Monday, November 29, 2010
At this time.
Last year at this time, Al had been on dialysis for 4 years. His body was going downhill fast and he was sicker and sicker by the day. I remember listening to KLOVE the week before Thanksgiving and they were asking callers to let them know what each were thankful for. I called in, and actually got through! I stated I was thankful that I had the kidney my husband so desperately needed and we were short weeks away from transplant day. As dire as Al's health seemed, there was light at the end of the tunnel. Our surgery was scheduled and we were doing it! The days of dialysis were still daunting, but hopeful that the end would bring a whole new life for Al. This year KLOVE was again asking callers to phone in their thanks. I was in the car driving by myself one night and a caller shared her story. Her 31 year old husband had received devastating news that he was in End Stage Renal Failure. I remembered those words when Al was given his diagnosis. They are ugly words that I hope and pray no one would have to hear. The caller went on to say she was thankful that her husband would be coming home to be with them all for Thanksgiving. That was exactly what I did on dialysis. I hung on tight to the things that made our life "normal" and we fought through the things that dialysis had brought into our lives that were so. not. normal. I remember the monthly deliveries. Our home would fill up with thousands of pounds of solution to be used to flush Al's peritoneal cavity of all the toxins that built up when you have no working kidneys'. I remember the night where he would have to hook up to the machine early in the evening, pulling his time away from his family to time spent in bed. I remember Christmas mornings where the kids would be excited to go downstairs, but we would patiently wait for one of daddy's dialysis cycles to complete so he could join us downstairs for opening of presents! When we were doing it, we managed it all quite well. Now that I look back, I think how did we EVER manage? We did get through it, and we are here almost exactly a year after transplant and living a completely different life that not one moment is taken for granted!! I am so thankful that I had in my body what my husband needed, and that we both got through our surgeries, healed and went back to a normal life. For me it was days, but for Al it had been YEARS since he got to live a normal life. I look back to last year at this time, not quite knowing what was to come, but so very excited at the possibility that our family would grow in unthinkable ways and we would all come out on the other side thankful and gracious at the amazing gift we all received. I am thankful. I am hopeful. I am still in awe that it even happened to us!! I pray that this kidney lasts far beyond the first year we are nearing, and that we all grow stronger each time we are graced with another beautiful yet tedious challenge!