Monday, July 16th
This is the first trip I've taken where I did not go out to meet our family on Sunday evening. Two team members go out, assess the site, and try and guess what it might be possible to accomplish the first day on the job. ASP teams before us had already stripped a small bedroom to the studs, removed the floor, created a support system for the floor and then tiled it. They also rebuilt/added onto the back porch. The room was damaged because of runoff from the mountain behind the house. For us, ASP had a list of things to do:
Start to pull up the floor in the next bedroom and assess stability of the joists. Remove entire floor if necessary. Pour concrete footers as needed to support floor. Re-install floor, add backer board and tile. Paint the room the other team worked on last week and install wood trim at top of walls and around window. Dig a trench for a French drain to redirect water so there would be no new damage. Put up handrails on the porch steps (a full flight!).
Whew. There are only seven of us. Whenever we see one of these wish lists, we cringe. With a list this long we can safely imagine that we won't finish it all, which is always a discouraging thought. But hey, we're here to do what we can do, so we'll give it our best shot.
Every year everyone is mixed into groups that are likely to be substantially different than any group you've been in before. Our group this year was Lynn (adult), Ryan and Jackson (young adults), Morgan, Sabrina and Ezra (technically youth but all graduated high school this year) and me. I've worked with Ryan before as his team leader on other projects. I've never worked with the others, although I know all of them except Ezra. Ryan is now MY team leader, along with Lynn.
Sometimes it takes a couple of days to figure out how the group is going to function together, but it was clear from the start that this was an excellent group. Not once did anyone flinch from any task, beyond the occasional, "I will if you show me how first!" By the end of the day, the rails were up. The floor had been lifted in one corner and digging begun on a new partial foundation. Jackson, Sabrina, Morgan and Ezra had had lessons in the correct use of circular saws for both straight and angled cuts, power drills (for both placing screws and drilling holes), and a basic group of hand tools. Plans for the next days' work were in progress.
Back at the center we had showers (hot, thank God) and dinner, followed by EG.
But before I could do that, I needed to know: How were Babygirl's labs from the morning? We had no cell phone service at all, but there was a land line with a pile of calling cards next to it. I'd managed to lose myself in the work of the day, but not knowing what was going on was making me near to hysteria. So I called.
"Her creatinine is 1.3. They wanted me to bring her back tomorrow, but we're doing blood work here on Wednesday instead. There was something about her tac level but I didn't understand that part. They gave us new meds and I put them in the sorter."
1.3. That represents more than a 50% loss of function compared to when she got the transplant in February. I went back to my room - shared with seven other people. My teammates, my good great friends saw immediately that I was not okay.
At least this time I only cried in front of three people.
And then I felt better. The news was terrible, but at least I KNEW. And they weren't admitting her, mostly because Hubby stood firm and insisted on a repeat test. So now, I don't have to think about it again until Wednesday.
Let's see how that works.