Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hanging in...

Well, I was wrong. Wednesday's appointment was not the final say so as to whether or not my dad could donate,  it's just the first half. I know, it confuses me too. My dad has another appointment with the doctor who heads up the whole transplant wing of the hospital and he will look over everything and then say yes or no before presenting my case to a transplant committee of some sort who will then schedule the transplant as soon as possible... I don't know if that makes any sense at all but the good news of this is that my dad did get a good report from this first appointment, nothing major is going on with him healthwise that would disqualify him as a donor and the doctor thinks that he's doing a great thing for me, as my dad, by giving me his kidney. :-) I'm hoping that this last appointment (crosses fingers and HOPES this is the last appointment) will give my dad the same results and we could get the transplant scheduled as soon as November. More than likely though, we'll be looking at December or January.

In other news, I have decided that I hate dialysis and sometimes I want to stick a knife in the fluid bags and throw my I.V. pole and other PD accessories out the window. The past three mornings, I overslept and was late for my first dialysis exchange and then, in order to fit at least five exchanges in throughout the day, I have to do an exchange every two hours. A typical exchange takes about 30 to 45 minutes and it's reaaaaaly boooooring. Plus, there's all these stupid protocol rules I'm supposed to follow each time and that got old fast.

Which is a blessing, in a way I guess, because since I'm so sick of dialysis it makes me that much more willing to go through with the transplant and everything that entails. At first, I thought maybe I could try to get used to living on dialysis and then wait the 1-2 years before my name gets to the top of the transplant list at the hospital and receive a kidney from a deceased donor. There's lots of reasons why I would rather do this and I can explain them all to you if you really want to hear it all but the main reason, really, is that it's extremely difficult to let someone else (especially someone who is very close to me and that I love very much, like my father) go through surgery, have an organ removed, and live with the risks and possibilities of things going wrong all for me with very little guarantees that this will even help. It's hard to be optimistic and realistic at the same time, especially when my reality is so bleak.

Since dialysis takes a really long time, I amuse/entertain myself with my iPod Touch and yesterday I googled Peritoneal Dialysis for no real particular reason and, after searching around a bit, came across another blog somewhat similar to mine. is the life story of a lady who went into failure, was on dialysis and then received a transplant from her brother and wrote about it all much like what I'm doing here with this blog. Her main audience and purpose is a little different from mine (she targeted kidney patients and wrote to advise others, I'm writing to family/friends and updating y'all) and she has also not posted since August so I don't know if she is really continuing it or not but I have really been encouraged by reading through the archives. It was neat to be able to see my feelings and thoughts already written down by someone who has gone through this before and understood when I was/am still trying to figure it out myself at the moment.

I'm linking to it here because I thought y'all might want to see Chronic Kidney Disease from a different perspective. She's not a Christian, though, and I found it interesting to read how a non-Christian handles a major trial in her life. We all have some sort of "religion" or "belief-system", even athiests, and I think you really see the difference when you're faced with difficult situations like this.

And it's at this point in my life, when my faith has been shaken to it's very core, and I've gotten a good look at what I'm really made of... and it's not pretty. I'm not as strong as I thought I was, I still haven't gotten over my anger and I am still incredibly stubborn and rebellious. The difference is that I manifested my shortcomings in less noticeable ways and learned to cover them up. I got so good at covering them up that I fooled myself into thinking that I was "a good Christian" now. I fell into the trap of legalism and I was judgmental of those who didn't measure up to my "good Christian" standard.

I started to read my Bible again. I've picked it up here and there on occasion but I haven't really read my Bible since May, shortly after I came home from college. I was never a very faithful Bible reader and that was my biggest frustration with myself because I wasn't being a "good Christian" if I didn't read my Bible daily and check that little box of my list. Yesterday, I started reading it, just to read it, because I know it's important and because I feel like I need it. I'm hoping that I'll continue to realize I need to read the Bible after the feeling passes but since I'm motivated, I decided to take advantage of it. I have mentally burned my "good Christian" check-list... it doesn't really matter now since I'm not even able to physically go to church, and I'm not going to be upset with myself if I miss a day. The important thing is that I read it and know that God understands that I'm not perfect. In fact, he doesn't expect me to be perfect, or respond correctly to every trial that comes my way. God created all the emotions that I'm feeling right now and I don't think that He's asking me to change them... only trust Him in spite of how I feel.

It's as if I'm lying on an operating table and God is about to perform an open heart surgery on me. There's no anesthesia with this kind of operation, though, I have to be awake because God isn't going to force me on that operating table, I have to willingly place myself there and willingly keep myself there and willingly allow Him to work. My problem is that I keep jumping off the table saying, "Alright, enough God, enough! I've had it, I can't handle any more, that's enough!" But every time I jump off the table, I stop God in the middle of the job and that doesn't work in a real surgery so it won't work in this "life surgery" either.

If you've never read Hind's Feet on High Places than let me definitely recommend it to you as one of the best analogies of a Christian life. I'm reminded of the moment when the Shepherd presents Much Afraid with her companions, Sorrow and Suffering. My mom was encouraged by the testimony of Joni Earickson Tada (who broke her neck in a diving accident and is paralyzed from the neck down) who said she had to come to the point when she could embrace her paralysis as a friend much like Much Afraid had to embrace Sorrow and Suffering as her friends. My mom has been telling me how she wants to embrace the kidney disease as a friend. I embraced kidney disease all right, but not as a friend, no. I embraced kidney disease as my mortal enemy, I declared war and I fought with everything I had, determined to kill it or die trying. Yes, I know, I'm very dramatic...

Anyway, that's what I feel like God has been telling me lately, to think of the kidney disease as my companion and embrace it as a friend and learn to hold it's hand along this journey. And I'm struggling with that, simply because this is my most hated enemy and now I'm supposed to forget the entire war, shake hands and be friends? I. Don't. Think. So.

But God enjoys asking the impossible in order to prove His power and this, I suppose, is one of those impossibles that He's going to do in my life and all I have to do is be willing to let Him work. So I guess we'll just sit back and watch what happens.

In the meantime... I think I'm going to go find that book and reread it.

Before I sign off, I want to say thank you to anyone who has sent me a card, or commented here, or wrote on my FB wall letting me know you were thinking of me and praying for me. I got another card today from one of the girl's dorms at Heartland (I've gotten a card from three of the ladies' dorms now and I recognize most all of the names!), I've gotten several cards from different people in my church, one from my awesome sister-in-law, and a really cool card from a friend in Africa, and all the notes and messages on Facebook and through my email. I am so blessed with the friends and the family that I have and I'll take every opportunity that I can to thank you for your much needed and appreciated support, prayers, and all-around encouragement that you give. :-)


  1. Wow, I am speechless and blessed, after reading this, as well as ashamed. Why? Because I think of all of what I go/have gone through and they are so minute compared to you yet I felt/feel the same way as you.
    Reading your blog is a reminder to me that it doesn't matter what it is we have to go through or deal with but that God is always there and treats it all the same. Gives the same "amount" of his great love (if I can say it that way) to everyone no matter what. There is no bigger "thing" that causes him to "pay more attention" to than something that may be so little to someone else. He treats it all the same. What ever the trial is, no matter how minute or great, he just wants us to be faithful to lean on him and depend on him on the outcome and it is all good 'cause he has a purpose for it all.

    I've claimed Rom. 8:28-29 as my "life verse" when I first started getting frustrated with dealing with MS and all that caused me to "give up", then confusion of everyone (docs/specialists) trying to figure it all out (finally discovered that I have a rare form of it) because I know that everything that I go through/happens is because His purpose is to make me more like his image as well as that His glory will be shown through it all.

    Thank you, Kristi, for the reminder.

  2. You're very welcome, Mrs. Wilson. It encourages me to know that this little blog has been an encouragement to you.

    Please, don't think that your health problems are less difficult than mine. God tailor-makes each specific problem to fit our specific needs and mold/create us into the people He designed for us to be. The emotions are the same, though, and it helps so much to know that, even though you're dealing with MS and I'm dealing with Kidney disease, we can relate to each other and hold one another up because of the "fellowship of His suffering" (Phil 3:10) that He has called us to. :-)