Showing posts from April, 2009

Kidney update #7

The most wonderful special person who is donating their kidney to my son has finally passed all the tests. We have a date during the second week of May.
The amount of logistics is impressive. In Israel, the law requires the recipient's HMO to pay for all the transplant costs. In practice, it means we need to get their signature on a number of forms. no big deal except that the forms need to be for a specific date and have to be approved by a reviewing doctor at the HMO. It's all fine, but it takes a few more visits to the HMO's offices.
We also need to start planning our work and personal lives around the transplant. Our community has pitched in and will be covering carpools, meals and just about anything else we or the donor's family will need. I love our community!
My son's name is Asaf Dror ben Leiah Shulamit. The donor would prefer if we not give our their name in a public forum.
Here's hoping the process is smooth, Elliot and Leiah

Regular Shabbat (with guests!)

Thank god the holidays are over and we can get back to some sort of regularity (take that as you will). The seminary students are back in Israel and looking for places to stay for Shabbat. This Shabbat, we have three young ladies staying with us, two boys for dinner and two different boys for Seudat Shlishit. For lunch, we are going out! The girls already had a place for lunch.
From a food perspective, I'm trying out a few new things this weekend. I roasted chickens in a drip pan. I put carrots and garlic in the bottom of the pan and they roasted in the chicken drippings. Very rich and tasty!
My son suggested that we recycle the chicken drippings (full of shmaltz and other good stuff), so we used them to make rice. I usually saute rice in oil before adding water. This time, I used the fat from the dripping for the saute and then added everything else along with the water. It sure looks good, but I bet its rather oily (and tasty!).
I also made an oriental soup with left-ove…

Kidney update #6

Its been a long week on the kidney transplant front. As I previously reported, the donor had some additional tests to complete. There is good news and bad news. The good news is that everything looks fine, but we still need a specialist to sign off on it. That is going to take another few days.
The bad news is that we are now struggling with a timing issue. The donor travels each year and cannot change their plans. After the transplant, the doctors recommend that the donor stick around for at least 4 weeks to make sure that everything is stable. Now most people here travel for the summer and as we can tell from the heat and sun outside, it is fast approaching.
We have been "negotiating" with the hospital to do the surgery as soon as possible. They originally has us scheduled for the 25th of May, which was "too late". In a surprising turn of events, we have been told that they have an earlier date for us, but that we should not tell anyone for fear of an evil…

Wheat is your friend!

After all the pesach dietary restrictions, we are back to "real" food. We didn't eat potatoes this holiday because they are on the restricted list for my son. That meant lots of matzo and not much else.
No sleep-over guests again. Not unusual since most girls from the seminaries went back to the states for the holiday. We did invite a family from the Yishuv to eat lunch with us, so all is well.
My boys refused to accept any invitations this weekend. They behave wonderfully when we eat out, but they do get bored listening to "adult" conversation.
Shabbat Parshat Shmini Dinner - 7 Pepper Pot Soup Spaghetti and Meatballs

Lunch - 7+6 Beef and Cabbage Roast Chicken Pargiot Rice

Kidney update #5

The news on the Kidney transplant front is mixed. The most wonderful donor hit a speed bump with one of the medical tests. We found out just before pesach that there was a minor concern. That turned into a last minute effort to find a specialist who could see the donor before Pesach. The doctor said that everything was OK, but that it was dependent on a clear test. Scheduling the test was harder. We could not find a technician and equipment until next week.
So for now, we wait. The donor's test in next week. Assuming it comes out clean, we can reschedule the transplant for sometime in the following three weeks.
My son is feeling well, but we are noticing a lack of appetite. He is also loosing weight. His clothes look a bit baggy.
If the transplant gets canceled, we will have to restart our donor search (there are a number of candidates in the wings), but more importantly, we will also very likely be starting dialysis. We hope to have better news next week!

We're back from the Pesach Break

I'm lazy. It's true, I should have blogged over pesach. After all, I was at home and had lots of free time to relax and write. Alas, I'm lazy and took the holiday as a vacation. Pesach is strange that way. On the one hand, you work your bottom off cleaning, cooking and entertaining. On the other hand, its not "normal". The things that you deal with everyday are sort of put aside until the holiday is over. For us, that gave us a mental break.
We got a second break when we were invited out for all meals on Shabbat and on the second holiday. No cooking which meant more un-programmed days. My wife and I renewed our regular argument about Sundays. In her book, Sunday is the day you leave the house and do things like touring, sight seeing, or hiking. It is a day to get out of the house and be busy. In my book, Sunday is the day to stay at home without any duties or expectations. Sit and watch a ball game. Play 8 hours of computer games. As long as you …

Kidney update #4

Flash: My son's transplant is currently on hold.
The hospital is extremely careful with respect to potential donors. For my son, he needs a transplant. There is nothing we can do to change that. The donor, on the other hand, does not need to donate their kidney and should not donate unless they are healthy.
Its that last "healthy" that we are trying to confirm. All medical tests needs to be in the normal range in order to accept the donor. Now most people are naturally different. In our donor's case, there are a few minor issues that need to be retested and confirmed before the hospital will do the transplant.
We heard about these issues last Thursday. Today we spend the morning at the hospital waiting and doing a few new tests. The donor still has some more tests to complete.
It is not important what tests still need to be redone, since that is a personal issue. I can tell you that we redid the tissue matching today. Even though my son and the donor passed th…

Pesach 5769 (2009) - First Day

Pre-Pesach Planning. Friends for both meals and no sleep-over guests. We are making extra food because we learned from last year. Since Shabbat is so soon after the first day, and leftovers will be recycled!
Seder Plate: Shank Bones Roasted Eggs Lettuce Haroset Horseradish Parsley
Dinner: 8+4+6 Egg with Salt Water Beef Stew w/ Red Wine (4 pkgs) Chicken Breast Meatballs with Garlic (2 pkgs) Shnitzel (1 pkg) Roast Cherry Tomatoes Green Salad w/ Vegetables Matzo Farfel Quinoa Fruit Salad

Lunch: 8+4+4+1? Cock-a-leekie with (matzo) balls Corned Beef Stuffed Pargiot Turkey Rolada Broccoli Kugel Mashed Cauliflower Israeli Salad Quinoa Matzo Farfel