I’ve had multiple people ask how Donna is doing so I figured it was time to post an update and bring everyone up to speed. Our last round of lab work revealed that her GFR, or kidney function, had dropped from 11% to 10% and her creatine levels had risen slightly. Throughout this entire process we’ve been hoping and praying that she wouldn’t have to undergo dialysis prior to her transplant. Unfortunately, our doctor (the best in the world), Dr. Shaver, has recommended that we go ahead and start the process.
We attended a class last month and learned about our options. While we were in the class I couldn’t help but look around the room at the other patients that are preparing for dialysis and transplants and it made me realize how blessed we are that Donna is doing so well given the circumstances. She still chases our 4yr old son around and keeps our house in tip-top condition and looks gorgeous while she’s doing it. To someone that might not know she’s in stage 5 kidney failure she probably looks healthy as can be.
While we have had a tremendous outpouring of people volunteering to be tested (approximately 90 people), the team at UAMS can only handle testing just a handful of people at a time, this is a point of frustration for me –so please pray that I’ll learn to be patient. If anyone is still interested in being tested we’d love for you to signup here, even if you can’t donate to Donna we know of two people right now that are also in need of a kidney and your donation could be life-changing for them. Organ donation is something I never gave a lot of thought until the past few years and I can tell you that it’s one of the most awesome things a person can do.
Okay, back to the dialysis. We were presented with a couple of options and have decided to go with the in-home hemodialysis. She will have a surgical procedure soon to have a fistula implanted in her arm to connect to the dialysis machine and also a port in her neck that will serve as a temporary hookup until the fistula is ready, after the surgery it can take up to 3 months to completely heal and be ready for dialysis. We met w/ the surgeon this past week and while I fully expected Donna to be extremely discouraged about the situation because we have literally been praying we wouldn’t have to do this every single night, but she never ceases to amaze me. She’s faced this challenge with as much courage and grace as I’ve ever seen. I’ve been doing my best to make it seem as if the entire thing is a non-issue w/ me but I think we’ve been married long enough for her to know when I’m blocking something out of my mind. At the end of the day we are trusting God has this situation under control and will deliver in his timing.
When she starts the dialysis she will be tethered to a machine in our home for two hours –most likely 3 days a week (we don’t know for sure yet). Fortunately she can either do this in the evenings or while Spencer is in school. I know that if I was faced with having to be tethered to a machine for 2 hours I would be going crazy but honestly the only concern she has is how it’s going to interfere with her volunteer work at our church during our annual women’s conference. That’s the type of woman I’m married to… amazing!
In closing, please continue to pray that we find a donor soon and that the team at UAMS will be able to process all of our potential donors as quickly as possible. Also, please pray that this new chapter with the dialysis will go smoothly and that her kidney function will remain stable. Also, I’m so thankful that my sister in law has relocated back to Conway because w/ my new role at Farmers Business Network I’m finding myself traveling across the country quite frequently, please pray protection over both Donna and Bridgette while I’m on the road –not that they need it, both of them can take pretty good care of themselves, but I still worry!
I can’t adequately put into words how much your thoughts and prayers mean to us, we literally feel the love covering us as we face these challenges!