Sunday, October 31, 2010


Tomorrow I leave for Oklahoma City... TOMORROW!? Yes, tomorrow. I knew it was going to come up fast but it's still hard to believe that I only just heard about my transplant about 20 days ago... Some days just sort of felt like they were dragging by just to spite me. Some days it was like I blinked and they were gone. And now, it feels like I had just heard the news and now I'm leaving.

A part of me doesn't feel ready and the other part has been ready since April when I first knew I needed a transplant. One part of me wonders whether I can emotionally handle everything that could happen and the other part knows that God will give me the grace when I need it so I can handle anything that comes my way. One part of me wants to scream in terror and run away as fast as I can while the other part of me wants to scream and run TOWARDS this "monster" with my sword raised high, ready for battle. One part of me is majorly stressed out while the other part is extremely, unusually calm. Sometimes I want to cry, laugh, scream with fear, squeal with excitement, be angry, be happy, be sad, be joyful, be depressed or be encouraged.

Obviously, I'm having very mixed emotions about all this. I'm pretty sure that's normal (I hope it's normal!) so I'm not worried about it. I also wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that I'm a girl and can get very (no, VERY) caught up in my emotional roller-coaster at times. (But that is normal, for sure!)

It's weird to think that this will probably be my last blog post from home unless I post one up before I leave tomorrow but I was thinking of waiting until I got to wherever we are staying tomorrow night (Still not quite sure on that) and that way I could write more about the trip and everything since I'll have actually experienced it.

So, here's to a whole new adventure that's starting tomorrow. Tomorrow... I need to finish packing!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Birthdays, packing, cleaning and panicking!

The title says it all...

Yesterday, my favorite sister in the whole world turned 18 yesterday and got her driver's permit. She's pretty much awesome and the best little sister ever. She's also incredibly beautiful (No, seriously... the girl is drop-dead gorgeous) and everyone loves her because she's so sweet and nice and funny. (If you ever want a laugh, watch her play that "ninja" game... she's hysterical!) We had a great time celebrating her birthday and, instead of a cake, we had cream puffs. It was quite an amazing feat to get all 18 candles into one cream puff but she did it (and almost caught herself on fire because the flame was so big!) and she loved the necklace I bought her. She's actually wearing it right now. :-D

And because my sister is so amazing, she's helping me pack. Actually... she's doing most of the packing because she's also trying to clean the room and getting my stuff out of the way helps her clean better so she's a lot more motivated than I am. :-/ I usually don't pack until the day before I leave so I wasn't going to start until tomorrow but my sister likes to pack days before so that's another reason why she got started now.

I'll be leaving Monday afternoon and I'm not exactly sure where me and my parents are staying before the surgery but I guess my parents know and I'll just go along for the ride... On Tuesday, my dad has his pre-surgery appointment and I have mine on Wednesday. Then I'll be back at the hospital on Thursday, bright and early at 6:00 AM (which means I've got to get up even earlier! Gah!) and the surgery will happen sometime after that and... beyond that, I don't know what else is gonna happen.

I'm actually not really THAT panicked... just a little. I think it's more just the whole stress-from-not-knowing-what-will-happen kind of thing. Not much I can do about that but it's not as bad as it could be so I'm just "hanging in" until something happens... and that "something" is gonna happen in only 5 more days! I can use one hand to count how many days I have left now. :-)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

7 days left!

Exactly one week from today and I will get my new kidney. It's coming up fast, people! Sometimes it feels like too fast and then, at other times, it doesn't feel fast enough. Sometimes I wish I had more time to prepare, and then other times, I wish it had happened yesterday.

At this time next week I will already have gone through the surgery, woken up from the anesthesia, and (knowing me) will probably be watching TV in the ICU... a little (or a lot!) sore, more than likely, but feeling (I hope) very well, better than I've ever felt and getting better by the minute.

One of our case-workers (or a social worker, I'm not really sure.) called today to let us know that they have a spot reserved for us at the Ronald McDonald House near the hospital which will be where me and my mom are staying while I recover. My grandparents are going to take my dad back home as soon as he recovers and then he'll come back up for his two-week check-up to make sure he's doing fine but me and my mom will have to stay up there for at least a month, probably, because I'll be having check-ups and medication adjustments for a while afterwards.

I went to Walmart today (I know, I know, I'm not supposed to be out.) to get some necessities and some things to keep me busy... namely, a new pack of crochet hooks because I seem to have lost most of my other ones, and a skein of lovely, thick, purple yarn that I think would make a great knit scarf if I reteach myself how to knit again. Since I usually crochet I kinda sorta forgot how to knit and the scarf won't have the look I want if I crochet it. I decided that I could get a lot done since I'm not going to be able to do much else (not that I do much now...) and I can knit and crochet while watching TV and movies, which is probably what I'm going to be doing a lot of while I'm up there...

On a much happier note, I found my iTouch! I've decided that it's just a God-thing that I found it, and it's probably a God-thing that I lost it too, because I really don't know how it could have fallen out of my pocket and I have no idea how it ended up in the corner of my room by my dialysis chair, either. But, whatever, the point is, it was lost, and now it's found, and God let me find it before I went and spent almost $300 on a new one so I would have it when I was at the hospital. :-) And me and my mom had a great talk in the car about how God expects us to respond in situations like this and what having a grateful attitude really means... but that'll be for another post at another time. ;-)

7 days left!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

When you're in the valley

The last two days I've been watching some videos from The Skit Guys, and I came across one they did that I found very relevant to what I sometimes write about on this blog.
If you haven't seen it, go watch it, if you can, because I write about it in the following paragraphs and it might not make any sense unless you've seen it first.

It's called The Mourning Booth and it shows a man who is in a "valley" (spiritually speaking) coming into a restaurant and sitting in the booth. The narrator says that you're either "going into a valley, in the middle of a valley, or just coming out of a valley." The man meets with several different people in his booth who say or do all the wrong things for someone who is in the "valley." Things like trying to make the man laugh by telling jokes, or reading that "All things work together for good" from the Bible, or saying things like "it's time to get over it and move on."

Eventually, everyone leaves. They don't want to stay in the "valley" any longer than they have to. It's as if they're scared that if they spend too much time in the "valley" then they'll get stuck there or something. It seems like they do everything possible to get whoever it is in the "valley" out and if they can't, they leave. I don't think they mean to abandon their friend but sometimes that's what happens. They don't notice the deep, emotional pain that person is in and if they do, they don't know how to help, they feel awkward and uncomfortable, so they don't do anything, or they make it worse by asking insensitive, nosy questions or quipping platitudes and cliche's to try and make them feel better.

But watch what the waitress does at the end. She's pouring his coffee and glances over, seeing that he's in great, emotional distress. Instead of sitting opposite of him, she slides in next to him. He scootches over to give her more room and she silently sits next to him. Mourning with him, sharing in his grief, supporting him in the "valley." Chances are, she's in her own "valley" too, or she just got out of one and remembered what it felt like.

This past week, I have had friends that have said things to me like "How are you really doing? You don't have to smile if you don't want to. Please don't feel like you need to pretend around me. If you don't want to talk about that then just tell me and we'll talk about something else instead. I love you very much, my friend."

You wanna know what encourages me the most? That. It's as if you just sat down next to me in my Mourning Booth, slipped your arm in mine, and walked with me a few steps through my valley. I hope, I pray, I'm almost out of this valley but, chances are, I've got a bit more miles to walk before I'm through.

 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; A time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

What those other people were trying to do in the video clip... yeah, there's a time for that. Sometimes, watching a funny movie or telling a few jokes may be what somebody needs at that moment, taking them out shopping might be what helps get their mind off their troubles, taking time to remind them of the truths of God's word over a cup of coffee may give them encouragement and comfort, and, sometimes, telling them that they need to move on (lovingly, of course!) may be what they need to hear to help get them out of their depression and back into life again. Everybody is different, though, and the bottom line is that we weren't made to handle these valleys on our own. Be willing to come alongside someone and walk a while with them in their valley and maybe they'll be the ones to walk with you in your valley.

Monday, October 25, 2010

10 days left!

Approximately 10 days... 240 hours... 14,400 minutes... 864,000 seconds... until November 4th when I get my new kidney.

But who's counting! :-)

And this time next week, I will either be driving to or already in Oklahoma City. Me and my parents leave for OKC next Monday (Nov 1st) so that we will be up there in time for our pre-surgery appointment on the 2nd. Then I guess we'll just hang out all day on the 3rd before leaving at the crack of dawn on the 4th to go get checked in and await the surgery.

From what I hear, most of my family is going to try to be there. My grandparents, my aunts, my uncles, maybe some cousins... It will be almost like Christmas getting us all together in one place. I don't know how much we'll get to see of each other because after the surgery I'll be moved to Intensive Care for a few days and I don't think they let visitors in for very long but they'll be able to see my parents and my grandparents are going to take my dad home when he's discharged after two or three days.

My mom is reserving us a slot at either the Fisher House or the Ronald McDonald House so she has a place to stay while I'm in ICU and we'll both have a place to stay for the next month or so when I'm discharged but still needing tests, lab-work and medication changes done and I need to stay in the area. One of my friends is gonna bring me a lot of movies to watch so I can keep myself occupied while I'm recovering and I will be bringing my laptop so I can continue to blog. ;-)

10... more... days...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Second by second

Now that I'm supposed to stay home and keep myself well (as in, not any more sick than I already am) I want to go out. Before, when I should have been getting out more, I was cranky and I didn't want to go out anywhere, it was too hard to schedule dialysis around going out, and I was definitely being anti-social because people only wanted to talk to me about kidney-related things. I'm sure I frustrated my parents by being so stubborn and (basically) refusing to leave the comforts of my house and now... I'm going out because I want to be out.

Maybe someone should tell me I'm not allowed to eat and then I'll be so hungry I'll eat more... :-p

I promise, though, after the concert tonight, I'll stay home. Except for maybe church on Sundays, if I  feel up to going. 

In other news, plans are being made and things are actually happening. I don't feel like I'm sitting around waiting for nothing, anymore. I don't have to worry about my dad not clearing. I don't have to wonder what I'm going to do if this happens or that doesn't work out. My life no longer feels like it's drifting aimlessly out in the middle of nowhere. I have a goal, something I can visibly see, something tangible that I can move towards. 

I spend a lot of time in my room and it's usually quiet enough that I can hear the second hand on the clock ticking. It used to discourage me to hear that sound because I knew that each second I heard sounded off was a second of my life spend sick in bed, and I literally felt like I was wasting away. Now, I love to hear the  clock ticking because I know with each tick, I am one second closer to being off dialysis, one second closer to getting well, one second closer to being able to do things again... one second closer to getting my life back. It's going to be a GREAT Thanksgiving this year.

13 more days

Thursday, October 21, 2010

14 more days

I'm actually getting a little excited now. I had time last evening because I couldn't go out to church (we're having revival meetings, don't know if I mentioned that before, but I can't go to any more meetings now) so I was able to have some time to myself and think about this transplant, cry about it, plan a little bit, figure out what I'm going to pack, and stuff like that. This morning as I woke up and started dialysis, realizing that even though I woke up earlier, I'm still going to have to do an exchange every two hours 7 times every day for two weeks... I got excited. Because in 14 days I'm gonna be off dialysis.

I'll be able to get this tube out of my stomach. I'll be able to swim again. I can go back to school. I can get a job and work. I won't be confined to my bed for the better part of the day. I'll feel well enough to call m friends and talk for hours. I'll feel well enough to even go and visit my friends like I used to. I'll be able to go places and do things again. I'll be able to just live again.

That's exciting.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ugh, rough day

So, in my last post I mentioned that I only had three weeks before the transplant... well, it's actually two weeks exactly, starting tomorrow. Which means, if I count today, I have 15 days before I get a new kidney.

I don't know if I've ever been more stressed in my life than I am right now. I remember when I was 13 and I was about to have my first kidney biopsy and how stressed I was about that... I guess the older I get, the things I have to go through get harder and harder and I get more and more stressed. It's a wonder I have any hair on my head at all...

I got the results from my P.E.T. test today and it showed that I am not getting enough dialysis which explains why I'm not feeling better. My nurse told me I would have been a perfect  candidate for the cycler machine and I wish so badly that I would have been able to switch to that way before now. I was supposed to start today and I regret that I agreed with the nurse and decided against the training today because she already cancelled my order and now I would have to wait a whole week before I would be able to start and since I've only got two weeks left, there's no point.

So, because I'm not on the cycler... I have to do more exchanges, every two hours, every single day... for the next two weeks. Good thing I can't leave the house because if I'm supposed to get seven exchanges in every day, there's no way I'd be able to get out anywhere and still keep  up with that. Which really stinks because my church is having revival meetings with an evangelistic team and I'm not going to be able to go to any more meetings this week, or the Irish concert that they're having on Friday.

I also have to put more fluid in my stomach now and the more fluid, the more stretched out my stomach gets and the more uncomfortable I get. These next two weeks are NOT going to be fun...

In other news, I had almost twenty tubes of blood drawn today for some Thrombosis (I think) panel... I don't really know what it's for but I was poked four times and I'm still bruised and sore from the last time I had blood drawn (that was six pokes, that time) and so now, I'm really sore and I'm completely exhausted because it  was a lot of blood. I would totally go to sleep if I could but I can't because I have to do another dialysis exchange so that's why I'm blogging because I'm trying to keep myself awake which means I need to keep myself out of bed.

I'm not meaning to complain, but it was an incredibly rough day and the next 14 days are only going to get rougher and I just felt like writing about it so I did.

On a really sad note, I lost my iPod touch... I'm so sad, it was expensive, had some stuff that was important to me, and was going to be the way I kept in touch on Facebook and my blog while I was in the hospital because it had internet connection and it's way better than setting my laptop on me. Just so you all know.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's a date

November 4th

That is my tentative scheduled transplant date.

Yesterday my dad got a call to say that his last test that he redid came back completely normal and the doctor said he would talk with the transplant doctor one more time and then the case would be sent to the committee for review.

Today during my dialysis appointment, I got a call to say that the doctors had talked, my dad cleared all the donor testing, my case had gone before the committee, and the scheduled date for surgery was November 4th.

The timing for the news really wasn't the best, I would have liked to have been home so I could lock myself up alone in my room and taken the time to process everything but, as it was, my nurses and doctor got to hear the news the same time I did (my mom took the call and told me) and, of course, they were all thrilled while I sort of just sat there in shock trying to comprehend what I had just heard. Then I felt like I had to act all excited and try to smile because I kept getting asked "Are you excited?! Isn't that great news!? Are you excited!?"

Truth is, no, I'm not excited. Not yet. I will be, I'm sure, later. But now, I'm just trying to take in the fact that this is finally happening. I was just resigning myself to the fact that this was probably not going to happen and I really didn't think my dad was going to clear and if he didn't, then I wasn't going to let anyone else get tested because I didn't feel I had the emotional energy to handle the stress of another living donor process. I was about to switch to a different type of dialysis which would have been easier on me tomorrow but now there's no point to try and change my routine when I've only got  about three weeks to get used to it before I stop dialysis altogether.

A huge part of me is in disbelief. I have an attitude of "I'll believe it when it happens." I don't let my hopes get up very much anymore because the lower my hopes are to begin with, the less they fall and crash when things don't work out the way I hoped for, if that makes any sense at all. I've dealt with a lot of disappointment in my life and I'm not a very optimistic person. I can fool people into thinking I am, but in all actuality, I have a very bleak outlook on life most of the time and I can be very cynical and suspicious... especially with things like this. If I'm not excited, it's for that reason.

I'm also not excited because I'm scared about the surgery... not for me. I can handle surgery, I actually like anesthesia (probably a lot more than I should) and pain pills are very effective. I'm worried about my dad. This isn't just me, anymore. Another person is involved. A person I care about and love very much. And if something were to happen to him because of this surgery... words can't even describe how upset I would be.

I'm sure I'll be excited about this later. I'll definitely be excited about it when it happens and I feel better. But right now... the word that comes to mind is shock. I'm pretty shocked about the whole thing. And I'm stressed about it. I've been stressing about it since I went into failure in April and I'll probably be stressing about right up until they knock me out with anesthesia. You can quote verses to me about trusting in God and not being anxious about anything but I already know them all. I do trust God, even with my pessimistic, cynical attitude about life, I just don't necessarily agree with Him and that's what stresses me. We aren't exactly on the same page about how my life should turn out and, I realize, I'm not God and I don't get to choose that. But that doesn't help my emotions any and my emotions have been going haywire since April and they aren't showing any signs of changing.

However, I'm not letting myself get sidetracked in the battle against my emotions. They'll change when they "feel" like changing and I'm not going to try and force them to change. It's a losing battle anyway. What I do have control over is my behavior, my response, to these circumstances. If you see a smile on my face, it's because I'm really good at smiling and being polite when I'd rather scream or yell if I hear the word "kidney" one more time.

So, obvious prayer requests would be that the date will stand (or get moved up sooner) and me and my dad will both be physically prepared for the surgery. Some of my levels were off today so I need to be more careful what I eat (and I need to eat more, I'm not doing so well at that lately) and I need to keep myself free from infection of any kind. I think I'm coming down with a cold so please pray that it would not develop into anything more and just go away whatever it is that's making my nose stuffy and my throat scratchy.

November 4th... at least I have something to look forward to.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Long time, no blog

No worries, I didn't fall off a cliff or (more worse) land myself in the hospital again, either. I just wasn't in the mood for blogging. I actually wasn't in the mood for much of anything. Yes, it was one of those moods again where I hate everything and everybody but it's passed (again) and high time I let you all know what's been going on with me.

Last Tuesday my dad went up to OU to meet with the kidney doctor again and look over the results from the test that he had to redo. Apparently, there was a miscommunication between the hospitals here and there and the results had not yet been faxed so there were no results to look over when my dad went up there. Instead, he had a talk with the kidney doctor and he promised to call whenever he actually got the results himself.

I can't remember if I wrote about why my dad had to redo the test or not and I don't want to stop and go look it up right now so here's why again if I already wrote it before. This might be a little too much information for y'all but it's how things are done so you'll just have to bear with me.

The kidneys filter wastes out from your blood and remove them in your urine. Things like protein and such are supposed to be kept in your body but when the kidneys aren't working (like mine) the protein comes out in the urine while the toxins build up in your blood. The kidneys do a lot of other things too but for now we're just focusing on this aspect.

The best way to check the kidney's function and to tell how well it's working (or how it's NOT working) is to do a 24-hour urine collection and and a blood draw and compare the results. I've done several of these throughout my lifetime and I can tell you all about it but I won't because I don't feel the need to gross y'all out and scare you away from ever reading my blog again. 

As part of the donor testing, my dad had to do two of these tests at different times to make sure his kidneys were working fine. The first one was fine but the second one showed protein in it. So they had him redo it, and we don't know what the results are yet from this.

Protein can spill into the urine because of extra physical activity, and my dad is a very hard worker and does a lot of physical activity, so it's highly possible that the protein in his urine was a result of that. And that's what I'm hoping it is. However, this could be a sign that my dad has something wrong with his kindeys too and we're just now catching it. Obviously, that would disqualify him as a donor and it could possibly mean kidney failure later on for him too.

As if that wasn't enough, one of my younger brothers is also spilling protein in his urine, and he is NOT very physically active at all. If he ends up diagnosed with a kidney disease, it's highly possible that all of my immediate family members (and extended too, for that matter) could be disqualified from being able to donate to me, or have to undergo even more extensive testing than usual to make sure their kidneys work fine.

Frankly, I could not be more frustrated about this. I've spent a lot of emotional energy on my dad's testing and I feel like I've got nothing to show for it. I still don't know whether or not he is the donor and I definitely do not have a transplant date to look forward too. If my dad doesn't qualify, I'm not sure I'm gonna be up for someone else to undergo the testing for a while, if it's taking this long then I might as well wait till my name gets to the top of the transplant list and get a cadaver (from someone recently deceased) kidney.

Yesterday, I had an extremely long day at the dialysis center having a P.E.T. (Peritoneal Equilibriem Test) to determine whether or not I'm getting enough dialysis and to start things moving on my cycler training. We almost had to abandon the whole test halfway through it because the nurse couldn't get my blood drawn and this test is extremely time sensitive. I had three nurses in there at one point, all taking their turns poking me, until they finally got it and was able to get some blood, but it may not be enough and if it isn't, then I'll have to do the test all over again. 

My nurse says that my cycler training should still happen no matter what the test results are and I really can't wait for that because then I'll be able to do dialysis at night instead of all day long. 

Also, on a much happier note, I finally got some good quality rest last night thanks to my new friend, Ambien. I have not been sleeping well at all and I think that is what has been putting me in my "moods" lately so I decided to try some sleeping medications. I was prescribed Restoril first and I still have an almost completely full bottle of that because I only had one and I won't take it ever again. It didn't even work, I slept just as terrible that night, and I felt like a zombie the entire next day because it takes about 10 hours to wear off. Ambien worked great last night, I slept deeply and soundly, and woke up perky. It was great. My only thing is that it bugs me to have to need sleeping pills and I don't want to get addicted, so I'm hoping that this will just help me to get into a schedule and then I won't need them. 

Well, that's all I can think to write about. I'll continue to update you when I have anything. :-)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Small update on things

Today I had my blood drawn and my vein mapping scheduled. It was easy and uneventful really. The blood was drawn quickly and relatively painlessly, one stick and one tube... piece of cake. The vein mapping was a little more interesting but completely painless and easy. They did an ultra-sound on my arms to look at the veins and the arteries and will use that to determine whether or not I can have a fistula put in so I have another means of dialysis. Aside from having a blue rubber band tied *tightly* around each of my arms for five minutes (ouch) and having lots of goopy, slimy gel stuff poured over my arms from my wrist to my shoulder... it couldn't have gone smoother and the whole procedure lasted about 15 minutes. I waited in the lobby longer than the actual procedure took and the nurse made a joke about the paperwork taking longer.

The blood that was drawn will tell my complete blood cell count (CBC) to make sure I'm not anemic or anything like that and also it's just routine to make sure my dialysis doesn't need to be adjusted. The vein mapping will tell the doctors what I have to work with as far as what my other dialysis access options are. Currently, I only have one access which means only one way of dialysis so in the case of an emergency or for any other reason that would cause me to have to stop PD, there needs to be another access so I can still receive dialysis. I really don't want to get a fistula if I can help it... those things are ugly and for some people, it's already awkward enough so I don't think I really want to get an ugly, pulsating, lumpy mass that people will ask about, want to touch and/or just stare at it and make everything even more awkward for me than it already is. On the other hand, I could make up some really cool stories about it...

And as for the transplant update... my dad is redoing one of the tests and he has an appointment with the nephrologist (kidney doctor) next week I think to go over the results again before he meets with the head transplant doctor (again) and THEN, if everything is good, my case will be presented to the committee and, after that clears, I'll finally have a date for the transplant and something solid to finally look forward too.

So please pray, if you would, that everything with my dad's tests would come back fine and that they would move this process along as fast as they can. Thanks! :-)

Also, a little bragging moment before I go, I was able to catch the last ten minutes of my siblings' volleyball practice and I was soooo proud of them. My sister was the cutest girl there and my brothers made some excellent serves, they practice hard and they play well with their team and I made sure to cheer real loud for them when I was there. I think I'm going to try to go to more of their practices... I can't do a whole lot but I can still cheer good and loud. All that to say... my siblings are the best and I love them tons and yes, I am biased, be jealous because you don't have amazing siblings like mine! :-)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Trying to sprint in a marathon

I'm in one of my "moods" again... What "mood" you may ask? The one where I hate every thing and everybody, noisy little brothers seem even louder and more obnoxious than ever, I'm either too hot or too cold, my hair looks ugly, I'm angry for no reason in particular, I feel like crying, screaming, sleeping and punching the wall all at the same time, I'm bored out of my skull, my toe-nail polish is chipped and the world is falling apart. Yes... that mood.

And because I've been in "that mood" for the last few days, I haven't posted anything because I simply didn't want to and also because I didn't have anything really relevant to this blog to post about. No updates, no news, no nothing... And because my mom decided to read Hind's Feet on High Places too, I haven't been reading it as much as I normally would have (that, and the fact that it's actually a REAL book and not the text on my iPod that's easier to read from when I'm laying in bed versus trying to hold a real book sideways...)

So... all that to say, since I'm not in "that mood" right now, and I don't hate everybody and everything, and I've got the house to myself which means the house is quiet for once, and I was able to read some of Hind's Feet I've decided that now is a perfect time to post on my blog because I don't know when I'm going to be in "that mood" again.

And just in case you're wondering... no, I am not using "that mood" as an excuse to be mean or cranky, and no, I don't intentionally decide to be in "that mood" it just sort of happens and I've long since decided that I'm not going to get distracted from the real fight by trying to battle my emotions that change in the blink of an eye from one to the other when I can just let the emotions happen and choose instead to control my behaviors and attitudes in spite of what the emotions are at the time.

Also, as I side note, if I ever do happen to post on here when I'm in on my "moods" don't be alarmed by what I say and don't take it literally. At the time, I may think that the world is falling apart, and I'll never get better and life couldn't be worse.... but it passes and I'll get over it, eventually. This mood, like all my moods, eventually changes to something else but for some reason I just don't ever seem to remember that fact when I'm despairing of something.

And now... to my thoughts on Hind's Feet...

I started with the Preface and was struck with this paragraph (actually, I was struck by the entire preface but particularly this paragraph.)

"But the High Places of victory and union with Christ cannot be reached by any mental reckoning of self to be dead to sin, or by seeking to devise some way or discipline by which the will can be crucified. The only way is by learning to accept, day by day, the actual conditions and tests permitted by God, by a continually repeated laying down of our own will and acceptance of his as it is presented to us in the form of the people with whom we have to live and work, and in the things which happen to us Every acceptance of his will becomes an altar or sacrifice, and every such surrender and abandonment of ourselves to his will is a means of furthering us on the way to the High Places to which he desired to bring every child of his while they are still living on earth."
-  Hind's Feet on High Places, Hannah Hurnard, pg ix

It's the marathon versus the sprint. I am a sprinter. Not literally, but figuratively, in the way that I live. I like to go to conferences or schools or camps and give it everything I've got. Run full speed and hit it hard and fast. When the week is over that's when I go home to crash and recover. I like to play hard and win. I like to live hard... and win. But that doesn't work when you have a chronic illness.

When you have a chronic illness, every little thing in your day requires energy and is exhausting. Some of you probably don't even think twice about taking a shower because it's easy for you to just hop in, get clean, jump back out and go about your day. Not so for me, or anyone else with limited energy.

That's where the marathon comes in... For the rest of my life, my kidney disease is going to dictate certain choices and decisions I make. I have to pace myself, hold back, refrain from playing another round of ultimate frisbee or volleyball, and make sure to take my medicine every day. I keep holding out for that day when I'll feel better but I don't know when that's going to be and if/when it happens, how long it's going to last before I'll be running another marathon.

I started out this trial like a sprinter, like I do most everything, not realizing that it was meant to be a marathon. Lately, I've been burning out. I get thrown into one of my "moods" want to quit and give up and I hate everything until my attitude changes and then I get up and start sprinting again, only to burn out again. I want to get to the end as soon as I can, I want to rush through the laying down and surrendering rights and the sacrifices at the altar and just get to the end and enjoy the rewards. I want to skip the pain, skip the journey, skip the lessons and just be done with it. Basically, I'm trying to sprint in a marathon...

"But the High Places... cannot be reached by any mental reckoning of self to be dead to sin, or by seeking to devise some way by which the will can be crucified" and there is no short-cut to lesson the journey and by-pass the valleys altogether, either. "The only way is by learning to accept, day by day, the actual conditions and tests permitted by God, by a continually repeated laying down of our own will" and accepting His. "Every acceptance of His will becomes an altar of sacrifice."

It's a marathon, not a sprint... and I need to run like it's a marathon.

 "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easiliy beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,"
Hebrews 12:1

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Not much to say...

I'm writing today to say.... that I have nothing to say. Well, nothing to say about what I normally write about, anyway because nothing new has happened. Today was a plain, old boring day but don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I'd rather have a plain, old, boring day than a day full of hospital visits, blood draws, waiting in the E.R. or sitting in a dialysis center. According to my siblings, however, I can talk the ear off of anybody so don't worry, I haven't run out of things to say.

I have decided to (finally!) post a picture here. I love blogs with pictures, and eventually I hope to add lots and lots of pictures here but it does take a bit of work and I just haven't wanted to mess with the tediously long download/upload process to put them up just yet. This one, I took with my computer's web-cam, right after I did dialysis and it was quick and easy... so I might take a few more with the web-cam and put up a couple more pictures like this. 

I pulled out one of my syringes just to be dramatic. And yes, the cap is still on, I didn't get THAT dramatic because I didn't want to risk dropping it and/or stabbing myself unnecessarily. :-P I look like I'm a nurse trying to be upbeat and positive while giving some poor patient their shot... "Hi! How are you? I'm going to stick this very long needle into your stomach but don't worry, this won't hurt a bit!" I always want to say to them "Oh really, why don't you stick it into your stomach first and let me see how you react and then maybe I'll let you stick me" Actually, I'm always told that it's going to feel like a little pinch, or an ant bite and I think to myself, "That's a pretty hard pinch or a really big ant that we're talking about here, cause this HURTS!" Ok, enough about shots now...

Except for sometimes getting a little hot and making my face feel stuffy, I usually forget that I'm even wearing a face-mask. I think I'm going to make it a new fashion statement and design them with cool, awesome patterns with diamonds and bright crazy colors that will revolutionize the face-mask and make me rich and famous. When I get my transplant, I'm going to have to wear one of these whenever I go out anywhere since I will have basically no immune system (I've never had a really good one anyway but whatever I have left is probably going to be completely wiped out with the medications I'll have after the transplant...) and I'll have to keep myself protected against the germs and stuff flying around.

Hehe, I'm going to have a lot of fun walking around Wal-mart with my face mask and making everyone think that I've got some terrible contagious disease and they're all going to probably avoid me as if I've got a plague or something and then I won't have anybody in my way when I'm trying to look through the sales racks... Maybe I should keep one with me in my purse from now on so whenever I need people to get out of my way, I'll put it on and start coughing and breathing like Darth Vader and then laugh as everyone backs off. Haha, that would be funny!

On a more serious note, my mom decided to buy a brand new copy of Hind's Feet on High Places and the sequel to that called Mountains of Spices. I'm going to be reading those very in depth and posting my thoughts about it here on days like this when I don't have anything else to write about. I highly, highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend this book to everyone, but especially to those who, like myself, are in a difficult season in life. I've read this book 3 - 4 times now and I never get tired of it, it's one of those that you need to re-read on occasion.