Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Two Year Kidney-versary

It's hard to believe that two years has past since I had my kidney transplant. IMG_0009

I remember waking up that morning, April 29th, 2013 after completing my last night of dialysis. I unplugged from the machine that had attempted to clean the toxins out of my blood, but really could only do a mediocre job at best. I was quite sick at that point and longing for days of health and normalcy, which I hoped would come after the transplant. I arrived at the hospital as Amy was in surgery to have her kidney removed. I changed into my gown and waited. Friends and family were there beside me, as they had been throughout the last two years of sickness. The nurse came, let me know that Amy’s surgery IMG_0180was going well and that they were ready for me.

I remember waking up several hours later, sore, confused, swollen, but hopeful. Both surgeries had gone great. I remember at 5:00 the next morning, a nurse came in, needing to weigh me. (I still don’t understand why you would wake someone that early in the morning for something that certainly could have waited a few hours!) I could barely stand, as it seemed that every muscle in the lower half of my body had ceased to function.IMG_0382

My arms remained strong though, so as I stood wobbled on the scale, I leaned heavily on the bed for support. The reading on the scale couldn’t have been anywhere close to reality. I assumed it would be weeks before I could stand, let alone walk comfortably. However, I was home about 48 hours after the surgery. I had a fairly smooth recovery (unless you count the trips in and out of the storm shelter – it was tornado season in Oklahoma afterall). Six months later, we found ourselves moving back to Nicaragua.

This journey has been long. It's been arduous, frustrating, painful and full of challenges. But it's also been IMG_0172joyful, redemptive, healing and full of hope. God, who allowed sickness to enter my body, provided a solution (via my incredible donor – Amy Whyatt)  to make my body whole again (at least as whole as it can be this side of Heaven). Despite the immunosuppression drugs I take, I can count on one hand the times I have gotten sick since the transplant. I have not had any episodes of rejection and we are even making plans to start a family sometime soon. Today, my days are filled with health and normalcy, the kind I’d hoped for when I left for the hospital two years ago.

Today, when I see my scars, I am reminded of the pre-transplant days highlighted by sickness and pain. But as those thoughts fade, I am grateful for the post-transplant days of wholeness and health. I looked back on my blog post from my one year kidney-versary and it was a great reminder of how much I have to be thankful for.

Two years ago, at 3:40 in the morning before Amy left for the hospital, she sent me a video of the song "The Stand" by Hillsong, and she had highlighted these words for me. In truth, this is the only appropriate response after seeing and living all that God has done over these last few years.

I'll stand with arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all
I'll stand my soul Lord to you surrendered
All I am is yours

1 comment:

  1. God bless you Julie (and Amy too), glad to hear that you are still doing well. Good luck having a child or children.

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