Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Reason for the Season

Last year, before Thanksgiving 2012, I'd gone to one of my monthly nephrology visits.  They were monthly at that point because my kidney function was declining so fast that they wanted to monitor me very closely, just in case I had to go on the waiting list for a transplant.  Well...we all know that "just in case" did happen.  But last November, the path forward wasn't so clear as it is now that certain events have come to pass.

I met with one of the doctors at my team practice.  He read off my lab work and told me that my kidney function had dropped below 20 percent.  It didn't hit 15 until December, but in November it was 20 percent.  This was the first time I had heard that the "two years from now" timeline I was given earlier in the year, probably didn't apply anymore.  Ben and I had been engaged for eight months already and we hadn't exactly added "kidney transplant" to our wedding planning checklist.  I remember my doctor giving me the news and immediately trying to analyze the expression on my face as I tried to hold off hot tears drops building just beneath my eyelids.  I didn't cry but he knew that I wanted to.  I hate crying in doctors' offices. 

He asked me if I was close with my family. I said told him that I was and still am.  He said to talk with my family about everything over the holiday, to talk with Ben, and to trust God.  He tried to reassure me that everything would be okay.

This November, yesterday to be accurate, I went for my just-a-few-weeks-past-six-months check up at the hospital.   I saw people I hadn't seen in a while, my favorite nurses and coordinators.  My surgeon.  A lot has changed in the last six months.  I went from being wary and uncertain about the people who said they would help me get to a place where I wasn't worrying about health to incredibly grateful for my small hospital family for coming through on their promise.  I have a lot to be thankful for.  If I were to name every sing daily miracle that I am blessed to witness, I'd be writing for days.  Probably weeks.  But I'll just list two.

I'm thankful for my health.  Because once it's gone, you learn just how much you took it for granted.

I'm thankful for my family, and great friends who over time have become part of my family.    You make this second chance at life worthwhile. 

Happy Thanksgiving.  Don't forget to thank the ones you love for loving you right back.