Sunday, September 5, 2010

Emotional roller-coaster

I love roller-coasters. I love the thrill of getting strapped into a seat and flying around a skinny little track going up, falling down, spinning around and upside down with the wind whipping through your hair and the g-forces pulling at you all the while screaming at the top of your lungs. Then you finally slow to a stop and exit the ride, all wobbly and jittery, laughing nervously and breathing heavily, and quickly looking around for the next ride to go on. I have already planned a trip to Six Flags over Texas with one of my friends and I'm excitedly looking forward to it because, being older and considerably taller than I was when I last went to an amusement park, I should have virtually no limits to all the roller-coaster rides I set my eyes on. But I digress.

This past week, strike that, the past two years (but particularly this week) I have been on the wildest, craziest, topsy-turvy roller-coaster of emotions ever in my life. And this is not a roller-coaster that I like, and it's not one that I would ever wish to ride. When I hit my teenage years, I was your typical, average moody teenage girl. My emotions were all over the place, I'd be happy one minute and raging mad or crying the next. The older I get the more control I have over my behavior and, thus, more control over the emotions.

I can't help my emotions. I can't help that I get sad or mad or frustrated about things. I usually can't help getting excited or happy or grateful over things either. The statement that "we can't help how we feel" is, in my opinion, true. However, most people will use that as an excuse to behave in whatever way they want. "I can't help that I love this person." Yeah, whatever. You may not be able to help the feelings of attraction you have towards someone but you can definitely control whether or not you're going to flirt. Love has certain emotions attributed to it but love is a choice. You don't fall in love only to fall out of it later... when people say that it's only because they lost the emotional "spark" for a time but that doesn't mean that they fell out of love. They just *chose* not to love any more because they didn't *feel* like it. Big difference.

I have no idea if any of this is making any sense and I could go on and on about emotions and my opinion about it but I'm not going to because I have more important things to write about and I need to get to that soon before my computer battery dies since I don't want to move right now and plug the cord in.

All that to say, for the most part, I can generally ignore the negative emotions (anger, sadness, confusion, frustration) that threaten to drive me insane and choose, instead, to just believe by faith that God has a plan for this situation which, to me, looks like a nightmare and He's going to turn it in to something wonderful that I'll be so thankful for. And yes, in case any of you are wondering, God has been good to give me some glimpses of the good things He's doing in this situation and that makes living through it, in a way, almost worth it. I am not yet at the point where I can be grateful for everything, and I may never make it to that point while I'm still on this earth struggling against my fleshly, sinful self. But I know that I'm right where God wants me at this moment and that He will continue to mold me and make me more like Him in His timing.

But sometimes... my emotions do get the better of me. It happens rarely now but it does happen. In times like those I have my hardest, deepest struggles. Most of the time, I can hide it and almost nobody can tell except maybe my mom and one of my closest friends who has a very discerning way about her. It's during times like these when I hate God, I hate life, I hate kidney disease (actually, I always hate kidney disease), I hate certain people that get on my nerves, I hate the way things are, I hate rules, I hate hospitals, I hate dialysis (I always hate dialysis too), I hate almost EVERYTHING! And, as a result, I struggle. I struggle with remembering what is true, I struggle with having hope, I struggle with being kind to people, I struggle with keeping my mouth shut when it needs to be shut, and I struggle to keep struggling because once I stop struggling, I give up. And giving up cannot be an option.

Again, I have no idea if that makes any sense but I hope it gives you some idea of what's going on when I write things like F.r.u.s.t.r.a.t.e.d. on my FB status. This has been an emotional roller-coaster of a week and I've been struggling and that's why I haven't written anything sooner because I didn't want to.

Ok... so here is an update. On Tuesday, my dialysis port started to run really slow and actually stopped working so I had to come off of dialysis a little earlier than usual (which is a bad thing). The catheter in my shoulder is starting to clot off and I was told that I needed to see a surgeon to determine whether this one can be fixed or if I need to have a new one put in. We spent a long time waiting to see the surgeon right after dialysis but it worked out because he was able to see us that day. He is a very nice man and I was really glad to have him. He took one look at my port and said that it needed to be taken out and that there is no reason why I should not start home dialysis. Unfortunately, my kidney doctor didn't agree and said that my protein levels were still not high enough to start home dialysis and he would not give consent. That was very frustrating to me.

On Wednesday, I met with my new general internal health-care doctor and I absolutely loved him. He was a million times better than my last doctor and he understood, from his own experience, what I was going through. Exactly what a doctor should be, in my opinion. He was on my side as well and helped us push my kidney doctor into letting me start home dialysis.

My mom requested on her FB that we needed a miracle and God provided us with a miracle. My kidney doctor told us on Thursday that we can start PD training on Tuesday which means that, Lord willing, yesterday was my last hemo-dialysis treatment.

This next week is going to be tough, I'm going to be at the dialysis center even longer than before because I'm going to be in training and I'm also going to be getting dialyzed at the same time so it's going to be a lot to take in. Then I also have to get my room set up for when I start dialysis at home and I need to make room for all the supplies (There's a lot of boxes!) and on Monday the PD nurse will come to my home and observe me at home just to make sure I'm doing it right.

I was told that I could have the port in my shoulder taken out as soon as Wednesday but not later than Friday if all goes well. I can't wait to get it out and I can't wait to start home dialysis. It's going to be a very long week but I can see a little bit of light at the end of this long tunnel.

As far as anything goes with the transplant process... nothing yet. What little results we've gotten on my dad's tests have all been, for the most part, really good. A few things have come up but nothing that disqualifies him from donating. We're still waiting on the results of a few more and then we have a meeting with a kidney doctor in OU and I think that will be the final yes or no as to whether or not my dad can donate to me.

As always, I greatly appreciate your prayers for me and my family. Prayer requests would be that this next week would go by smoothly and I would learn quickly all that I need to know for home dialysis, that I would keep my focus on the things that are important, and that my dad would clear for donating and I can get this transplant before the new year. :-)


  1. Thanks for the update, Kristi. We will definitely continue praying. It is so great to see what a strong woman you've grown up to be! Love to you and the family.


  2. Kristin, it's good to hear of the forward progress taking place. I look ahead to the day that this is all in the past and we can all look back on God's wonderful care for His children. It is an encouragement every time to see the spiritual/emotional side of what is happening, because I believe you have a level of integrity that is to be admired.

    I keep telling myself, "Oh, this one is kinda long, I'll just skim it," but every time I start reading, my heart melts and I'm glued to the page... er, uh, the LCD screen. :)

    I'm praying for you. Keep keeping us up-to-date!