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. www.mykidney.com 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. :-)