Thursday, April 30, 2009

My craigslist ad for a Volunteer

I am writing you today, as a wife and mother of two young children. My husband, just turned 30 and he started his birthday as he does every other day, on his dialysis machine. This man is full of passion for life and providing for his family, yet he is ever so patiently waiting for a willing and commited donor to grant him his full potential! My husband has been on daily dialysis (12-14 hours PER DAY) for 2 years, 7 months. I am watching him struggle to keep it together and inside I am aching! We have faith that there is someone out there that can help us, and we just pray that person happens to come across this post and decides to reach out. Can you be that person?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Oohhhhhh BOY!

Well....I like a good challenge, and better yet....a PLANNING I did it. I have officially....taken....over....the....planning....for....................................................... Oh goodness, I am saying it, making it official, the 10 YEAR REUNION. Wowza! How fun!! My mind is racing! I love brainstorming!! Fun fun fun!


The thing that I thought could not happen, did. The donor that God so graciously blessed us with, is not going to work out afterall. Maybe I had TOO much faith in this whole thing, to not think that God would bless us with a donor that was 200% ready to do this, then to go and have the rug pulled out from under our feet. Today, the hospital called to inform us that we would not be moving forward with the tranplant due to "medical reasons". I wrote Jen an email and I hope first and foremost, that everything is ok, because she did not let on that she had any health concerns, so it worries me that she may have heard some unsettling news about her health. Pray for her....

We obviously have many thoughts going through our minds, and we just need to process it all, and mourn the huge disappointment this has caused.

My mind is already working on the next step. That's the way I work! Get knocked down, jump up and move on! I will find a kidney for my husband!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My brain hurts

I have so many thoughts racing through my mind, I can actually admit that my brain hurts. I am not sure where to go, or who to talk to, or if it's something that needs to be talked out at all. I have always been the one that people go to, to "talk to" I have always been able to work through my emotions. It so much more complicated this time. I have kids, I have started a life, and I would like to say that I have grown up and think I have become a responsible adult. Who, what, when, where, WHY!?

Friday, April 24, 2009

I think it's safe to say....

I think I can officially say that Miles has *ahem* weaned from nursing. It sure seems that way anyway! I will note one of the last times my precious little boy requested a nursing session, and that was a little over a week ago. I was laying in bed, he woke up and I brought him into bed with us for some cuddles. He had his nu-nu (pacifier) and was just hanging out with us. Literally out of the blue, I saw a little light bulb go on in his head, he smiled and giggled at me, took his nu-nu out and whipped it across the bed, then assumed the position for a milky snack :) It was so precious and so cute, it will rank up there with "Top Memories" for sure! Since then he has nursed once, maybe twice, and those times were because I offered it. Miles is a few days short of 14 months, so, I am officially noting he is weaned at 13 months. Aside from that, it's safe to say that Al and I started counseling today. I am optimistic and will explain more as we go in the future :)
And finally, it's safe to say I am SO EXCITED!! I am signing up for the Certified Nurses Assistant course at a local college! Yay! Registration isn't until June though, so I will twiddle my thumbs a bit until then!!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Our meeting with Al's donor....

I will explain this picture later :)

These two, I caught from the car. Jen's train had just arrived, and I still had to find parking, so Al got out and ran up to her, so they could chat. I was so glad to catch this was a tear jerker! Reminded me of a movie :*)

Jen (holding her mug, she LOVED it !!) Al and our little guy Miles

The story of the night:
Well....the train arrived at 5:27 PM. Minutes before, Jen texted me with "Hearts racing?" We replied "With excitement!" Then a few minutes later we are at a stop light, I get another text with "Move train!!" We saw the train, it was just sitting there, and she was stuck on the other side!! The anticipation was great!! The light turned green, the gates went up and we see everyone walking across the tracks, we spotted her from the car, and instinctively, I waved! She saw us (how??? We were IN the car, and there were tons of people around...but she saw us!) waved back excitedly!! Al jumped out of the car (at another stoplight) and they ran to each other and embraced! It was such a teary moment to watch from the "outside" world. All this busyness was going on around all of us, and for a moment, it felt as though the world had stopped just for us! The kids and I crossed the tracks, to find parking and when we finally met up with Al and Jen, I got my chance to hug her to death!! It was such an impactful time! She had baked us COOKIES!!!! As if giving her kidney up isn't enough, she baked for us! This woman is amazing. I must just make that perfectly clear. She is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! She is so bubbly and personable and sweet and funny and informative and...and....and....AND! She is a gem!

We went to dinner, were there for a few hours. I was impressed with how well the kids behaved and how sweet she was with Acilia. Acilia LOVED her! It was so cute! She just kept looking at her and talking to her, and loving on her!

We told her we wanted to drive her home, so she wouldn't have to take the train back. It was a nice drive. She lives in the city, and it's just so beautiful as it is, but on top of that, it was all made up because the Olympic committee was in to decide whether the Olympics would keep Chicago in the running for 2016! I got a cool picture of a building with a star made of lights. (Remember seeing it at the beginning of this post?) That was just a teeny part of all the fun for the night, but the city sure pulled out all the stops!

Overall, the night was a complete and total success. She is sure to be a lifelong friend! Or, better yet, a part of our family!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Stellan's Name gallery

Our picture made it in :) I drew Stellan's name on our office window, Acilia caught me doing it, and grabbed a marker and asked if she could do it too! I said surely!! I snapped my pictures, attempting to get a good one for the gallery, and this is what I got. She asked if we could keep it up until Stellan is feeling better, I replied "Absolutely!"
Still praying for you sweet baby!

"Recycle Yourself"

I designed this mug. It's a gift for Al's donor, Jen. Has a fun story to go with it ;)

It says "Recycle yourself, Donate a kidney". This originated from a conversation I had with Jen. She has a coworker that donated one of her kidneys and has a mug that says the same words. In a reference, Jen said she needs one of those mugs. I took her literally, and decided that would be a small token gift from us, to give her today. The picture on it, is a picture she sent me. Photography is a hobby of her's and I thought it would be neat to put a picture she took as the "backdrop" to such simple, yet impactful words :)
I love how it turned out! I hope she loves it too!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Did I tell you, Al found a donor??? luck would have it, Al had appendicitis in February. No, that's not a fun experience, and no, most people don't wish to have an organ/body part removed, regardless of the fact that it's not a "useful" part...however, it helped me to see clearly. The normal, appendix out, recovery, on your way, turned in to a much more complicated situation, because of the fact that he is on dialysis and nothing is easy. Well, God spoke to me, he gave me a nudge, (I love when he does that!!) my cousin sent me an article about a man who was in need of a kidney transplant, his daughters put an ad on Craigslist and they found a perfect stranger who was a match, and voila! New kidney! It was a lightbulb moment for me, I had previously thought of posting on Craigslist, but how do you post an ad for a new kidney?? Well, I sat down at the computer, and let the words flow. I did it, to try it, and figured, why not! However, I knew it was a needle in a haystack type of trial.
Would you believe, within 24 hours, we had a person reply, asking how to seek the information needed to get started in the process?
And would you further believe within a week or two, she was at one of the information sessions, and then was tested
Better yet, would you believe that she was A PERFECT MATCH and is going to be his willing donor?
She is a fabulous soul. I have become attached to our daily back and forth emails, and realizations that we are two of the same soul!
We are meeting her tomorrow. I am thrilled, nervous, amprehensive, beyond words really. It's just such an interesting situation, with such a cool twist!
I will update on how it goes, and of course, add some pictures!

Keep pressing on....

I am fighting nearly every bone in my body to follow my career goal of becoming a Labor and Delivery nurse. I can *handle* the job, but the schooling is going to kill me, and I am just in the "gen eds" stage! Grr!
I am currently taking one class per semester. Clearly it's not the "fast route" to finish line, however, I have a husband on dialysis, that is on his machine 12+ hours a night, then he is at work at different hours of the day, leaving me home with two kids. My day is consumed with keeping the household running smoothly...anyway (Minor attempt to justify why I won't man up and "get it done") The class I am taking this semester is Psych 1100. Trying to make life easier on myself, I signed up for a telecourse. I guess I didn't have a clear idea of what a telecourse is. It's basically an independent study class, however, you have correspondance with your instructor if need be, and you go to the campus testing center for tests. a perfect world, this wouldn't sound so bad, but as I mentioned before, I work around my family's schedule and that does NOT work with the TESTING CENTER SCHEDULE. Grr again!
I have been attempting for more than 3 weeks, to get in touch with my instructor, she has literally gone MIA. My voicemails have gotten a bit snooty, which is not like me, but how hard is it to return a phone call? My studies have been put on hold, and I am on shakey mental ground, fighting a strong desire to withdrawl from the class. I will not quit! I will not quit!! Please dear God, give me the strength to stick it out, and possibly even Ace the class to maintain my 4.0 GPA. I will not quit. I will not quit. I have gotten the nudge it takes, (Mail today brought the summer classes catalog, I can't in clear conscious sign up for a new class, when I haven't finished the one I started!) Thank you Dear Lord. I am going to study my butt off and get in to that dang inconveniant totally freak me out testing center (Did I mention taking tests is a HUGE weakness of mine...I studied my butt off, and got in to the center a little over a month ago and took my first test, which I BOMBED! That was not good for the ego, considering I felt ready GRRRRRR) and take the dang test! Moving on!


My heart is melting, not aching.
My smile is bigger, not frowning
The wonderful Lord is listening
To our prayers, our concerns, our thoughts
Stellan's condition is improving
the precious little soul is resting
his mama is smiling
we are all praising!
Stellan man is smiling and giggling today, and my heart is rejoicing!! I've been praying so hard that this sweet little boy. Our God is great! Our God is listening!