Apr. 19th, 2014

Trial

Apr. 19th, 2014 12:13 am
abrynne: (Default)
I should probably be sleeping. It seems like that's all I do. I sleep a lot now. Eat, sleep, and poop. Like a cat.

In my faith we believe that God gives us trials for a purpose, not just because life sucks and that's how it is. God's trials for us are meant to teach us, to help us in the long run, or maybe even to knock us down a few pegs.

At the end of March, I was checked into the hospital with the highest blood pressure I've ever seen. One of the nurses said it might be a record.

For five days before that I had been home sick, vomiting, unable to even stay standing up in the shower I was so weak, and feeling generally horrible. I thought it was some nasty stomach flu. The parents insisted I go to the doctor when it was clear that my symptoms were lasting way too long.

I went to the doctor, who referred me to the hospital where I was admitted and my blood pressure dealt with. I was checked into the ICU at first, which was odd for the nurses as they were more accustomed to their patients being non responsive and needing help to go to the bathroom.

My BP was knocked down gradually and tests were done to figure out the root cause of my sickness and BP.

Turns out that I was suffering from acute renal failure. Which also means kidney failure. My kidneys are dying because of dealing with the high BP I've been wrestling with for so long. And that, it is theorized, in turn was first caused by inflammation in my kidneys.

I haven't been to work in a month. J, my boss, is the best boss I've ever had and he's been really understanding up to this point. (He even sent me a huge bouquet of flowers when I was at the hospital.) But something has got to give.

Since I was in the hospital I've been getting dialysis treatment three times a week. Dialysis is a process for cleaning the blood, getting rid of excess fluid, which is what your kidneys normally do. So Monday, Wednesday and Friday I go to a local clinic and sit for four hours to get my blood cleaned. It usually throws me for a loop because my BP is still being closely monitored and medicated.

I am hoping to move on to the home dialysis treatment. I have to do it every day, but it's gentler and not as restrictive as going to the clinic.

After that, I'll be set on the long road that leads to getting a transplant. My siblings will be tested first for a donor match. It still sounds so surreal. Transplant? Don't we only see those on prime time medical dramas? No one actually knows anyone who gets one, right?

When I first heard the news I was surprisingly okay. I felt calm. I can't say the same for the parents, but that was expected. The doctor came in to tell me when Cecily was there. And thank heavens she was the only one there. Out of all of them, Cec was probably the best person to have there at the time.

Now, I'm only about three weeks in and I'm scared. I don't think I'm scared of all the procedures and treatments. That's not it. I'm scared of all the changes that will happen because of this.

I'm going to be moving back to my parents' house. It's the logical choice because of all of the equipment that needs to be stored for home dialysis, and if/when I have to give up my job for a little while.

I like visiting them and hanging out there, but I like living with Cec. Although right now I'm becoming more of a burden to her and her finances, so it makes sense for me to go back home. The change will be massive. And that's just the one.

My diet's changed pretty drastically along with my body itself. Dialysis makes you lose some weight in the liquid it takes off, but I also lost weight earlier when I was sick and was in the hospital. I hardly ate anything. And now, none of my pants fit. I'm not skinny by any means, but I'm now the size I was probably in 2002-2003. So, in a way, it's good that I'm not working because I literally have nothing to wear right now. Nothing that stays up at any rate.

The clothes thing is way at the bottom of the list, though. I find myself faced with insurance policies, Medicare, and social security benefits. Thankfully I have my family to help me, but it's all so nebulous and strange, with so many rules and exceptions.

And here I am: Being told to not worry about things now and just concentrate on resting and eating what I need to eat.

It's hard. And I'm tired. I'm always tired now. It's the strangest feeling when your 60+ parents, who have a hard time getting up and down the stairs in the hours, act like you're going to fall down any second and offer to carry things for you.

I never would have imagined it being this way. And yet here it is. Now, it's all I can see. I have no choice but to keep going. Because if I stop, quite literally, I die.

Feeling completely helpless is the most humbling thing in the world. It is terrifying and frustrating and so many other things. I don't think that's what God wanted me to learn through this. Helplessness. No, no. That was only part of the process.

I'm scared and sad and tired, yes. But God saved me. He made my body strong so that it would withstand that internal abuse for as long as it did and still not give up on me until I was forced to do something about it. God also forced my hand. He kicked my ass and made me look at this and nothing else.

Though now, it is all I see.

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abrynne

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