My Daddy kept a journal of our time at UCLA. He also scanned in some pictures taken during our stay there. You can see the pictures HERE.
Shelly Dowdle is giving our son, Bryan (age 5), one of her kidneys. It should go great.
- June 6th, 1997 - Friday
- Phil and Patty Burton leave Great Falls in their minivan, starting that long drive to California. They are Bryan's grandparents (Shelly's parents). Phil's parents (Phil Sr. and Naomi) live in Escondido, California, about three hours drive south of LA. Of course a family visit is planned!
- June 7th, 1997 - Saturday
- Go to Great Falls International Airport at approx. 12:30 pm to check in for flight to LA.
- We are met by KFBB's Abe Moore who does a mini-interview.
- Fly out at approx. 1:20 pm.
- Arrive at LA International Airport at approx 5:30 pm (Pacific time)
- Met at airport by Troy Jackson of Whittier, CA (Shelly's cousin Carole's husband) and spent the night with Troy and his family.
- June 8th, 1997 - Sunday
- Wake up at 5:30 am and start working on this page. ;)
- Visit with Carole, Troy and family. Thanks for letting us stay with you guys!!!
- Phil and Patty Burton arrive and pick us up to go to the UCLA area.
- We check into the UCLA Tiverton House and go to bed early to be rested for appointments the next day.
- June 9th, 1997 - Monday
- Appointsments start at 8 am. Shelly has labs such that she doesn't get to eat or drink anything until 5 pm. She has her blood drawn, a fancy chest x-ray, and EKG, and a CTU (an IV with some dye-like stuff for an x-ray of her kidney and surrounding area).
- Bryan sees a doctor at the nephrology clinic and has his blood drawn.
- June 10th, 1997 - Tuesday
- Shelly had a couple of appointments and gave a pint of blood so she would have it available if needed during/after the xplant surgery a week away.
- Picked up three new meds for Bryan to start before the surgery that start slowing down his immune system to reduce the chances of his body rejecting his mother's kidney.
- We were picked up by Phil and Patty Burton and driven down to Escondido, CA to visit with Phil Sr. and Naomi Burton...Bryan's Great-Grandparents.
- Visited some mall on our way out of the UCLA area, including a three story Barnes and Noble bookstore and picked up a BEGINNING LINUX PROGRAMMING book. It gives Daddy something to read. ;)
- June 11th, 1997 - Wednesday (slack day)
- Visited with the great grandparents. They are feeding us well. ;)
- Visited Bell Gardens, a produce seller and farm about 30 minutes away. They have a hay ride and Bryan enjoyed himself.
- Watched Disney's Beauty and the Beast video. We didn't bring any of Bryan's videos, but luckily the great grandparents had something. ;) Maybe we will hit a video store soon.
June 12th, 1997 - Thursday (slack day)
- Up and about 7 am. Nothing much going on yet...had time to update this page.
- Went to the Kernel-Panic Linux Users' Group meeting at 7 pm. A guy there (Richard Sears) said that he ran or worked for an Escondido Internet Service Provider. I asked him how much for temporary access... and
he said it would be free since we only needed it for a brief period of time. I'm using it as I type this. Thanks webcc.net!
June 13th, 1997 - Friday (slack day)
- Went to the San Diego Zoo. It cost like $66 for us all to get in (with the general ticket, not the deluxe or anything). Phil and Patty Burton, Shelly and I, and of course Bryan went... making that four adults and one child. It was worth it. Sort of poor weather though... and it started raining after we had been there a few hours so we decided it was time to leave. We wanted Great Grandma Naomi Burton to go to the zoo, but she wasn't feeling up to it.
June 14th, 1997 - Saturday (slack day)
- Visted with Kenn and Sherri Scheel in Murrieta, CA. Kenn is another one of Shelly's cousins. Everyone was there for a sort of pre-father's day party thing: Kenn, Sherrie (and kids, Travis and Emily), Carole and Troy (and kids Christopher and Cassie), Phil and Patty, Phil Sr. and Naomi, Shelly, Scott and of course Bryan. Phil Burton helped Kenn get his really nice Toshiba desktop computer on the internet. Even if it was AOL (kind of hurt to watch). At least he's on the internet now.
June 15th, 1997 - Sunday (slack day)
- Nothing much going on today...but we went to some all-you-can-eat place called Family Buffet. Had to wait in line like 30 minutes, and it was crowded, but the food was good.
- Watched 60 Minutes on CBS and saw the stories about Tim McVeigh and his lawyer... very interesting.
- We plan on leaving for UCLA early in the morning. Shelly and Bryan should be checking into the hospital sometime between noon and 1pm and stay overnight for the xplant surgery tomorrow. We are kind of excited that it is drawing so close.
- I talked to my mom and dad (Lou Ellen and Ronald Dowdle) on the phone today to give them an update... and to say happy father's day of course. They have been keeping up with the xplant trip and with they could be more involved. They have been very supportive... and in many ways.
- June 16th, 1997 - Monday (at the hospital)
- Got up early. Phil and Patty drove us from Escondido to the UCLA area.
- Got checked in at UCLA Tiverton House.
- Both Bryan and Shelly checked into the UCLA Medical Center Hospital. Shelly is in room 665 and Bryan is in room 340... for now anyway.
- We talked to a few doctors and signed the consent forms.
- The surgery should be really early tomorrow morning... around 7am or so. It should last anywhere from 2 to 4 hours.
- June 17th, 1997 - Tuesday (THE Day!)
- They came and got Shelly at approx. 6:30 am, and then Bryan at 7:15 am.
- We heard about 8:30 am that surgery had begun.
- We heard Shelly was released from the recovery room and was being transported to her room.
- About 12:30 I visit Shelly in her room. She is tired and in a lot of pain, but her pain meds are kicking in.
- Was told that Bryan had entered the recovery room and that they had removed his dialysis catheter... a part of him for over 4 years now. It was removed because they were confident the transplanted kidney was working... and that it had in fact already produced some urine... which is a very good sign.
- Bryan is still in the recovery room, but when he gets out he will go to the Children's ICU where he will stay until they are happy with him. He lost his old hospital room because he doesn't need one for now. I will post his room number as soon as he gets one! ;)
- It's about 1:40 pm and Shelly finally fell asleep... pain meds must be kicking in.
- Called my parents to let them know how things are going.
- Phil Burton called his parents in Escondido.
- Called KFBB TV in Great Falls... since Abe Moore had given us a business card with thier 1-800 number on it and told us to call after the surgery... got email on it later to learn that part of the phone conversation made the news. ;)
- Bryan got out of the recovery room around 2 pm. His new kidney has been producing a lot of urine, so they have to keep him hydrated... and he produces more. They (the surgeons, doctors and nurses) are happy, so we are happy!
- Visited with Bryan for several hours and he is himself, just a little mellowed out. It seems that he got a little rowdy in the recovery room, so they decided to give him some really strong pain meds. He was talking and moving around... but just a lot more mellowed out. He even got two shots (he has an IV hooked up, but they gave him two tiny shots to make sure he wasn't allergic to two new meds) without putting up much of a fight... which isn't like him. ;)
- Bryan has a nurse all to himself. It seems they give pediatric transplant patients a nurse of their own. I was surprised.
- Bryan will probably be getting out of the ICU (Intensive Care Unit for you non-medical lingo types) late tomorrow afternoon.
June 18th, 1997 - Wednesday
- Bryan has a really nice nurse named Monica. She is the daytime nurse and I really didn't get to visit much with the night nurse.
- Bryan's meds (given through his G-tube now, since he pulled out the mainline IV) seems to irritate his stomach and he has thrown them up a few times.
Shelly still feels pretty poorly, but she is getting better slowly. They are making her get out of bed... and when I first saw her this morning, she was sitting in a chair. She got up and did two walks down the hall.
- We put Shelly in a wheelchair and took her down to Bryan's room for a visit.
June 19th, 1997 - Thursday
- Bryan finally got out of the ICU. He is doing just fine... since he is finally keeping his meds down and he had a poopie diaper...twice.
- Shelly did some walking, sitting up in a chair, and two wheelchair rides to visit Bryan.
- Bryan is in room 342.
June 20th, 1997 - Friday
- Bill and Pat Scheel fly into Escondido (Phil Burton's sister and brother-in-law) (or did they drive?). Phil Sr., Naomi, Bill and Pat come to the hospital to visit Shelly and Bryan.
- Steven Burtom (Shelly's brother) flew in from Sunnyvale, CA to visit Bryan and the rest of the family.
- Ummm, can't remember much else. It's a blur. I should have updated this page earlier. :(
June 21st, 1997 - Saturday
- Shelly got out of the hospital early in the morning... and made the trek over to Tiverton House for lodgings.
- I staayed with Bryan at the hospital most of the day and slept over. I'm not sure what everyone else did.
- Bryan seems to be getting strong and better. He played for a little shile in the play room and did a lot of walking. He doesn't seem to be having any pain at all and his scar looks pretty good... for a scar.
- Put some film in at a 1-hour photo place and got some good pictures back. We (Phil, Steven and I) walked around the Westwood shoppiing area looking for a place to scan some pictures in for this page, but the lowest price was $8 a picture with us supplying floppy disks to house the scan files on. EGADS! We decided to continue waiting. ;)
June 22nd, 1997 - Sunday
- Bryan doesn't have to sleep with an IV going anymore, although he still has an IV in his arm. He isn't drinking and eating as much as they want, but they are feeding him via the feeding tube to make up for it.
- Steve left LA to go back to Sunnyvale (airport in San Jose actually). He made money on his weekend trip because the flight back was overbooked so they were looking for people to sit out his flight. He got $200 cash (his original round trip only cost $100) and a free round trip ticket to his choice of destination. Don't you just love those airlines? He continues to look for an apartment in Sunnyvale.
- Phil Sr. and Naomi come up wtih Pat and Bill... and they visit again... then going to Carole and Troys house (where everyone else was, including Phil, Patty, Shelly, Steven, Sherri, Kenn and all the kids. I (Scott Dowdle) stayed at the hospital to watch Bryan. We had fun.
- Watched a lot of the Disney Channel with Bryan... as there isn't much to do here.
June 23rd, 1997 - Monday
- We were told really early in the morning that Bryan would be getting out of the hospital.
- We put some normal clothes on Bryan and he got really excited. I think he figured out that he was going to be going home today.
- Bryan visited the playroom and played with PlayDoh. We made a PlayDoh pizza and he kept trying to feed a slice of PlayDoh-roni pizza to his mother. They gave him a Power Ranger action figure for his very own.
- Bryan rode up and down the hallway about a hundred times on a big wheel type bike
- There was another little boy on a similar bike who was riding around like a wildman. His name was Fernando and I don't think he understood English too well. He was by himself (no parent) for most of the day and he was running from room to room visiting everyone and just kinda making himself at home. He started becomming annoying when he'd do thinks like go into one of the women's bathrooms. ;)
- Bryan saw one of us counting some dollar bills in our wallet and he wanted some money, so Phil gave him $1. Bryan was excited by it.
- He started yelling that he wanted to "GO PAY!" which ment that he was ready to get out of the hospital. He took his dollar down to the nurses station and tried to "GO PAY!" because he was ready to go. It was really funny.
- We're told that Bryan needed to have a noew IV put in before going home because the one he had was too old and wouldn't last. The IV nurse was paged.
- The IV nurse finally showed up about 5:30 pm (what a wait!). It took about four of us to hold him down to put in the new IV.
- There was some confusion about the care of the IV and what parts of the care we were responsible for. The doctor from ealier in the day was paged to clarify. She was in the middle of report so it took a little while for her to show up. We learned how to flush his IV with heprin to keep it open. This has to be done every 6 hours.
- At approx. 6:30 pm we got to go home... The Tiverton House. There was a big box of supplies waiting from the pharmacy. It was Bryan's IV med supplies.
- We got dinner from a place down the street... Steve's Place. It was pretty good and Shelly liked the pickles that came with it. Right Shelly?
- I spent the evening relaxing on the Internet catching up with email and IRCing with my friends on the #Montana channel. HELLO GANG!
June 24th, 1997 - Tuesday
Got up and gave Bryan all of his new meds. He is still in a cranky mood from his hospital stay. We tried to give him a sponge bath and he just threw a fit. Come on kid, you haven't had a read bath in over a week!
- We are suppose to hear from the Home Healthcare nurse... so they can pay a visit and teach us how to give Bryan one medicine via the IV.
- Someone from the nursing gency called at 9:40 am. They would have called earlier, but they had the wrong number for us. Oh, btw, the phone number here at Tiverton house (directly to our toom) is (301)794-0257.
- Some nurse should be by around 2pm to train us on how to do the IV stuff.
- Don't really have plans today... hope we get to do something fun.
June 25th, 1997 - Wednesday
- Bryan had a lab visit and a clinic visit. It went pretty well.
- Then we went back to the room and Phil and Patty came by.
- We went through the IN AND OUT drive-thru for some burgers.
- We ended up feeing a parking meter in a parking garage (a quarter for 7 minutes!) on the UCLA campus and ate our burgers on the lawn in from of the UCLA store.
- After eating we went into the UCLA Store (a combo bookstore, computers, clothing, supplies) and I looked at the books in there ;)...but I was a good boy and only got a $5 paperback. HACKER CRACKDOWN. Whoopie.
- Visited Santa Monica Peir. It's kina famous, with the carnival type setup... roller coaster, merry go round and whatnot. Bryan keep saying he wanted to ride the airplace ride and I bought him some tickets... but after he'd go into the gate, he would
balk and come running back out. The rides were sparcely populated and he would have been the only one onthe ride. I think he would have liked it better if there would have been other kids to ride with... so he decided not to ride. ;)
- We walked along the beach a little bit. Bryan sure did like the sand.
- There were quite a bit of homeless people sleeping around the peir area and it's such a contract sith all the Jaguars, Mercedes and BMWs driving around. I guess that's something that most people get use to... but not me.
- Phil did all the driving for the day. Thanks Grandpa and Grandma.
June 26th 1997 - Thursday
- Shelly had an appointment with a psychologist around 10 am, so B ryan and I tried to sleep in. Bryan had a stomach ache and moaned much of the night so we all were very tired.
- We called Jenny Marik (the transplant coordinator nurse lady) because Bryan's IV looked pretty bad. Shelly thought there was something wrong with it... and sure enough they decided that it wasn't working too well anymore, so Bryan had to have another IV put in. His arms were beginning to look pretty bruised up. Wearing an IV means you can take a decent bath or shower and have to rely on wash cloth baths. After a week and a half without a real bath, Bryan is starting to look pretty yucky... with tape sticky marks all over the place.
- Phil and Patty came over after Shelly's appointment and it was time for lunch so we went to this mall down the street that has a lot of good food places in it's food court. They all had a healthy lunch with bland tasting foods (except for the fruit salad). I had a fried chopped chicken sandwich sort of thing that wasn't quite so healthy... and some fries to go with that. My meal wasn't bland at all. ;)
Phil and Patty had a dinner scheduled with Jan and Copper (see picture here... It's a picture from a few years ago, but it has Jan and Copper in it!) so they couldn't visit with us too long.
We didn't get a chance to look through all of the stores in the mall and Bryan was upset because he wanted to go to the Disney Store. :(
- I got a call from my brother Gardner (see tomorrow, Friday) who was calling from Santa Cruise. I had no idea he was even in the Southern California area, but it seems he is traveling around the country kind of bumming it with a few hippie type friends of his. :) Don't take those descriptions as negatives... I'm trying to be funny! He said that he would call me later that night to see if he could come visit... but it got late and I didn't hear from him until the next day. HI MOM!
- Shelly, Bryan and I spent a quiet night home... and ordered Dominoes Pizza. Yummie. More health food. Well, ok... but it does make you mentally more healthy. ;)
- The IV meds we are giving at night went ok.
June 27th, 1997 - Friday
- We went to the lab around 8am for a blood draw... then up for a visit with the doctor folks at 9 am. Bryan had a fever and his labs came back with a high white blood cell count... which is usually indicative of an infection somewhere. His previous IV site looks pretty bad and bruised up so they are thinking maybe it's infected... but since they aren't sure they decide to play it safe (we are glad they did so) by admitting Bryan in the hospital for at least 48 hours for observation. That'll give the cultures time to grow anything if they are going to... plus they can give him some anti-bacterial meds via IV.
- Oddly enough, my brother Gardner Boyd Dowdle and his friend Don showed up in Bryan's room. I didn't even recognize Gardner since he had grown a mustache and bear. We visited for about an hour or so and made plans to have him visit again (along with Don's kids to visit Bryan); on Saturday afternoon.
- Shelly is sorta depressed, and I don't blame her... I guess I am too, but better here (a fever) than at home... so close after the transplant.
- Both Shelly and I slet in Bryan's room. Since she really shouldn't be alone right now we decided it was better that she sleep in the room with us.
- I finally got a chance to update this page again! YEAH!
June 28th, 1997 - Saturday
- Shelly was admitted into the hospital for depression. It was just a saftey precaution.
Bryan is doing well.
- Unfortunately, we didn't hear from Gardner again.
- I spent the night with Bryan at the hospital.
- Patty and Phil are visiting Phil Sr. and Naomi
June 29th, 1997 - Sunday
- They decide that it's ok to let Bryan out of the hospital... but gave us an antibiotic that he needs to take for 8 days.
- Bryan still has an IV in him becuase he is suppose to get an anti-viral med via IV until July 1st. He got his Sunday dosage in the hospital before going home. His IV looked prettty bad and I don't think it came make two more days so I decided to pull it out so he can have a real bath. Before that though, I broke out a bottle of this stuff that takes off tape residue and coated Bryan's arms and stomach... then I took a piece of gauze and scrubbed all of the tape sticky from his skin that had been left behind. He really didn't like that, but he sure did look a lot better. ;)
- Bryan and I get back to the Tiverton and I take him into the shower with me. It's the first shower he has had in about two weeks. He couldn't take a full shower because he had an IV in since surgery and can't get it wet. He really fought with me because he didn't want to get in the shower, but after it was all over, I think he was much happier.
- I washed two loads of clothes and Bryan watched the Disney Channel. Darn it, I missed 60 Minutes. ;)
June 30th, 1997 - Monday
- Bryan has his blood draw early in the morning before heading to the clinic. He sure is getting stronger and stronger. He really fights getting his blood draw and I get to hold him. Yikes!
- We visited the clinic and they said his blood levels were just great. They have been modifyiung his meds with each visit... and that's the purpose of our extended stay after surgery... to get his meds tailored for his system.
- Luckily they let us slip by without getting another IV put in... and he is going to start the oral version of that anti-viral med. Oh well, what's one more med twice a day? ;) We are very happy not to have to get another IV put in... plus those IV in
fusions in the hotel room were nerve racking.
- Bryan and I visited Shelly at the hospital. Bryan was very happy to see his mother.
- Phil and Patty visited Shelly too.
July 1st, 1997 - Tuesday
- Phil and Patty watch Bryan so I can make an appointment for Shelly.
I had an appointment with Shelly and one of the folks over at NPI at 1 pm. Shelly was suppose to get out of the hospital, but we were told that she would be staying one more day so that the head of the department (the doctor that ok'ed her to be a donor
in the first place) could see her. That is kind of disappointing but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and can wait one more day.
- Phil, Patty, Bryan and I decide to break the bordom so we went to a store called BEST BUYS. It's kind of a consumer electronics store specializing in computers, music CDs, etc. I don't see much I'm interested in, but I do find some really good deals. I bought three copies of an introduction to the internet book and a video tape to go along with them. They are only $1.99 each. I found two audio CDs that I wanted and they were only $0.49 (yeah, that's not a typo, forty-nine cents).
- We visited Shelly for a while before Bryan and I headed back off to the Tiverton to play in the playroom and watch the Disney channel until he falls asleep.
- I got a call from Jenny Marik around 7 pm. She is the renal transplant coordinator who I have probably already mentioned a few times. ;) Anyway, she said that if Bryan's Wednesday labs and clinic visit go well that we can go home... as in back to Montana.
- I called Delta Airlines to see about changing our place tickets and the closest day I could find a flight with three seats together was on Friday, July 4th... you know... Independance Day! Our flight is to leave Los Angeles at 6pm and arrive back in Great Falls at 10:45 pm. I hope we get to see some of the fireworks... at least from the aire. The fireworks in Great Falls always ROCK!
- I get on the computer at night to chat with my internet friends and tell them the good news. Hi #Montana!
July 2nd, 1997 - Wednesday
- Bryan and I make the journey over to the lab and get his blood drawn again. As mentioned on Monday he is getting stronger and stronger. The first attmept to get blood from one arm fails (couldn't get enough) so we have to try the other arms. It was decided that we (me and two nurses) just couldn't hold him well enough because he kept throwing a hysterical fit... so we put him in something called a papoose. I don't know if I spelt that right or not... but anyway... it's basically a combination of an x-ray protective coat and a full body straight jacket. It connects with velcro so it wasn't too bad, but you could tell Bryan didn't like it at all!
- We visit the clinic and the appointment goes well, although the labs hadn't come.
- Jenny Marik says she will call later in the afternoon with the lab results. She writes out all of the stuff she wants us to do as soon as we get home... like making a few doctor appointments and when to visit the lab (twice a week to begin with).
- We went back to the Tiverton to standby for a call from the hospital about Shelly.
- After waiting a while, I called the nurses station where Shelly is staying to see when the doctor is suppose to visit her. They said they still weren't sure when he would be by.
- Phil and Patty came over and Phil brought along his laptop because he had some scanned picture files to give to me. Over the weekend he bought a Snappy (a decide that lets you scan in images from a video source) and had scanned in all of the pictures we have gotten back so far (which is only one roll worth). I spent a little while working on the picture files with a FREE program I had recently downloaded from the internet called THE GIMP
- I got a call from Shelly and she said that the doctor wasn't going to be able to make it, so tey were going to let her out anyway. Turns out that the doctor was just getting back from Rome... as in Italy.
- Phil Patty and Bryan waited on the bus that runs between Tiverton and UCLA Medical Center and I walked over (faster if you have to wait for the bus to show up). Shelly and I had a meeting with the attending nurse and she told me what all I needed to do for follow up (make Shelly appontments in Great Falls).
- Shelly was very glad to get out of the hospital.
- Phil and Patty went back to Carole and Troy's house (where they were both spending their nights....thanks again Carole and Troy).
- Shelly, Bryan and I decide to go to the Olive Garden resturant to sort of celebrate. Bryan threw a fit when he first got there and we thought we were going to have to go the Take Out Food route, but he settled down and we were able to pig out. The food was great.
- We went back to the Tiverton and Shelly worked at getting packed up. The plan is to leave the UCLA area tomorrow and visit the Great-Grandparents in Escondido again before heading out on Friday. Shelly, Bryan and I are flying out and Phil and Patty are driving back.
- Shelly and Bryan watched the Disney channel (I think Shelly likes it as much or propbably more than Bryan does) way too late into the night. I stayed up on the computer and played with THE GIMP and chatted on the internet with the #Montana folks.
July 3rd, 1997 - Thursday
- Got up, got more packed.
- Got a call from Phil who said they would meet us at the TIverton around noon.
- I got the chance to work on this page.
- Oh, remember those graphics files I mentioned? Well, I talked to Shelly about then and she said she didn't mind of they all got posted so see here for some pictures.
- I'm probably going to stay home from work for a week after I get home just to get things settled in. Given the stress Shelly has been in, and the problems she has had recently, I don't want to just throw her back into all of that work as soon as we get home.
July 4th, 1997 - Friday
- We arrived home just in time to see the last of the fireworks.
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