It’s been several weeks since I last posted, and although I apologize for the delay in keeping you updated, this is actually a good thing. Let me rephrase that… this is a GREAT thing! Don’t get me wrong, I love being able to share my story with you as it has been happening. I’ve also loved being able to provide a peek behind the curtains of what happens when diabetes wrecks havoc on a person’s body, and personify what all is involved when hearing the terms “diabetes”, “kidney disease,” and “celiac”. (They’re not just household terms after all!) 🙂 This is a good thing because, hopefully it means an end to a very difficult and painful chapter. It means that for the first time in 3 years, things are going really smooth with no complications! (I say that as I knock the crap out of this wooden desk…) So, with things improving, hopefully I’ll only be posting the fun stuff now. 🙂
As for the transplant update, my clinics have been reduced to once a week, and it looks like some of my meds have finally stabilized! I haven’t had any issues with the side effects, my bloodwork continues to show good numbers, and I’ve been slowly been able to get a better grasp on my diabetes again (not having to take so much prednisone really makes a HUGE difference). I think I hear James Brown sing-shouting… “I feel good!” 😀 One of the biggest improvements has been my return to work. I headed back to the office on St. Patrick’s Day and so far, that too has been awesome! I think my brain was most happy about this…it was actually screaming for some stimulation to get going again. LOL! I won’t lie, it was nice being able to relax and watch movies/TV and catch up on reading and sleep while my body healed on medical leave, but there’s only so many People magazines and episodes of The Soup you can take before your brain just turns to goo. I finally feel as if I’ve returned to a “normal” life again, socializing with friends, being stuck in traffic, working late to finish reports, etc. Not only that, but since I’ve been back into my “everyday” role, I can truly see what a difference this transplant has made! My energy and stamina (and appetite) have shocked me and returned with a bang, and people are constantly telling me how much “better” I look compared to pre-surgery. I guess you never really know how sick you felt until you get better! I even went to my first happy hour in two years! I was probably the only one not drinking (haven’t been cleared for that yet), but it was just so good to be back “in the game” again. The best part of it all, is that I finally feel freedom! I no longer have anything holding me back from moving forward on everything I’ve had to put on hold… work, travel, my future, etc. (James Brown… this is your cue again…)
One thing I can finally move forward with now is my diabetes and getting set up with the portable pancreas. I am so ready to get started, it’s stupid. I don’t want to put up with any more damage and I’m even more motivated than before to be on full-on damage control. I’m also going in tomorrow for my 2nd opinion appt for the retinopathy in my left eye (the one my original Retina doctor told me he could do nothing about.) It’s funny, you always read how people say that they feel healthier than they’ve ever been, even though they are in the latter years of their lives, or after they’ve had some major health trauma. I can totally relate to that now. Not that I AM actually healthier now than I was in my 20’s, but I am so much more aware of my body’s capabilities and limits, and am more educated on how to better take care of myself than I ever did before. Who knows? If the changes I make to my life now can possibly reverse any of the damage that’s been done, I might actually BECOME better health-wise than I was in my 20’s! How awesome would that be? There is still hope for medical advances, and it’s that hope that I cling to with all my strength.
Last thing before I sign off for the night, I have to do my part in letting everyone know that March is National Kidney Awareness month. (I know… I barely squeaked in with one day left in the month! whew…) I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night knowing I did not at least pay Kirby his due spotlight! So, what can you do, you ask? Lots. See if you could lend a helping hand to someone who is suffering from kidney issues (running errands, etc. can be very difficult when your energy is non-existent, and time can be limited when you’re stuck in a dialysis center for half of your week!). You could also get tested for kidney disease yourself to make sure that YOU aren’t having to follow in my steps! There’s also always the much needed donation (that could be read as cash or organ…your choice!) However you choose to do your part, know that the small things all of you have done during MY experience made a huge difference for me… I can only imagine the impact it would make if I wasn’t the only one receiving your generosity and prayers! On that note, I’ll leave you with our fave rapping kidney mascot in this year’s National Kidney Month video. It’s tough being a kidney! LOL!
Things I’m thankful for today:
1. Meetings. Yes, meetings. And cubicles. And deadlines, break rooms, and coworkers. It means I’m no longer sitting on the couch and things are back to normal.
2. Kozy 2 Day – a restaurant that Kameron and I discovered that is completely gluten free! As in, I can eat every single item on the menu and not have to go through my usual 20-question interview with the waiter regarding how everything was prepared and what ingredients are in each dish. Not to mention they have the best Tres Leches cake I’ve ever had! Yum! Oh, and I can’t forget Max’s Wine Dive…the only restaurant I’ve found that offers GF fried chicken! Woohoo! 😀
3. The new chef in our office cafeteria who is working with me to make sure the kitchen is safe for all our food intolerant friends that want to partake in the convenience of “eating in”.
4. Baggy-waisted jogging pants and dresses. Jeans and regular work pants still pinch me where the scars/incisions are on my belly, so I am literally breathing a bit more free when I am not constricted. Fashion be damned. 😉