Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The One Time I Wished I Hadn't Received a Kidney Transplant

I really dislike going to the dentist.  I like the feeling of having clean smooth teeth and gums that feel like literally all the gunk in between the cracks have been scraped out.  And I guess I am OK with knowing whether or not any of my teeth roots or dead, or whether I have a cavity the size of a crater.  I've heard that those things can lead to brain infections if not treated.  But I just don't like going to the dentist. I can't stand getting my teeth and gums scraped with what feels like the worlds teeniest scalpel.

Now it seems like going to the dentist is more important than ever, according to my doctors.  With my immunosuppressant's and my dad's precious kidney, I have to do whatever it takes to stay healthy...and I guess that means not walking around with bleeding gums and unfilled cavities.  So Ben and I made our dental appointments, our first ones two years, for February.  

The new rule is that before I have dental work done, I have to call my nurses/doctors and let them know, just in case I need to take an antibiotic or something before hand.  A simple visit to the dentist for a cleaning can turn into organ rejection real quick if an infection happens.  That'll leave a person who hates the dentist thinking, "Man....I knew I should have just let my teeth rot."  Or maybe that's just me.  

Prior to the cleaning, my dental hygienist and I had a little conversation about my medical history.   Actually, I can never have little conversations about my medical history.  They usually turn into something like:

Nurse:  I'm just gonna take your medical history.
Me:  OK

Nurse:  Any aches and pains now?

Me:  No.

Nurse:  Any history of heart disease?

Me:  No.

Nurse: Any major surgeries?

Me:  Um...kidney transplant.

Nurse:  Oh really?????

Me:  Yeah.  I'm special.  
The fun part is when they ask me if I'm taking any medications. 

I told the nurse that I had taken a Bactrim earlier in the day, but that was it.  That's the only antibacterial I am taking and I figured that since my team of medical people never called me back, that I'd be good to go for the mouth torture cleaning.
Fast-forward to that evening. I started to get ready for bed, but I had one last thing to do.  I had to take my medicine. Because I can't function early in the mornings, I've been taking my medicines around 10-11 AM, and at the same time at night.  So usually, I have to remember to grab my preorganized pill box in the morning before work. 

I went to my purse to grab my pill box.  I pulled it out of my purse and before I had a chance to empty out what should be the last dose of the day, I stopped.  And I realized, there were two doses in the box.  There was a dose in the morning divider, and a dose in the evening divider.  

I felt like my bare feet were glued to the carpet, because I couldn't move into the kitchen and pour myself a glass of water until I made sense of what I'd seen.  There were two doses in the container--one does in the morning divider, and a dose in the evening divider.  Two doses, not one.  At the end of the day, there should only be one.  Why? Because I have to take one dose in the morning.  I knew this. I repeated this in my head.   There shouldn't be two doses.  There should be just be one.  There should just be one.  

There should have just been one.  But there were two.  It was right there in front of my face.  I was staring at the clear plastic container, and 20 pills were staring back at me.  I should have been greeted by just ten.  But instead, 20 pills were there in "Monday's box" to remind me of how might have just majorly screwed up my life, my family's life, and disappointed a ton people.

My fingers clasped around the box as I finally unstuck myself and walked to the kitchen to grab that water I talked about getting.  My heart was beating so fast that my hands shook as I filled up my glass under the sink.  I could feel a nervous heat building on my neck.  I was so overwhelmed with the thought of "what happens next" that my vision became cloudy and even the taste of water nauseated me.  

What happens next, I thought.  Does the fever start? Do I start vomiting again?  Do I go to the doctor and get my blood drawn? And what do I do when the results come back all screwed up, showing high levels of everything that I don't want in my body? How do I answer them when they ask me what went wrong?  How do I tell husband, my family and friends that my kidney had failed again?   

How do I tell them that, actually, I had failed?  I'd have to tell them that I didn't heed the doctor's advice. I'd have to tell them that I'm irresponsible. That I'm careless.  That I took it for granted.  That in not taking my medicine, in missing that dose, I showed that I was an ungrateful daughter that neglected to take care of the one great gift that was given to her from the most selfless father in the world.  

Even worse, I'd have to admit to God that I wasted His blessing--that I suck.  

I started out of the kitchen towards the bedroom, ready to come clean to Ben. Ready to commence our panicking together.   I started to tell him:  "Ben.  I missed a dose.  I didn't take my medicine this morning. I could have sworn that I took my medicine this morning!  But I didn't! I missed a dose."  I could feel my blood pressure rising as the flood of worst-case-scenarios leapt off my tongue and into mid-air.  Ben let me vent but ultimately he remained calm and simply said: "OK, well just take the next one."  Really? I thought.  As if that is going to be enough. 

I took my medicine and while in bed that night, my eyes bore holes into the ceiling. I couldn't sleep, so I prayed for peace.  I knew that I had no way of knowing whatever would happen next.  But I prayed that in whatever happens next, that God would let it all work out in the end.  I prayed, yet again, for what seemed like the millionth time, that God for just keep me healthy, keep me healed.  I prayed that even in my failure, He would give me a pass, just one more time.  For once, I remembered a scripture in that moment:  

Don't worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart.
Philippians 4-6 GNT

And that was it. I simply went to sleep because after all the commotion of the night and anxiety over kidney failure, I realized that I didn't really have the time or the energy to stress about my kidney anymore. I had to just let it all go. I just had to.  Because frankly, I was exhausted.  I had actually worried myself to the point of exhaustion.

What did happen next?  I woke up the next day, went to work, and took my morning dose of medicine at my desk.  And I continued with my day.  I took my evening dose.  Wash, rinse, repeat.  That was over a month ago.