Happy New Year’s everyone! Did this year fly by or what? And it hasn’t seemed to slow down at all…it’s already mid-January and it feels as if several months have already passed. Yikes…SLOW DOWN already!!! LOL! I don’t want to rush into my old age any more than I have to, thank you. ;P
So, to start off, I’d like to proudly announce that this month (Jan. 5th to be exact) was my one-year kidney-versary! YAAAY Kirby!!! To celebrate, my family and I had a special dinner in the glamorous city of Paris! We even partook in the London New Years Parade! (Come to think of it, why did I NOT do a Kirby Flat Stanley??? Ugh… wish I had thought of that earlier to share with ya’ll.) I’ll share more about my trip in future posts. I’d like to say the Queen was absolutely enamored by our presence, but I think our giant drum (Big Bertha) stole the show and overshadowed us all. LOL!
As I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t expecting that year to go so quickly, but am kind of glad it did in a way. I don’t wish the initial post-transplant medication tweaks and side-effects on anyone! My family and I were reflecting about the last few years and all of the shit we went through to get to this happy moment today, and one by one everyone added something that made the list longer… I was struck a bit silent when I thought about it. In my head, I always convinced myself that I was “tough enough” to get through each scenario as it happened, and I can proudly say I did. However, had I seen this list of things BEFORE they happened, I’m not so sure I would have been brave enough to push through. I guess ignorance was bliss in my case. So, in a brief moment of chest-beating, I’d like to summarize the last three years of hell:
- Kidney failure (hello, the start of it all)
- Loss of my dream job
- Stroke-like symptoms and seizures/stroke scare
- Too many visits to the ER
- Pleurisy (multiple times)
- Staph infections
- Blood clots in my lung
- Death of my soul-kitty cat (RIP Zaney)
- Cataracts and Retinopathy
- Severe anemia that left my sister literally carrying me to our apartment
- Heart attack
- Two stents put in my heart
- Cancer scare (in my liver)
- Ridiculous skin rash that covered my entire body
- Diagnosis of Celiac Disease
- Organ transplant
- Hair loss (maybe not that big of a deal to some, but I am a girl…)
- Baseball-sized hematoma
So, it’s safe to say (at least I’m daring to put this out in the universe) that I believe the worst is behind me/us, and I can look back at those years and…grin? I don’t want to fully laugh for fear that karma might come back and say “Oh yeah? Add THIS to your list!” I CAN say that I have everything in the world to look forward to. 🙂 I also don’t want to scare anyone that might be reading this that might be early in their diagnosis of kidney failure/transplant process. This is MY list. Everyone is different.
As challenging as it was, 2014 was a great year! On a more positive note, I’d like to also list all the small, yet amazing things I’ve been able to accomplish since my new kidney came along:
- No more dialysis! YAAAY! No, seriously…YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!
- Travel to Boston, finally!
- Travel to Austin, finally!
- Travel to Europe for the first time
- Progress in getting my career kick-started again
- Tennis lessons
- No emergency trips to the hospital
- Brought my A1C down 3 points (diabetes blood result)
- Been more active in the non-profit community
- Grew my fingernails out, finally!
- I have fabulous eyebrows, finally!
- Did not even catch a cold! (I just had a case of the sniffles last week, but seeing how many flu epidemics I’ve been hiding from, this was a huge feat!)
I’ve made several other personal accomplishments as well, however these are the main items that I’m proud to list/publish. Some are baby steps to getting back to what I had before, but it’s a huge start! I don’t think I’m going to make any New Year’s resolutions this year since I feel most items still left on my “to do” list are more goals I still need to accomplish rather than resolutions for one year. In the meantime, my door has been swung wide open for new opportunities, and I plan on attempting as many as I can! 😛
Things I’m thankful for today:
1. I made it a year!!!! Hey Kirby…it’s yo’ birth-day! We gonna partay like it’s yo’ birth-day!
2. American food. I have to say that it sucks being a Celiac. Especially when you’re traveling in a country known for their BREAD! In Paris, there were no crescents, no macarons, no flakey French bread sandwiches for me… just grapes and a handful of my backup GF pretzels when I got home. It was SOOOOO good to get home and have options again!
3. The discovery of galettes – a naturally gluten free crepe that is apparently found all over Paris! Yes, I had one. Yes, I got a bit glutened. Yes, it was absolutely worth it. 😉
4. DuoLingo. Ok, so I was dying that I had the first chance to really use all the French I spent years learning…and I had forgotten it all! I even had a friend (Elissa – shout out!) send me these amazing French lessons I could use to polish up, and I never got as far as I wanted to with them. However, with one month to go before our trip, I was able to get a good quick refresher-dose using an app – DuoLingo – a bit every night. It made me look a little less foolish when I scrambled to say “The red shark ate the dolphin in the library” in everyday conversation!
5. Timing. We were pretty close to the Paris terrorist shootings the day they started and I’m extremely thankful that we were as quick to act as we did to leave the city. I’m thankful that we had no issues with transportation getting to and leaving the train station, and I’m thankful that we made it back to the US unharmed. I’m also very grateful for all of our friends and family who checked in on us to make sure we were ok! Thank you!
6. Opportunities. Being able to make a trip like we did with my family and friends was truly a lifetime experience. Thank you Mom, Dad, Barbara, Aunt Ber, Aunt San, and Roy for making it possible! The memories are going to live forever. 🙂
7. Robert, my hairdresser, for making all my new baby hairs look like they finally belong… with the intro of baby bangs. Can’t say I’m a huge fan of them, but it’s something new, fun, and I’m workin’ with what I’ve got. LOL!