During these 7 years I have learned to manage living with kidney failure. I’ve lost count of all the tests , x-rays, biopsies,cat-scans, blood transfusions I have had to under go. I can’t remember the last time I ever felt healthy; was I ever healthy before this?
There was a time before the doctors diagnosed me with kidney failure , where I had to be isolated for 3 days. I was somewhere between 8 or 9 years old. They used radiation in order to turn out my thyroid. To be honest I really don’t quite understand what any of it meant, all I know is I went through that and I knew even back then that God was with me.
I can remember once I was hospitalized and my dad was sitting with me playing chess. The nurses were changing their shifts and my dad had to leave; but before he did, he went to use the restroom. I climbed out of my bed and instantly my head felt like a balloon about to float away. I walked toward my dad and in a weak voice I told him I was light headed. He had great timing because he quickly spun around and caught me on my way down before I had the chance to bang my head on the toilet.
I had never seen my dad so scared; he’s a man that can take just about anything too. As I lay on the cold tile flooring I could hear him yelling at the nurses; it all sounded muffled and far away ;which is where I wished I could be; far away from this whole situation.Finally a nurse came and put me back in bed and then she realized I needed more blood so she ordered me a blood transfusion.
In 2010 I went through something that I never would have expected . I was home and I felt a new, strange pain in my chest. Thankfully my parents were close by and they rushed me into my dad’s white pick-up truck. As the minutes flew by I became numb; I felt rubbery from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. I tell ya Gumby had nothing on me! At the entrance to the hospital, I tried to step out of the truck and my legs felt like the tendrils of a jelly fish; they gave out too. My dad was right there and caught me just in time again.
My dad threw me over his left shoulder and he took off in a mad dash toward the ER. If it had been a football game, he would have made a touchdown! I could hear him bellowing at the top of his lungs for help. I could count at least 7 nurses rushing to my gurney; everyone was talking so fast it made my head spin. All their words rushed at me with such speed and intensity; I pictured my mind a highway running wild with bits and pieces of conversations and nothing made sense. After a little while though I was able to make out what was being said; because my potassium levels were sky high, I was in the early stages of a heart attack.
God’s grace and His favor saw me through what I now consider to be one of the scariest moments of my life. It sounds crazy; I’m a teen and I had just come very close to having had a heart attack. The next day it felt like God had given me a miracle, especially when I rose up out of my bed and I was walking around feeling way better than the day before. I still recall the amazed looks on those nurses; I think I was as surprised as they were.
In my next post I will tell you how JR has struggled with some other difficult issues that are all side effects of his condition.