Wedding and Recovery


Kate & Kenny’s wedding was a great success!  My sister Carol arrived in Shelton on the Wednesday before the wedding and she traveled to Providence with Carolyn on Thursday.  Meg and I stopped on Thursday to pick up Kate’s wedding dress and we all arrived in Providence at the Omni Hotel and hooked up with Kate & Kenny and my brother Richard and his wife Terry.  It was a great family reunion and for dinner we went to Mediterraneo Cafe in Federal Hill.  We had a great meal and a lot of fun.  It had been a little over a year since I had gotten together with my brother and sister and this was the first time since my transplant.  Friday was dominated with errands for the wedding and greeting people when they arrived and delivering the gift bags we had prepared.  The rehearsal was at 6:00 PM at Providence College in St. Dominic Chapel followed by dinner at the Local 121 Restaurant in Providence.  The rehearsal seemed to be a little dis-organized but I guess enough of what everyone was told was remembered.  The rehearsal dinner was a lot of fun!  Saturday we spent most of the day getting ready as our room was the hair and makeup studio for the bridesmaids and mothers of the bride/groom and then the bride.  Kate & Kenny did get a nice gift from the hotel, an upgrade to a giant suite on the 24th Floor.  Everything went smoothly and we made it to the church on time, although the priest was running a little late but did make it in time.  The wedding was a beautiful ceremony although I think Meg and I shocked a few people by walking Kate down the aisle together!  The ceremony lasted about 45 minutes and then we did pictures outside the Chapel and then we were off to the reception.


The reception was also a lot of fun and everything ran very smoothly.  The cocktail hour was a little more crowded than I expected but went well.  I messed up a little in my toast, mainly forgetting things I planned to say despite having some notes, but what I did say I said well.  Dinner was great and all the after dinner festivities (cake cutting, first dance, father/daughter dance, mother/son dance) went well.  At some point it started to rain but by the time we left it was not raining, although there was the remnants of the gay pride parade and many of the streets around the reception were very crowded.  Sunday we did a family brunch with all the Rennie and Chambers Clan at the Providence Oyster Bar.


We finally got home Monday afternoon and I had a doctors visit at the Transplant Center at 8:30 Tuesday morning.  My Blood Pressure is down a little but not enough yet but I have only been on my additional BP medicine (the Clonidine Patch) for a week.  I have another appointment in two weeks and hopefully it will be down some more.  My sister left early Tuesday morning (6:00 AM) and she arrived home safely.  It was great to visit with her and my brother!  Today Meg and I are off for a night in New York City.  We have tickets to a Bette Midler concert at Madison Square Garden.  We are having dinner at an Irish Pub near the garden before the concert, and tomorrow we are going to brunch and a yarn store (of course) and a little sight-seeing and probably more shopping.  Then on Monday, Meg starts summer school and everything will get back to normal.


Final Wedding Planning and Ear Wax


Last Friday I had an appointment with an ENT Doctor to evaluate how my recovery was progressing after the  viral infection of my parotid gland and the swelling that it caused.  He reviewed my CT Scan that I had in the ER and also did a detailed exam of my mouth.  According to the Dr. everything looks OK now but I am to call if I have any problems and come back in a year.  They then did a check of my ears and found a large deposit of Ear Wax so they decided to clean out my ears.  The first ear they did (left ear) cleaned out ok after like ten minutes of sucking out the wax and an application of Hydrogen Peroxide.  The other ear they had trouble with and despite several applications of Hydrogen Peroxide they still couldn’t get it clean.  So now I am on a Hydrogen peroxide treatments at home twice a day and will go back to the ENT Dr. in two weeks to see if that has loosened up the wax and make it possible to clean out the ear.  The funny thing is that despite the cleaning of one ear and the partial cleaning of the other ear I don’t feel that I am hearing any better than I was before the appointment.  I will continue with the treatments and hope they get the rest of the wax out at the next appointment.


Yesterday – Tuesday, June 9th – Carolyn and I went to the Providence Public Library for a final meeting with the caterer before the wedding next weekend.  Kate & Kenny me us there and we met with the Catering Coordinator for about an hour.  It was Carolyn’s first time seeing the inside of the library.  We made some final plans and finalized the schedule or events and all the details to make sure we are all on the same page.  It sounds like everything is all set for a great event.  There are still some uncertain aspects that we won’t have the answers to until they actually happen – how long the ceremony lasts, how long to do the photos after the ceremony, traffic concerns, weather etc…   But we are as set as we can be at this point.   The details that we still need to get done are starting to get down to a manageable list.  Hopefully we will get a lot done this weekend as Kate is coming to visit while Kenny is away on his Bachelor weekend at Fox Woods Casino.

Three Months Post Transplant


This week is the three-month anniversary of my Kidney Transplant.  I feel considerably better than I did before the transplant but there are still things I can’t do and some side effects that are causing concern.  I continue to have some shaking in my hands when I type, eat or especially when I write.  My blood pressure is way to high and they have increased my BP medicines several times and still it doesn’t come down.  I also don’t yet have the stamina I had before all this started especially when doing yard work or walking.  Despite all this, my doctors keep telling me ‘these things are normal and that I will get better but it takes longer than you think’ etc….  It is starting to sound like the Charlie Brown sound effects when an adult is speaking – Waac Waac Waac!  Last weeks episode with the viral infection also came back this past weekend although it didn’t last and was gone by morning, and it still bothers me to not know what causes it.  I do go to the ENT Doctor on Friday and hopefully will know more after that.  In honor of the three-month transplant date I have sent a gift to my kidney donor – a t-shirt that says “I’m an organ donor!  What’s your superpower!”


Kate’s wedding is now in less than 18 days away and the stress seems to be mounting exponentially.  Since I am the one not working I get to complete all the DIY projects we planned for the wedding.  It is not anything too difficult but the sheer volume is a little overwhelming.  My to-do list doesn’t seem to change in length.  I keep checking things off the list and at the same time I keep adding new items at the bottom of the list as we remember them or think of them.  My house  has wedding supplies in just about every room.  This coming weekend Meg and Carolyn are heading to Massachusetts for Kate’s bridal shower.  I may go and spend the time they are at the shower helping Kenny to move her final items into their new apartment.  Not that I can be much help in a move since I still can’t lift much weight but there should be some things I can carry, but I would at least get to see them and we may stay for a family dinner.


Also this week many of the final payments are due to the various vendors for the wedding, so I wrote a lot of checks today and some more will go out in the next two days.  We still have a couple of bills that we are not sure of the amount and are trying to get the final bill from the vendor without much success yet.  Our largest bill, the Caterer, is not due till like June 12th and we have the final meeting with the Caterer at the Library next week so we will know the final amount.  The count keeps changing and it is going down so we will probably give the caterer a low number at first since we can add up until like 2-3 days before but we can’t lower the count after we make the final payment.  When I did special events for a living I was pretty good at guesstimating attendance for events, but with those we always had a 10% contingency where there are seats available and they always had more food available.  With a wedding they set up for the exact number and they only have extra food to cover their mistakes.