Being sick can feel like a prison at times and that’s exactly how I felt as I learned to adjust to living with kidney failure. I felt locked up inside and I was going crazy because I missed my close friends. I imagine that when somebody serves a term in prison it must feel similar to what I was facing. The only difference was I COULD see my family everyday and go outside; but that’s no good when you have no energy to do anything and all I COULD do was lay in my bed.
To make matters worse I would look at other kids my age who were healthy and I couldn’t help but to feel cheated. How come they get to ride bikes, swim, play sports, heck even take a walk and I couldn’t? What did I do to deserve this I would wonder. Still, I reasoned that I would never wish this pain and suffering I was going through on my worst enemy.
I felt left out a lot too. The doctors gave me a list a mile long of the things I wasn’t allowed to do-and of course it consisted of EVERYTHING a young kid my age would want to do. So I felt left out a lot; very much like the very last kid who gets picked for the team- you know the feeling, well we have to pick you ’cause there’s no more players. I not only felt left out with my peers but with life in general. I’d look at t.v commercials where they show young people living it up and having a chill time and I winced at the pain of knowing that kind of life could never be mine.
So there I was, 14 years old and sentenced for life to this sickness. What do convicts in prison do, I would ask myself. Then I decided to stay strong by exercising. I began to ignore all of the Do’s and Don’ts the doctors had given me. I chose to be as much of a kid as I could. If I wanted to play contact sports, I did so. if I wanted to swim I did. I wasn’t going to let this get the best of me. If I let the sickness beat me, that’s when my life would feel like a prison.
At this point I began to feel God’s presence in my life more and more. I would turn the t.v. on and I’d hear the preacher telling me that I was not alone. I also started studying The Bible more and each time I did, I found new strength. My mom was a rock for me too during those days; I would turn to her for everything but especially to encourage my spirit.
At this point my we had to make a move. My parents found out that if we moved to Nevada, the chances of me receiving a kidney transplant were better than if we stayed in California. So we packed up our home and we moved to Henderson, Nevada.
In my next blog I will share how JR discovered God‘s divine protection…