I couldn’t have received any better organs than I did. He also said that they found a hernia and took care of that. The gallbladder was really diseased and he said that it took him longer to get that taken care of then the transplant. I was put in ICU and really don’t remember a whole lot while I was in there. I guess some stuff that I did and said while I was there was pretty funny. I told my mom that I was dying and going to where my grandpa was, she was like no you’re not haha you are fine. Also I guess I kept saying I felt like sh*t to the nurse while my mom was in there, she wasn’t very happy about that. Oh and apparently I was hitting on the nurse that was in there and he told me he was married and had kids and my response was that “well my ass isn’t ever getting married.” Again my mom was in there haha. They actually had me walking the first day which is crazy after having a surgery like that.  I was then transferred up to my own room the next day.8D8A21468D8A2155Walking in the ICU the day I got my surgery.8D8A2161I was pretty nauseous that first day and a half.

I had a really good view of the front of the hospital and we could watch the helicopters take off and land. I pretty much did the same thing everyday from there on out. One of my parents would sleep on the pull out couch and my sister stayed one of those nights too! I didn’t get really any sleep. Between the beeps from my IV’s, the nurses coming in and pain I was in there wasn’t sleep. In fact my favorite thing to do at 3am is go for a walk around the floor. Mornings they would do my vitals and then have the nurses switch shifts. My favorite HCA was a girl named Leslie. She was so fun and loved to have her there to help me and hang out. Through out the day a lot of different doctors stopped in. I didn’t like to do much the first few days because it was hard to focus and I would sleep a lot (or try to).  Thursday I had a few visitors which was nice and one of them was my best friend Ali! She was so sweet and brought me some beautiful flowers.8D8A217120180108_0938178D8A2176Seriously one of my favorite things to do was to go for walks around the floor.

8D8A2186 copySaturday was a big day, I was able to get my nose tube/drain out and also my catheter. That meant I could finally eat and drink! Getting it pulled out of my nose was uncomfortable but it didn’t last very long. They let me start drinking which was the best feeling. Jeff came and visited which was really nice to see him and he even brought me some flowers. My sister stayed the night that night which was really fun. We played Disney Scene It and cards. Sunday I could finally eat a full liquid diet. I got three different jellos! You have no idea how good it was to have flavor. Later that night I was surprised by my brother and his wife and kids with my dog Copper! I was so excited to see them all.8D8A2188They came in asking what Jello I wanted and I picked all three!8D8A2195A surprise visit from my dog Copper! 20180114_193603Photo Jan 14, 7 11 30 PMPhoto Jan 17, 10 03 41 AMPhoto Jan 17, 10 03 46 AMMonday, officially one week with my new perfect organs. It was a pretty mellow day, my diet changed to whatever I would like to eat which was nice but I had a hard time eating because the tube that was down my throat made it raw. They actually were ready to discharge me because of how well I was doing and they didn’t want me to get any sickness from being at the hospital. So about 8pm we left the hospital and headed home.8D8A2214Heading home, I honestly loved staying at the hospital but ready to get home.8D8A2218Arriving at home was a little weird it felt good to be home but I also missed being at the hospital and the comfort it brought. I was now in charge of myself, I have to do my own vitals and take my meds. I take my pills twice a day and there are about 18 different pills plus the pain meds that I have. I won’t take all of these medications for forever they will slowly get less and less. I came home with a drain for my stomach still in too. I guess I didn’t really talk about the incision that I have. It’s about 12 inches long and it’s pretty sore. They put the new pancreas down in my front right side and the new kidney in the front left side.8D8A2223feetcomparisonBefore and afterPhoto Jan 19, 2 42 41 PMI have now been home for a week and it has been 2 weeks since I had my transplant. Things are up and down. My weight before surgery was 150 and now I’m at 105. I feel pretty good but sometimes still in pain. But I am so blessed and grateful for what I have, a second chance at life. The social worker gave me a box with some stuff to write to my donor’s family. I have started writing my letter and It’s so hard to put into words how much it means to me that they decided to donate. They literally saved my life and gave me the ultimate gift for a new chance at life. I don’t know a whole lot about my donor other than that he was a male in his 20’s and that he is my angel. I hope and pray that I will be able to get in contact with his family so I can express in person my love and gratefulness to them. I am so grateful for my family and especially my parents who have been there through it all. Thank you to the people who reached out and for all of the prayers. Most of all thank you to my donor who decided to donate his organs.8D8A2392Holding my Kidney and Pancreas pillows (:8D8A23362 weeks after transplant and NO LONGER A DIABETIC. I haven’t had insulin for 2 weeks now!

 

 

Jordyn&Angie|Utah

K so can we talk about how perfect this mom and daughter photoshoot was? Not only were they just gorgeous they were so fun to shoot and hang out with! This was my first time doing a shoot for a mom and her daughter. I LOVED doing it and want to do more! We shot on a day when it was snowing and I am so happy with the way the images turned out! Make sure to follow my Instagram to keep updated on what I am up to and traveling to!

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Holman Wedding|Snowbasin Resort Utah

Alex and Kait were so much fun to work with! They were so natural together and made my job 20x easier to shoot these two who were in love with each other! Their wedding day was spent up at Snowbasin Resort. I had never been there besides the winter time to ski. I was so stoked to shoot here in the Fall time! Here are some photos from their perfect day.

Dress: Alta Moda Bridal

Venue: Snowbasin Resort, Utah

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Liberty|Utah

A few weeks ago I shot with Liberty! She was visiting from LA during the holidays. We decided to drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon and shoot with the snow! It was probably around 20 degrees while we were shooting. I’m stoked about the images we got! Check them out below and I’ll add her IG account so you can check out her amazing photos.

Liberty’s Instagram

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