Tuesday, April 29, 2014

One Year Kidney-versary!


Well, it’s been a year now since my life drastically changed – for the better, of course. Life is so “normal” now that it’s easy to forget that I ever had kidney problems to begin with. With the exception of continuing to take multiple pills daily and have regular lab work and doctor’s appointments, life looks very much like it did prior to January 2011 when my kidneys mutually decided their time was nearing an end.

Here are some of those drastic changes:

  • I haven’t thrown up at all in the last year. For some, this is no major accomplishment. But I had spent the previous two years being nauseous more days than not. And more days than not, it didn’t stop there. The number of times I threw up was definitely in the hundreds during those two years. This probably goes unspoken, but I definitely don’t miss this.
  • I have re-learned what hungry (by itself) feels like. With kidney failure, hungry simultaneously meant nauseous. If I started to feel hungry and did not eat immediately, well, the number from the previous bullet point would increase.
  • I can eat (almost) anything now. I don’t have to avoid protein, potassium, sodium, phosphorous, and generally all things delicious anymore. I do have to avoid grapefruit, but there’s no real loss there.
  • I am hot sometimes. This pretty much never happened for 2 years. A majority of my time was spent under a blanket. Hot season in Nicaragua didn’t really phase me. I do, however, recall sweating once and saying “Wow, it’s hot Chase – are you sweating?” and he replied with “I don’t know, probably. I usually am.”  I proceeded to laugh a lot…and (for a brief moment) be thankful for kidney failure.
  • I don’t have restless leg syndrome anymore. Pre-kidney failure, Chase used to laugh and say this wasn’t a real thing. Well, he learned that it is, in fact, real and can be IMG_0223quite disruptive of sleep – both for those who have it and for those who share a bed with those who have it.  Falling asleep naturally and easily is something I will always be thankful for.
  • My life is not dependent on a machine. While I was only on dialysis for a few months, it was probably the hardest part of all. It’s strange to think about how amazing dialysis is and yet how it doesn’t even come close to comparing to the real thing. It’s a little bit like Blue bell ice cream and Eskimo “ice cream”. If you’ve had them both, you know what I’m talking about.

IMGP0516Those are just a few of the ways my life is physically different now. But I have also been given the gift of living an incredibly powerful God-glorifying redemption story. Chase painted a beautiful picture of it in this post. What Amy did for me…there aren’t words. God provided for me in an Ephesians 3:2o kind of way, in a way that I never expected and a way that I will never forget. I had lunch with Amy today and we were able to reminisce on all that God did. It really is remarkable. If you don’t know the story, you can find it here. It’s definitely worth reading.

We’ve been back in Nicaragua now for about 6 months. When I went in for my first appointment with my nephrologist in Nicaragua, he looked over my lab work while repeating over and over “Wow, you got a super kidney. Really, this is a great kidney. Super. This is really a super kidney you have…”. I remember being surprised by this, wondering if he often reviewed labs of recently transplanted patients who received mediocre kidneys. But really, this is just another testament to God’s abundant provision. Since we returned to Nicaragua, we have been quite busy (hence the infrequent blogging) and I am thankful to have the energy level of my pre-kidney-failure self again. We are currently in the States for our annual break and everywhere I go, there are constant reminders of “how it was then” versus “how it is now”. These are definitely opportunities to remember and praise God for what He has done. But also to look forward to “how it will be”. Because the story isn’t done yet. This story is too good for this to be the end. I look forward to seeing what God will do, but for now I am enjoying this space where I can remember what He has done.

Remember the former things of old;  for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose.’

Isaiah 46:9-10


  1. Very well written Julie, and a wonderful testimony of God's love, power and grace. I am so thankful for His presence in your life and for how He has provided for you. May He continue to bless and guide you and Chase as you represent Him to others through your ministry. Love, mom

  2. Praising God right alongside you for all He has done!


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