That sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach kept showing up again. The same one always returns when there’s anything regarding Mike’s health coming up. We have to go see his specialist every three to four months. The problem with this interval is that just about the time you start to feel normal again & forget about the whole situation, you have to go back. It’s always a big reality-slap-in-the-face.
So a couple of days before this most recent appointment, the stomach sinking began. I always try to just put it out of my mind, but it’s difficult. I starting feeling sorry for myself & for us. Honestly, the most difficult part of it all is the unknown. I hate feeling like this disease might cause me to not have a long, full life with the man that I adore. I just want some kind of reassurance that we’ll be old grandparents or great-grandparents together one day. When you love someone as much as I love him, you don’t flinch at the thought of spending the next 60 years together; you look forward to it. The truth about life is that nobody has an assurance that they’ll get to live that long life together. I guess that’s what I have to remind myself. I feel like this kidney disease has taken that away from me, but really I never had it at all. Each one of us has to live with the reality that we may live to be 100 or we may only have a short time left.
So during the time that I’m sitting around feeling sorry for us again, Sunday rolls around. We go to church and, I have to be honest, I was disappointed that our lead pastor was out of town and the pastor from another campus was speaking that morning. Just keeping it real! I love hearing Pastor Justin speak. He has a way of challenging you & kicking your spiritual butt, but somehow still building you up & encouraging you at the same time. Anyways, this was my first time hearing Pastor Mitch speak, but it was exactly what I needed. Part of his message was about handling adversity and continuing to praise God through it. As he mentioned examples of people in his life that had suffered great tragedies and kept their faith through unimaginable circumstances, I couldn’t help but to realize that I have no reason to be mopey. My husband doesn’t have brain cancer like the young couple he mentioned in his sermon. We didn’t have to bury our baby boy like the parents that Pastor Mitch knows. What we have is a serious health issue that we would have never thought would be a part of our lives, especially when we’re so young, but we still have each other. We have a gorgeous, healthy son. We have more than we need.
And so there it was. In my face. Perspective. It’s really the only way to stay sane in this world. Without perspective, our lives can look bleak. Without perspective, we feel like our problems are huge, but with a healthy dose of perspective, we can realize that we don’t have it so bad. Not that I won’t ever find myself feeling sad & sorry for our situation again. In fact, I can promise you that I will. But God always has a way of helping to comfort me while turning my eyes away from my own troubles. He always seems to give me a reassurance that He is in control, while reminding me that I’m not the only one dealing with something that I wish I wasn’t.
And just as an update on the situation, basically it’s always a mixture of good news & bad news. The good news is that when he was hospitalized, his kidneys were only functioning at about 16%. They told us he could need a transplant as soon as this year. Now, he’s functioning at about 30%, and we’re told that it could be several years down the road before he needs the transplant. The bad news is that they feel certain that he will need it. They haven’t given us any hope of him recovering. The other challenge is keeping his hemoglobin and potassium levels in check, and also keeping his blood pressure where it should be. Those are all things that healthy kidneys can control, but we have to try to control his through diet and medications. So that’s a quick update for those of you who have followed our situation & prayed for us.
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” -James 1
And now the reason I can smile even on my darkest day. The best gift I’ve ever been given!
Taking a nap while I work downtown.
Watching a parade of 200 dogs last weekend. Yes, a puppy parade. The joys of small town life.