Thursday, January 14, 2010

Elaine's Kidney Transplant

Today was a nerve-racking kind of day. A nail-biter day. A jitters in the pit of your stomach day.

My big sister, Elaine was going to the OSU Transplant Center for pre-transplant screening. Her potential living donor is my niece, Tashia. Yeah, double whammy. Elaine is at the point where she really needs, and is really ready for this transplant. Tashia has offered her kidney. Pretty awesome, huh? So today is the day that they spend at OSU meeting a bazillion people, getting total information overload, and giving vials upon vials of blood; and urine, too. (Urine is very important in our family.)

So here I am at home. Waiting. I get on Facebook and ask for prayers. I send out an email to 99% of my contact list. And the most amazing thing happens. Within mere minutes, literally, I begin receiving responses. Prayers are being said from around the corner to around the world. Prayer chains are activated. A truly beautiful thing happens. People are praying everywhere, responding to the request for needed prayers. Wow. I was blown away.

I really love Elaine. She thinks she knows how much, but I suspect she underestimates me. After all, I am her baby sister. But she has no idea.

So what did I do while waiting? I have to admit to you that I began drinking. Yes, if I am to be at all honest with you, and of course I’m always 100% honest (ahem), I drank...all day.

I began the morning with Chai Tea lattes. From there I moved on to Cranberry Tea. I do know my limit. After the 3rd Cranberry Tea (sugar free, thank you) I knew that one more would put me over the edge. At this point I switched to diet ginger ale. Canada Dry is my brand of choice. I can do Giant Eagle’s, but CD is the best ever.

About this time my phone buzzed indicating an incoming text. Holding my breath, I flipped open the phone. Elaine. Things were looking good. There will still be a few more tests for them. One of those is a nail-biter. We might be looking at as soon as mid February!

Guess I’d better make more Chai Tea concentrate and Cranberry Tea Concentrate. I’m gonna have to start a 12-step program when this is all finished.

I’m okay with that.

Chai Latte Concentrate
Recipe from:

12 Chai tea bags
4 cups cold, fresh water
1 1/2 cups milk

Place the tea bags, cold water and milk in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil. When you reach the boil, drop the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and squeeze the tea bags to extract as much flavor and liquid as possible. Discard tea bags and transfer the Chai Latte Concentrate to a heat-safe container. Allow to cool to room temperature, put a tight fitting lid on the container and store in the refrigerator for up to 12 days.

To prepare a Chai Latte:
When making the Chai Latte you have ultimate control over flavors, sweetness and creaminess. If you like a richer latte, use chocolate syrup as your sweetener and substitute half and half for your milk. If you’re watching your calories, use low-fat milk and artificial sweetener. You can be as high or low maintenance as you want and no barista will give you the stink eye.

1/3- 1/2 cup of milk
1/2- 2/3 cup of Chai Latte Concentrate
Sweetener to taste

Optional for serving:
Whipped cream
Cocoa powder
Ground cinnamon

Pour milk and concentrate into a saucepan or a microwave safe measuring cup. Heat just until steaming. Pour into your serving glass and sweeten to taste. Top as desired. I give mine a tall cap of whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon.


1 – 1 lb bag cranberries
2 sticks cinnamon
5 cups water
6whole cloves

Boil together uncovered about 45 minutes.
Strain through colander, reserving liquid.

To liquid add:
1 – 12 oz can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 – 12 oz can frozen pink lemonade concentrate

Keep concentrate refrigerated.
Makes about 5 cups.

To make “tea”:
1 cup concentrate
3 cups water
½ cup sugar (I omit sugar and sweeten with Splenda)

Combine and serve hot.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing Jean. You know we're all thinking of you and sending good thoughts and prayers your family's way. Any update?

    And sorry, but I have to disagree with one thing. Your choice of ginger ale. Vernor's is the ultimate. You know we stopped at Meier on our way back to Mass and bought two 12 packs because we can't get it out here!