Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Forging Ahead

The first thing to cross my mind--first thing--upon hearing that it’s time for me to move forward with having a kidney transplant was, “I hope this doesn’t ruin the wedding.” When my young and friendly doctor broke the news, I sat across from her in my chair with tears streaming down my face...thinking about all the plans I’d made.  

When I was first diagnosed with FSGS, I became obsessed with planning and scheduling things. Pages of my high school journals were filled with lists and itemized to-dos like “5:30 PM, do math. 5:55 PM go to the bathroom and take a break from doing math.  6:00 PM ask mom what’s for dinner. 6:05 PM, resume math assignment.”  Who does that?!  A teenage girl trying to regain control of her life when she’s placed in a situation where she has absolutely no say or control over how things are going to turn out.  That’s who. Making lists and plans were a way for me to have a say, a way for me to control a scenario for once. Blood pressure up again? Well, I couldn’t do anything about that but I could make sure my bed was made at exactly 6:32 in the morning.  

After I went into remission (where my disease was no longer causing any symptoms), I went to college. I still made lists. I still planned things. But I relaxed a bit.  I realized that there’s no way you can have a schedule for everything. There's only person who knows how things are going to turn out and that’s just the way it is.  But sometimes I have to remind myself of that.  

When Ben and I got engaged, I did know that at some point I would need a kidney transplant.  Ben, my sisters, my mom and I found this out during a February visit to the National Institute of Health.  But we thought maybe I’d be a few years out. I’m 25, going on 26, so we thought perhaps 27 or even 28.  Just three months ago, I started thinking about the possibility of my surgery happening before or even very close to my wedding.  And this month, Ben and I purchased honeymoon insurance to protect ourselves in case something comes up before or while we’re in Greece.  

A wedding and a honeymoon aren't just some plans. Or some schedule that you type up on the the notes section of your iPad. It’s an event that Ben and I have been dreaming about, hoping for, and spending money on since March 2012.  The thought has crossed my mind of postponing the honeymoon.  The wedding is just one day and if I need to be there in a wheelchair and then leave after dinner so be it.  But I guess I’m stubborn, or optimistic that we won’t have any health-related snags to the day.  

We’re less than five months away now and we’re doing stuff every weekend for the wedding.  Every day I get more excited about the wedding.   I also get nervous, not necessarily about the prospect of having surgery. I get nervous about regular things--like flowers, my dress, my vendors, whether favors are stupid or not.  And I’m excited about walking down the aisle, pledging my life and love to my best friend, the greatest man I know (besides my dad of course!), my rock, my partner, my supporter and everything in between.  If I can control it, I’m not gonna let two stupid, failing kidneys ruin that moment at all.