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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Kidney Transplant...Footprints in the Sand



Once I realized that Heaven's answer to my prayer
was a transplant, it became a lot easier to go along for the
ride. Even though there were many tests and pain through
2013, I consider myself very fortunate not to be on dialysis.
I know so many more people who were far worse off than
I am.

The waiting was the hardest (being extremely tired
much of the time). As time went on, I saw that I had
enough energy to get up, get dressed, go to my many
doctors appointments and sit in a recliner most of the
day. I know that does not sound like much, but being
at 10% kidney function and not on dialysis was highly
unusual for someone in my position. I was so fortunate
to also have a daughter that took time off work each week
to take me to and from appointments.

I also missed my friends at church and doing the
many things I once did, but I realized I needed to put
my health first or I would not be here very long. I needed
to slow my life down. Listening to my body more I found
out a lot about what it needed from me. As I listened I felt
a strength that was not my own. I also never had a specific
feeling that I was in jeopardy of losing my life.

I felt like someone else was taking care of me, like
in the “Footprints in the Sand” poem. The narrator in the
poem wonder's why the Lord had not helped them in their
time of need. The Lord replied “During your times of
trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints,
it was then that I Carried You.” I feel that I have been living
that poem since I was first diagnosed w/renal (kidney) failure
in Jan. 2013. I feel the Lord carrying me daily. I don't
believe I could feel as good as I do with now only 7%
kidney function without His help. It is the best kind of
strength I have ever felt.

After much prayer, I decided to go to Utah to get
the transplant. They were on top of everything, rated
highly in the medical community, and I felt confirmation
that the University of Utah was the right place for me to
go. I left California in Oct. 2013 for Salt Lake City to
beat the snow. I found being in Utah a wonderful experience
and noticed an improvement in how I felt. All the while
acknowledging that the “Footprints in the Sand” poem
was playing out in my life on a daily basis.

I have grown and learned so many things of
significance through this experience. Do I wish this
experience had not happened? Surprisingly the
answer would be “No”. I feel like I have received
a college degree worth of knowledge and growth
through this journey. There are so many benefits
from what has happened for myself, my family,
friends (both new and old) and even strangers with
whom I have shared my story.

I feel a more intense desire to help people. I feel
more empathy for them than ever before. If I
can get through something like this, then maybe I
can give someone encouragement or help them get
through a struggle, or share the universal message
of hope.