Thursday, July 5, 2012

T-5: Hills and Valleys

Today was a day full of hills and valleys.

We began the day with breakfast with a dear, dear friend.  A friend so close that the word "family" is thrown around.  A friend so close that you feel Jesus' arms wrapped around you when he hugs you.  The food was nourishing, but the Scripture and fellowship were more so.  He opened his Bible and read a little and each word was food for our soul.  I don't know about Joe, but I have been so hungry for the Word lately.  It is so comforting.  I hope I don't lose this hunger after the transplant.

After breakfast, we thought we would swing by the doctor.  Joe has had this lingering kidney infection and we wanted to see if it was still there.  Well, it seems that we are destined to remain in a holding pattern.  Joe still has the kidney infection.  Just praying that the anti-biotics will kill it before Tuesday.  If not, they can't operate.  The transplant will have to be postponed and that means more dialysis treatments. 

While there, they tested Joe's blood pressure.  Extremely high.  So high that they prescribed another pill.  They wouldn't let him leave until he could bring it down.  Finally, it came down to 140/100 and they let us leave.  We were there 4 hours. 

During that four hours, we received many phone calls.  One was a call from the Mayo Clinic.  They had good news and bad news (hills and valleys).  The good news was that our new insurance (if you don't know about that scroll down to T-8) would cover 85% of the transplant cost.  The old insurance would only have covered 80%.  When you are talking $263,000, five percent makes a big difference.  The bad news was that she couldn't find Joe in the Medicare system.  We applied for Medicare way back in January.  See, Joe's condition is an automatic approval.  We never received anything in the mail, but they told us "these things take awhile".  A month back, Joe was curious, so he went to the Social Security office.  They said they didn't have the form from the dialysis unit.  Joe drove over to the dialysis unit, had them sign it, and hand-delivered it back to the Social Security office.  Well, low and behold, we got the same worker today, but he said that the form never got input into the computer.  So, baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack to the dialysis unit and baaaaaaaaaaaack to the Social Security office.  The good news is that the guy felt so bad, he said he would do it immediately, and it would show up on the computer on Monday (T-1: we're cutting it close).  Oh, and just another little tidbit of goodness: the Medicare will cover the remaining 15%!  Yep!  The entire $263,000 will be covered 100%.  You may be dancing right now, but I am reserving myself.  We have heard horror stories, so I will actually believe it when I see it.

I called the Transplant House, to see if we would be able to stay there for the 4-6 weeks post-op.  Once again, she said that there is no room and there are a few names before ours on the wait list.  She said that she would know for sure on Monday (again T-1!), but she would try on Friday (T-4). 

We left the doctor's office and had to drop off the prescription for Joe's new blood pressure pills.  I thought that since we will be at Wally World anyway, we might as well get our oil changed, since I don't know when I can get it done after the transplant.  As we were parked there, the technician noticed that we were spilling coolant everywhere.  Great.  Good thing Joe was with me.  I'll admit it.  I don't know anything about cars.  If you were to tell me that it would cost me $400, I would have paid it.  But, Joe was with me.  He bought a part for $6.  Gotta love that guy. 

Amidst all these errands, our donor, Kris, called.  She had heard about a program where the Kidney Foundation pays for lodging, travel, and food for donors of kidneys.  She applied and we submitted it while there last week.  All the documents said it would take 4-6 weeks of processing.  They called her today and said she was approved!  They will pay for her hotel for the week, her gas to get there and back, and extra money for food for her and her husband. 

Although the day had many ups and downs, we were comforted. 
The God of All Comfort
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.  If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation, if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer." 2 Corinthians 1:3-6

"Many think that when God comforts us, our troubles should go away.  But if that were always so, people would turn to God only out of a desire to be relieved of pain and not out of love for Him.  We must understand that being comforted can also mean receiving strength, encouragement, and hope to deal with our troubles.  The more we suffer, the more comfort God gives us.  If you are feeling overwhelmed, allow God to comfort you.  Remember that every trial you endure will help you comfort other people who are suffering similar troubles."  Life Application Study Bible

where Glory meets my suffering