I wanted to take a moment and share with my community where I’ve been the past several months. I recently had to take some time off from social media, blogging, live streaming, and other activities in order to focus on my family’s needs. Although you may not have seen me in cyberspace, I was still very present with my clients. But, this season of life called me to step back from other projects and new commitments. As a career and life strategist, I was practicing what I preach (so to speak). Let me be the first to say, it is much easier to coach intentional living than it is to live a balanced life.
If you know me, you are aware of my passion to help others explore priorities and how to enjoy life. It’s also important to me to be authentic. Up until recently, I haven’t shared with my community what’s been happening behind the scenes. Sometimes we have to wait until we are in a place where we can tell our story. God has blessed my family in so many ways, I feel now is the time to share.
Here it goes….
This personal story is about the recent journey my family experienced while waiting on my husband’s kidney transplant.
First, you need to know a little bit of history. My husband was a juvenile onset diabetic. Back in 2001, he was on the kidney/pancreas transplant list. As he waited, he started dialysis. In August 2002, we got the call, and he had a kidney and pancreas transplant. Unfortunately, over the years, the kidney rejected and had stopped functioning. My husband went through complication after complication, and procedure after procedure to try to save the kidney. Fortunately, the transplanted pancreas continues to produce insulin and is doing great (knock on wood).
After many attempts to save the transplanted kidney, my husband was added to the kidney transplant list in January 2014. In May 2015 he started dialysis again. Being his second time on dialysis, we knew what to expect. Every night he would hook up to a dialysis machine for approximately 12 hours. Although he was limited in his activity, we were blessed his body could handle this type of treatment.
Every 30 days, Baxter Healthcare delivered approximately 35 boxes. Yes, a large delivery truck would pull up in front of our house. Each delivery day, the Baxter guy made several trips from the truck to our house bringing stacks of boxes. He unloaded them in our utility room and hallways.
As with any illness or health challenge, our way of living had to adapt to the situation. We couldn’t travel. We had a treatment schedule he needed to adhere to, so going out was limited. And, of course, we had to be very careful with his health and stay away from others that had a contagious illness.
Even though he had a pancreas transplant and no longer has major blood sugar issues (again, knock on wood), he does still have complications associated with Type 1 diabetes. One complication is neuropathy, which was magnified while on dialysis. If you have ever had a loved one that has neuropathy, you are familiar with the pain. His high pain levels created significant limitations and many sleepless nights.
For months, we had approximately three doctor’s appointments a week to see various specialists. I had no spare time between work, doctor visits, and caregiving. I tried to find time for the occasional work out or Yoga class, but my priorities were very focused. During this lengthy time, I was unable to do the work I wanted to do. But, I felt God’s presence during this season of our life. He was giving me the tools and ideas to serve more clients in the near future.
Although we were limited to what we could do, we had our family, church and friends praying for us, visiting, and helping as needed. We knew there were many other people that were less fortunate than us. We felt very blessed for what we had.
As we waited for the phone to ring, a family friend very generously volunteered to go through the testing process to see if he could donate a kidney. While we were waiting on that lengthy process, we got a call on August 4th. This call was it!
Prayer requests went out all over the world. The timing was right for our family. Our daughter came home from college and was by her dad’s side. Our pastors prayed with all of us together prior to the surgery. Friends and family supported my daughter and I for days (and weeks) following the surgery. He was released within five days vs ten days for the previous transplant. I am writing this approximately three months after the kidney transplant, and he hasn’t had any major complications from the surgery.
Today, our family is re-establishing a new norm. My hubby is recovering. My daughter is in her college senior year. Like many of you, we are empty-nesters. I am very excited about what the future holds for my family. And, I am super excited about coaching my clients, as well as launching new life, career, and intentional living programs! It’s a new beginning on so many levels!
So many positive things have come out of our wait for a transplant and the surgery itself. I look forward to sharing more about my journey, as well as the new and exciting career and life strategy programs. For now, I would love to hear from you. Have you gone through a similar experience? If so, what positive outcomes did you experience? How were you blessed? Please share in your comments below.