Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Black Hole

Mayo continues to do blood/urine work every two days.  They are checking to see if the new kidney is working.  It is!  Creatine is a toxin in the blood and a normal person will be in the range of 0.6-1.2.  Joe was 9.6 when he went in last week.  Now, with the new kidney, he is at 1.0!

They are also checking to see if there is any internal bleeding.  His blood cell count was perfect and there is no bleeding.

In fact, Dex (the name we gave to the new kidney) is working very well.  She is pulling extra fluid off Joe.  He has lost 13 pounds in 7 days. 

He does have a large hemotoma though.  We were a little concerned about it at first, as it makes it very hard for Joe to walk and it looks GROSSSSSSSSSS!  They immediately ordered an ultrasound to look at it.  They said that it has happened before and the body will reabsorb it within a few weeks.

Yesterday, they removed his heart catheter.  He had it for over 6 months and was very happy to see it come out. 

His potassium level was extremely high and they had to prescribe new meds for it.  When I went to pick it up, I had a nervous stomach.  As I mentioned previously, our school district changed insurance companies right. before. the. transplant.  The new insurance did approve the transplant and we went ahead as planned.  However, we had an issue with insurance paying for the meds when Joe got released from the hospital on Friday night.  If he misses one dose, his body will attack the new kidney and it will die.  It was Friday night and I couldn't wait until Monday morning to call the insurance or my school district.  So, I paid cash.  I told myself that $100 was a small price to pay for Joe's life.  When I went back yesterday, I was wondering if I would have to pay cash again.  Amazingly, it went through!  I recognized the cashier as the same from Friday night.  I (half-jokingly) asked her if there was any way I could get a refund for the $100 I paid on Friday night, now that my insurance was clicking in.  You'll never guess what she said.  Yes!  Dude, I got his new meds AND I walked out with money in my pocket!  Ug, I was so dreading phone calls, paperwork, and waiting for months.  Lesson learned: it doesn't hurt to ask.

We were spoiled last night with a catered dinner.  Local businesses take turns putting on a special event on Wednesday evenings.  Last night was put on by US Airways.  It was probably just such a simple thing to them, but it meant the world to the patients.  It gave them something to look forward to all week.  It gave them a reason to get dressed (other than a doctor appointment).  It allowed the casitas to come together and chat with each other. 

What did Joe do the whole time?  He circulated through the tables, chatting with everyone.  He gained a lot of encouragement from them, but I kinda think they got some encouragement from him.  One lady told us that she was happy to meet us.  See, there are 5 casitas, with up to 12 residents each.  Each casita is sort of isolated as we can't have visitors and we just stay holed up all day.  Yet, every evening after dinner, Joe and I take a (slow) walk to the fountain and back.  Round trip is about 40 yards.  But, it's something.  We talk and just focus on getting Joe mobile again.  Well, I guess that as we walk, the other residents in the other casitas come to their windows and watch us.  Awwww, makes me cry. 

"As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you
nor forsake you" (Joshua 1:5b).

... A black hole is a place of total nothingness. It's a time in our life when God removes the resources and supports that we normally rely on to feel secure - our careers, finances, friends, family, health and so forth. It is a preparation time.

When you find yourself in a black hole experience, don't just sit and brood. Take stock of your life. Take a look at your relationship with God

First, ask God if there are any sins, habits, or attitudes that He might be judging in your life. It's important to discern whether the trial we face is the result of God's discipline for our sin, or if it is preparing us for a future leadership role.

Second, when you enter a black hole, don't trust your feelings. Trust God. Your feelings will tell you, "God has rejected you. Abandon hope. He has left you utterly alone." Feelings change; God never changes. Feelings come and go; God is always with us.

Third, remember that your black hole experience is not only intended to refine and define you; it's also intended to influence and change the lives of hundreds or even thousands of other people. Our adversity is not just for us, but others in our sphere of influence.

Fourth, don't try to hurry the black hole process along. Remember, when Joseph was in the depths of the pit, there was nothing he could do about it. He couldn't climb out, jump out, levitate out, or talk his way out. All he could do was pray and wait upon the Lord.

Fifth, lean on God. Even when you don't feel like praying, pray. Even when you don't feel like reading His Word, read. Even when you don't feel like singing songs of faith, sing. When you pray, don't just talk; listen. Be silent before Him and listen for His still, quiet voice.

Sixth, be alert to new truths and new perspectives. During a black hole experience, God often leads us to amazing new discoveries. A black hole can be a storehouse of unexpected riches for the soul.

^TJ Conwell

where Glory meets my suffering