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 had the green light as a donor.  I had been given the green light as a recipient. All that was left was the call that our green light as a pair was approved.  My transplant coordinator finally called me with the good news and I was elated.  I immediately called my niece and she said, um, I got the call too, but I was told that one of the surgeons still has to verify it on his calendar. My heart dropped.  Why would I get one call and she get the opposite?  Just one more hurdle to jump over and one more test of my patience. But the next day it was all cleared up and we had the official approval!!  The countdown started...30 days till surgery.

I remember waking up the next morning with mixed emotions.  Was I rushing things?  I think I feel fine (but do I really?) (what does fine really feel like?), do I really need this surgery? How is my life going to change.  I will admit, all the things that I love to do came rushing into my head and human nature took over.  I had a little pitty party with myself.  I thought of what I couldn't do anymore like spend time outdoors in the heat and sun (I live by my pool in the summer), sit on the beach in a bathing suit and feel the warm sun on my face, swim lakes, eat at a salad bar, travel without mega germ protection, travel for a good long while, attend outdoor summer festivals and fairs, and much more.  I thought about the days and months I would be sitting in my house all alone all winter long staying clear of germs, people with germs and places.  All the post transplant anti-rejection medications and their side effects.  Oh my head was swimming.  I gave myself a whopping headache.  Reality was setting in.  But then I read this amazing devotion by Ashley Abercrombie called Finding God in the Hard Places.  On day one of the devotion she talks about how easy it is to find God in the good times.  Our wedding day; laying our eyes on our new baby; being surrounded by people who love us. But in the hard times we wonder where He is.  His word says He will never leave us or forsake us, we know He works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.  We know we should trust him, cast our cares on Him and rest in His presence.  But when life stinks, when we are in the midst of a trial or storm, how are we to get those scriptures from our head to our anxious heart? At the end of the devotion Ashley prompts us to write down on paper "Where are you, God?" and to ask the Holy Spirit to speak to us then take 10 minutes to record what God speaks to us.  I did it and this is what I wrote down.

Where are you, God?

I am here.
I have never left you.
I am your strength when you put on a brave face.
I am your strength when you face your fears.
I am the strength that pulls you up from the low places.

That's what He spoke to my heart and it was what my heart needed to hear.  The last 2 years have been unbelievably HARD.  So many ups and downs with life and health. One thing is certain when I look back to the dark days when I could barely function, God was there.  I didn't always feel his presence, I might have only had enough strength to get out of bed, but that strength came from the Lord.  Thank you Lord.

Now that I face a new life challenge I know I will be fine.  I know where my strength comes from.
I am now looking forward to the new things I will be able to do after my transplant that I struggle with today. Walking without exhaustion, not being out of breath, playing with my grand children without feeling spent, eating ice cream again, cleaning my house in one day, traveling, standing, singing and clapping all at the same time in church worship service.  Just living and breathing and doing things like a normal person again.  That's what I am looking forward to.  I can never, ever thank my niece enough for her sacrificial gift of life to me.

Our transplant plans at this time are:
Wednesday August 21 we get our pre-surgery lab work done.
Friday August 23 we check into the hospital at 5:30 a.m. and our surgery is around 7:30 a.m.
My donors stay will be about 3 or 4 days and my stay should be about 5 days.  I am having one of my kidneys removed due to a renal aneurysm, so that added one day to my stay.  I will be on bed-rest in the Kidney ICU for the first 24 hours because of the kidney removal, then to a transplant recovery room the rest of the time.

Thank you all for your continued prayers though this journey.  I feel them and appreciate them all!




Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I am not a medical professional. NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.

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