Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The journey continues…

It’s been a few weeks now since I started doing dialysis overnight and it has definitely gotten a lot better (praise the Lord!), especially in the last couple of days. The day after I wrote my last post, my doctor called and I told him about my strong dislike for dialysis thus far due to pain and lack of sleep. He recommended a few things so we took the dialysis machine back up to the dialysis center so that they could change the settings to something called “Tidal PD”. They also looked at the exit site for my catheter and thought it looked like it was trying to get infected so they had me start an antibiotic. Right before I started the antibiotic, my stomach was really sore for a few days, so much so that I couldn’t really use my abs at all. After I started the antibiotic, that pain went away, so I’m thinking that I had a tunnel infection, which is the area including the first few inches of the catheter underneath the skin. Anyway, the antibiotic is done now and I think my exit site looks and feels a lot better. I even got to take my first shower since the surgery yesterday! After a month without showering, it was kind of fun to wash my own hair! (Thanks to my hair stylist friend Kelly for washing my hair at the salon over the last month…you’ll have lots of free babysitting after little baby Skrap comes in the next week or two!)

Also, since the change to Tidal PD, I am only waking up once or twice in the night from the pain instead of five or six times. Unfortunately, there was air in the line last week, which went inside me and since air rises, it goes straight to the shoulders and is quite painful. So I spent the weekend in various stages of extreme pain and strong discomfort and vowing never to make that mistake again. By Monday, I felt back to normal, and the last few nights have been the best yet. While I still wake up a few times in the night, the pain isn’t bad enough that I have to sit up and scrunch my face up in an attempt to make the pain go away. It’s uncomfortable still, but since it has improved, I’m hoping it will go away all together soon and I will be able to sleep all through the night.

Since dialysis has been getting better, we made the decision to have Chase go with the College team from Wildwood who will be going to Nicaragua in a little over a week. Since my job is to work with teams and I’m not there, the rest of the staff is having to fill in for me while also doing their regular jobs. It will be incredibly helpful to the staff and to the team to have Chase there with them filling in for me. Also, I will be much more at ease knowing that someone is there giving their full attention to the team. I’m definitely sad that I can’t be there, but I know that Chase will do an amazing job filling in for me. Since he’ll be gone and he has been doing all of the dialysis prep, he’s now training me to do it. I would definitely appreciate prayer that everything goes smoothly the week that he is gone (March 15-24)!

As for the transplant process, we are still waiting. All paperwork has been turned in to the Social Security office and I expect to be officially on Medicare any day now. As soon as I have proof of that, we can schedule lab testing for me and the potential donor to see if we are a match. Hopefully we will have new news on this soon! Also, I had my (now) monthly lab work done on Monday and have a follow up appointment next Monday to see how well dialysis is working and how I’m doing on my new high-protein, high-potassium diet. Thank you all so much for continuing to pray for me! We are grateful for you and how God is using you all to show us His love and care for us throughout this process.


  1. HiJulie,
    I am always amazed at your bright and cherry outlook, no matter the circumstances. I just want to let you know that you and Chase are always in my prayers.
    Your Cousin,

  2. Julie (and Chase) - I am so proud of how you guys are handling all of this. And what I mean by this is that you aren't heading in either of the two damaging extremes - giving up and being bitter about things or pretending that everything is easy and wonderful and that it's no big deal. I believe the Lord is very much honored and glorified by how you are honestly sharing the struggle and how difficult this can be, but it is also very clear where your trust and hope lies. I think your honesty in both the pain and in the Promise are ministering to many more people than you realize. It makes me think of Paul's words in 2 Cor. 1:3-5:

    "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort, too."

    I believe how you both are sharing the pain and comfort in this process is "able to comfort those who are in any affliction." Thank you for glorifying Jesus and encouraging us all as you walk through this. We are praying for y'all!


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