Started this in June, finished August 17th
Why I quit blogging. The answer is simple, really. Life became too painful to write about. The end. Or is the beginning pf something else? I do know that having a chronic illness changes all perspective on life. I look at everything different now. As I struggle to stay here with my family and friends I have to ask myself why? Would it be easier to just give in and quit treatment? Some days when I am so nauseated that I cannot talk and so tired that I cannot move I wonder if it is worth it? I wonder why people fight so hard to stay alive in a world that can seem so cruel at times, maybe unfair. It is what it is though. I thought for the longest time that I could honestly beat kidney failure. If I prayed hard enough, was good enough, kind enough, generous enough, went to church enough, took all the right medications, went to all of my doctor's appointments, ate good enough I would somehow be spared from this disease that has taken over my life. Now 21 months after being diagnosed with chronic kidney failure I feel beaten and worn down at times I think that everything I did was for nothing.....or maybe it wasn't? As I sit through dialysis 3 days a week I reflect about my past, the present and my future. I look around a room where everyone is hooked up to machines, some people need oxygen, some people have lost legs, some need a walker or wheelchair. And I again wonder what drives them to keep going. I feel like I am watching someone else's life. Mine was going to be so different. And yet week after week I sit with other dialysis patients who make conversation and polite talk amongst each other and the satff. And the feeling is surreal.
I started dialysis on November 13th 2009. I had prayed very hard that I would not have to start dialysis until after Shaun got home from his mission. And exactly 16 days after Shaun's return there I was at a dialysis center .......with Shaun. If I knew I had that much power I would have asked for more time. I had been getting progressively sicker as every month went by........but I fought so hard to not have to start dialysis. Now I realize it was not my decision to make. It wasn't anything I could control. It was not a punishment. It was end stage renal failure and it was taking over my body. Not having control was terrifying. Some days I just pretended that it did not exist. Some days it was all I could think about. Some days I ignored it. Some days I challenged it. But looking back it is so easy to see now that it truly was not in my control. Our time here is limited. Tragic things happen to people and fanilies, natural disaters hit, little children are abused. What kind of place is this that everyone tries so hard to stay in? Is there justice? Some days the trials seem too overwhelming and painful to bear. The world seems so cold and unforgiving. And yet most people fight to stay alive. And as I fight my battle with kidney failure I often wonder why? There are easy answers of course, simple anwers. Family, grandchildren, friends. And I keep fighting the fight. Anemia, low blood pressure, iron deficiency, nausea, exhaustion, are just a few of the debilitating things I deal with now on a daily basis now. There are times I sit in my car for 20 minutes after I get home because the thought of going up 14 steps is just too hard to face. Fatigue is not kind, it takes over my existence at times. And it is not a fight I can win.
Chronic illness has forced me to look at my life differently. I am grateful for my time here. I treasure every moment with family and friends. Things that I used to feel could wait until "later" suddenly seem more of a priority. So I try to live in the moment. Enjoy every word Tanner says, every time he calls me "Baga", enjoy every giggle from Tyler, enjoy every funny thing Caden does, enjoy every smile from Olivia, enjoy every time Abby says "Graaaaama", enjoy every time Cierra dances around the room, enjoy my time spent talking with Mackenzie, enjoy every time Gavin grins, enjoy the time I can be outside in the warm summer sunshine, enjoy the simple moments of everyday life. These things do not feel ordinary anymore. I feel as though they are precious gifts. My kids have turned into absolutely amazing adults. Their love and support has helped me through a very difficult time and I will forever appreciate their thoughtfulness and compassion.
So exactly one year has passed since I last blogged. I am hopeful about the future and I truly cherish every minute I spend with the people I love. In some ways I feel lucky because when my life is over I won't be saying "I wish I would have done things different." I am living a different and better life thgan I was a year ago. Life is definitely not easy but I don't think it was supposed to be. Life is still full of pain and sadness at times but I also feel real joy and peace amonst all the everyday chaos of fhis challenging life we are all living.