Wednesday, August 12, 2009

When Can I Finally Have Water?

Visitation was over at 7:00 PM, it was 6:45 and I was watching the clock thinking I'd have to leave Clark's room pretty soon when the surgeon (Cate) walked in the room dressed in surgery clothing. I thought perhaps she had just gotten out of a surgery but she had come for Clark. Dr. Schwartz, the head surgeon on the transplant team, just doesn't rest. Cate said Dr. Schwartz was looking at Clark's cat scan (the one they did earlier today to view Clark's bowel) from his home. He didn't want to wait until morning so he was coming in for surgery right then. The persistence of these Drs. is incredible. Their day never ends. I placed myself back in the waiting room, wrapped in a warm blanket a nurse had given me because my body keeps acting up by getting cold and shaking when I get nervous. I did the same thing in the waiting room as I was doing in Clark's room, watched the clock. One hour, two hours, and no report. So I called the nurses station for an update, they had just finished. Shortly I was called to Clark's room, again his eyes open and watching TV. Its hard to imagine this kid had just been through surgery again. Reports on his bowel was positive. They flushed the insides again and all looked good. Clark was scheduled for 8:30 AM surgery this morning for that flushing and cleaning but now it is canceled. Sounds like next surgery will be Friday, but as you can see, things change quickly here. A great concern still follows that artery not getting enough blood through it. They explained that they might have to go in with a medication to try to dissolve an acquired blockage or they could try to roto router it, or in worse case another transplant. If the liver doesn't get enough blood, it will die and Clark's life will be at risk too. For now they continue to give the blood pressure medicine and we pray things progress soon. At least the blood flow has not gotten less, and we want more.

In my hours spent with Clark yesterday, we were able to have some happy times. As Kristin had mentioned, he wasn't happy with one of the nurses and I witnessed too the reason he may have felt the way he did. If he was going to complain about nursing care, he was speaking with the right person as he was talking to the head nurse. She told him they would talk with that nurse and Clark immediately began to aggressively shake his head no and his arms were swinging to gesture no. Clark didn't want her in trouble. He just asked that she didn't take care of him again. I laughed with them and told them to send single, young, blond nurses in. You can imagine we had fun with that conversation.

That afternoon, Clark motioned for me to bring him paper and pen. I stood by his side as he scribble words that echoed in my mind so many times before. He wrote, "Ask the nurse when I can finally have water"? Water, such a simple thing to ask for! A mother at her son's side, asking for water, and I couldn't help. I just confirmed to him what a humble boy he has been so far and to give us a little more time, the moisture of a drink of water will be given in due time. I couldn't help observe the dryness of his mouth. Then he generously offered me that nod of agreement that he'd wait.

So after the evening surgery, and during my final visit for the day. I couldn't help but chuckle to myself when I saw his nurse for the evening shift. Don't get me wrong, the staff at the U has been absolutely terrific, but since Clark has been taking notice to their care, I couldn't help but to watch also, and wonder what Clark was thinking. Now remember we had ordered a single, young, blond nurse for him earlier today. Humm, well this nurse wasn't exactly young, she definitely wasn't blond, red or brunette (so that leaves only one other color), we didn't need to find out her marital status, BUT she was a great nurse and that's all we care about. It was good for my mind to linger away and keep a laugh inside to myself. Clark was able to gesture to me that the attending nurse "Wade" was a thumbs up kinda guy and Clark really liked him. He was trying to tell me something more that I just couldn't understand. Finally Clark motioned for me to get a clip board with the alphabet that was nearby. Wow, it was the end of the day and my brain was dragging a bit but I watched Clark point at letters trying to tell me Wade was also his nurse "last night". Clark pointed at those letters so fast that I had to tell my brain to "gitty up". I'm so thankful for all the precious care Clark is receiving from everyone.

In ending our day together, I told Clark he and I could play the game Pictionary when we get home. He again shook his head no, pointed at me, motioned with his hands to say no, and had a slight smile on his face. He was telling me he didn't want me for a partner because I was slow to understand him. We laughed and I took it with a grain of salt. I LOVE YOU CLARK!!!


Taylor Gardner said...

Oh, this is the BEST news! I know you're not completely out of the water yet Clark, but you are treading like a champ. I'll be so excited to see you again, when visitation would allow for it. Until then you just keep improving like you are doing. What a stud--I love you!

Austin said...

We continue to pray for you and think often of you. Every call that Taylor and I make usually includes a question of updates or news regarding your status. This news is fantastic, we'll hope for your new liver to keep getting better and better. I can't imagine having a better support team than you have now with such fantastic surgeons, doctors and terrific family members that stay by your side.

Anonymous said...
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ericbischke said...

This is so encouraging. Clark, keep fighting. I am happy to hear that you have not lost your scense of humor. Rhonda, I think it so great that you have such a strong relationship with your children. I am anxiously awaiting the time when I am once again allowed to visit Clark. Clark, you have always been a great friend to me. When I sit and ponder this situation, I wonder why it is you in this situation. Then I realize that things like this always happen for a reason. Right now, it is hard to realize what good can possibly come from this trial in your life. I know in due time, you will understand why this trial has been placed before you, and you will understand how it has positively influened your life. You are such a good example of strength, courage, and determineation. I continue to pray that you will continue to be blessed with the strength you need to overcome this trial. Keep fighting. Once again, thanks for being such a great friend in my life. Rhonda, hang in there. I appreciate your and Kristin's efforts in keeping us all updated on Clark's progress. It seems like I am checking the blog every 15 minutes, hoping for a new report. God Bless you Clark, Rhonda, and Kimble family.

Eric Bischke

April said...

Oh, what a great post to wake up to! Keep on a-truckin', and we'll keep on a-prayin'!

Kelsey said...

Thanks for the uplifting update Rhonda and Kristin! Last night as I was updating my parents on Clark's status, our conversation was taken over by how great of a person Clark has always been. Even though you were named after my dad Clark, I'm pretty sure you have left an imprint in him of what a tremendous person you are and now you are showing the whole world those great traits. Keep up the good work and we'll keep cheering you on. Thoughts and prayers continue for your recovery.

Kelsey Likness

Anonymous said...

Rhonda, you amaze me with your strength. My Mom's strength and encouragement has always helped me get through the toughest of times. Clark sees that strength in you and appreciates it very much. It helps him get through the day with the strength to keep fighting. A mother's love is an amazing blessing, a treasure to be cherished FOREVER by her loving children.
With Love, Adriann

solumca said...

I love hearing the good news! Yes.. you have to take the good WITH the bad. But good news makes my day a whole lot better! :) Im proud of you Clark! I am very happy that you are still making jokes in spite of everything thats going on! I guess they do say, what doesnt kill you makes you stronger.. well then you are going to be the strongest person i know! Because goodness! :) Keep smiling and hang in there, your progressing forward and thats all that matters :) *hugz* Miss ya!
God bless!

Anonymous said...

This is awesome. Things to be going great and i pray they stay that way for everyone in the kimble family. Keep doing great Clark!


Sam Rieffenberger said...


I just read the blog your mom and sister have kept up. You and your family have gone through so much. From what has been written, you truely are a hero for your strength, courage, and compassion for others in your time of need.

I have been thinking and praying for you since I heard the news last Saturday. I found your story (this blog) by googling your name.

I've thought back to the days of wrestling and cruising around in the big van with your whole family and visiting your house to sit in the hot tub with Ryan. What I remember is that your whole family has always had such a strength and confidence that all could see. Your mom and Ryan always showed their strength and confidence outwardly, while your Dad showed a more quiet, inward, and humbled strength that was equally impressive. As you have grown up and the few times our paths have crossed, I have seen both types of strengths in you. What a gift in a time like this. You take care and continue to fight as you have so much to contribute to this earth.

God Bless
Sam Rieffenberger

Ashley Blanchard said...

Im so glad that clark is awake and able communicate with you! I hope the artery will open up and not give him anymore trouble. I donated blood yesterday. I tried to do it in Clark's name but they said it wouldn't do anything, bummer. Ill keep praying. Clark you keep on keepin' on!!!!!!

Karla said...

Hey Clark ~

Like Bischke, I have become a Super Clark Blog Addict!

So glad you are coming around and asking for something as simple as water. Normal every day activity never looked so good!

I'm thinking about you, praying as much as I'm blogging, and filled with gratitude for your small and large victories.

Love you lots,

PS~Coming to SLC this weekend and hoping to get up to the U to see you!

Susi said...

OK, well now that Adriann's comment has left me shiney-eyed...(thank you, my sweet daughter)'s time for a another story...Adriann's first understandable words. I could see how frustrating it was for her as she tried to communicate with us but the words came out totally incomprehensible. At an attempt to lighten the mood, I cupped my hand and placed it on her chin and told her, "Honey, spit out those marbles 'cuz we just can't understand you." She looked me dead in the eye and responded, "Shut up, mom." Her first clear words...shut up, mom! Then, she grinned a crooked smile. I've never been pleased to hear those words (in fact, they dare not say that normally), but that day it was music to my ears.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the small joys that you weave into the tapestry of hardship. They will last a lifetime.

Susi said...

Perhaps I should spread the torture of laughter through illness around to the other kids. We have lots of stories to tell on Erin...but she's never really been sick a day in her life, so they aren't relative to the topic at hand. BJ, however, also suffered from an improperly functioning liver when he was nearly 4 years old. We were sent to the Children's Hospital in MN in case a transplant became necessary. He quickly became famous for strolling around the wing in his paisley robe and slippers, talking in that baratone voice to all of the nurses and doctors as if he was on a cruise. He became known as "Mr. Club Med." It was the first time that he had ever seen a video-type of game...Duck Hunt. He sat quietly while he watched another child playing. When the boy returned to his room, BJ casually strode up to a passing doctor, tugged on his white coat and said, "Doc-tah, doc-tah...will you show me how to shoot doz ducks?" And the rest, as they say, is history. Two decades later, he still loves his games!

Clark, it is my goal to provide you with plenty of ammunition to use on my kids once you are well, because you'll NEVER live down the "Yep. It was her ears." comment. That's an instant classic! We love you!!!!

Lisa Werdel said...

Rhonda and Clark,

I pray for both of you everyday. Rhonda- you are such a great mother and a strong person. Keep fighting Clark! May God bless your entire family.

Lisa Werdel

Melissa Roby said...

Sending prayers and smiles to you and your family! Keep on keepin' on Clark...YOU CAN DO IT!! :)

Anonymous said...

I continue to pray and believe for the liver to function normal and for the blood vessel to open up. I rejoice in your successes and I'm praying for strength for all of you... God Bless..
Dylan's granny Sue

Char Meyer said...

Hi Rhonda & Clark, I sent a message to Dr Ray Zastrow about you'r healing progress, He is for sure you are going to come through all of this. Keep up the good work !!okay Clark,We're all praying for you from QUAD~GRAPHIC'S Here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Call me anytime (262)703.0392
Char Meyer And GOD~BLESS! I Pray...Everything work's out..