A Roller Coaster of Emotions

You know that feeling you get when you are waiting in line at the amusement park to get on the biggest, baddest, newest roller coaster in the whole park?  The one that takes you up to the highest heights and then plummets you down just before twisting and rolling and causing you to cry out to Jesus for mercy?  You know how your tummy feels all woozy and your brain initiates the fight or flight response? That feeling of fear mixed with excitement and bravery that you feel just before you find your seat and strap in? That's what it feels like when you wake up and realize that your kidney transplant is only days away! Am I afraid?  Yes, that's human nature.  Am I excited?  Yep! Sure am.  Am I putting on a brave face?  Every single day!  I'm still pinching myself knowing that all this is real.  I am really getting the biggest and best gift in the whole wide world!  The gift of LIFE.  The gift of more days with my family.  The gift of more days to explore, love, treasure

We Have A Date!

Friday February 8th 2019 I received a call that changed my life. "Hi Aunt Jodie....Guess what! I'm your match!" I was sitting in the Sonic drive-in with my brand new grandson and my daughter in law.  We stopped for a bite after baby Grey's doctor visit.  I wasn't expecting any news that day, it was just an ordinary day that turned EXTRAordinary. My niece had blood drawn on January 28th and mailed to the lab for matching. Two weeks later she got the results.  Sitting in my car trying to tell my daughter in law the good news, I cried, like ugly cried.  God is so good, I'm getting a new kidney.  The roller skating waitress came to my car window to deliver our lunch, me sobbing, blowing my nose and all.  I must have looked a mess.  I remember telling her I had just received good news and she just handed me my food and gave a half smile thinking in her head, what a crazy lady. Fast forward to Tuesday July 23rd.  Every committee meeting had been held.  My niece h

A Quick Update

It seems like I've have been waiting forever for information from the transplant team on when my surgery will be.  I still have no dates or news.  Sigh.  But on the donor end we have just overcome a hurdle and are now rounding the bend.  My donor is waiting to hear from her coordinator on when she can attend Donor Education Class and get her pelvic CT scan done so the surgeon has a nice little road map of her kidney's arteries and veins for the nephrectomy.   I continue to be on the deceased donor list and give my blood draw each month to keep myself current with UNOS.  I know the wait is about 5 - 7 years for that, but you just never know! I am still feeling pretty good, but I can get exhausted pretty fast.  I continue to rest and work on my watercolor paintings (also a practice in patience!).  Here are a few new paintings I've completed recently.  My next appointment with the kidney doctor and lab work will be in another week.  I hope we can get

Still Dialysis Free

I am happy to report that my kidneys are still functioning and I have not had to start dialysis yet!  My goal is still to continue moving toward transplant and avoiding dialysis.  I think paying close attention to my diet, taking all of my medications and remaining positive everyday are some of the key factors of these kidneys of mine holding on. My kidneys have been having some trouble processing phosphorus so my doctor has me taking a phosphorus binder. The American Kidney Fund explains Phosphorus this way: Phosphorus is a mineral found in many foods. It works with calcium and vitamin D in your body to keep your bones healthy and strong. Healthy kidneys keep the right amount of phosphorus in your body, but when your kidneys are not working well, phosphorus can build up to dangerous levels in your blood. When you have too much phosphorus in the blood, your body will pull calcium from the bones in an attempt to match the amount of phosphorus in the blood, causing bones to becom

Tool Boxes and Drain Pans

Living the last 6 years with a chronic disease, first, an unexplained auto immune disease and now chronic kidney disease, has certainly been a trial and has helped me grow closer to God as I learn to lean on Him in the hard times, wait patiently for answers and trust him for my healing. I have gathered many coping tools along the way and have a big "toolbox" full of beautiful words that encourage me when I am down, or when I am weak.  I find strength in scripture and the promises of God when life takes twists and turns that I can not control.    Here are just a few: But, being strong all of the time is hard (and it sucks). Sometimes I just need a "drain pan" and not a "tool box". Unfortunately many of those near and dear to us see us struggle and reac h into their tool box and pull out cheer up words, be strong scripture and motivational memes to help fix us, when all we need is a drain pan to catch our words, our tears, our grief, our an

Transplant : Not As Seen On TV

Hello!!  Sorry it's been a minute since I have posted anything new on my blog.  Winter is coming to a close here in central Indiana, but the cold weather still lingers making me want to stay inside and work on a few projects.  Dennis and I have been unpacking the garage, building shelving and organizing everything so that maybe by summer I can park my car in the garage again!  Our unfinished basement is full of boxes of stuff we've been sorting through.  We hope to get the majority of it into a garage sale and the memories and holiday decor neatly stored away on the shelving system Dennis built.  Our goal is to finish the basement soon, drywall, carpet, theater room, bar, extra bedroom, the works!  We are taking it one step at a time. On a positive note, January 22nd, we welcomed our new grandson Grey Joseph Minniear into our family.  I have spent a lot of time down in southern Indiana with my son and his wife helping and snuggling baby Grey. An update on me, I want to take

Got A Kidney to Spare?

It's been a week since Kidney Education Day at IU Hospital. A week to let the realness of everything sink in.  A week to wrap my brain around the truth of how badly I need a new kidney to live.  We learned that the life expectancy of living on dialysis and not ever having a transplant is 5-10 years.  We learned receiving a live donor kidney transplant could last 20 years!  I don't know about you, but 20 years sounds a lot better to me!  You see I'm only 48 years old, I'm the mom of three great sons, Evan is 25, Logan is 23 and Isaiah is 19 and wife to a wonderful, devoted husband.  I need them and they need me.  I am also very blessed to be Mimi to a beautiful little girl who is 6 and a little boy who I expect to meet on January 22nd ~ in just a few days!  I need them and they need me.  I recently moved back to Indiana to live near family, my parents, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews and my grandmother.  I need them and they need me.  I need a kidney and I need one so